Communities have a duty to protect and prepare their residents for climate change, and this will require sustainable planning and investments at an unprecedented scale. Not all climate impacts can be mitigated, but there are actions local governments can take to lessen the damaging and profoundly unequal effects of sudden ecological disasters and longer term stressors linked to climate change. Both high tech and low tech solutions can aid cities in mitigating climate impacts, but equally as important is decreasing social and neighborhood vulnerabilities such as economic instability and housing insecurity.
Nature-enhancing solutions in our cities have the potential to mitigate climate damages while restoring green spaces and natural processes that have been disrupted, creating both environmental and social resilience. To address the decades of structural ecological injustices felt by frontline communities, cities must prioritize climate change adaptations in frontline communities, low-income communities and communities of color and ensure climate adaptations also improve local social and economic equity, supporting the capacity of communities not only to survive but to thrive.