Skip to main content

Our Climate, Our Future: Resiliency

Our Climate, Our Future, Climate Resilient San DiegoClimate Resilient SD Plan

On Dec. 14, 2021, the San Diego City Council adopted the City’s first-ever climate adaptation and resiliency plan.

Climate Resilient SD Plan

Climate Resilient SD provides strategies to prepare, respond and recover from potential climate change hazards, like extreme heat, wildfires, sea level rise, and flooding and drought, as well as how the proposed investments can improve local communities.

Additional documents related to the plan can be found in the More Information tab below.

Why Climate Resilient SD?

car driving through water

The City of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan leads in efforts to create a more sustainable future through programs and policies to reduce the City’s greenhouse gas emissions. Even with these efforts, climate change is a visible issue with impacts felt in every community. San Diego is already experiencing more frequent and intense heatwaves, increased wildfire risk, and more unpredictable and intense rain events.

Families learning about firesThese hazards impact San Diegans and our economy, infrastructure, and natural environment. Climate Resilient SD is a comprehensive plan to prepare for, respond to and recover from climate change-related impacts. The City of San Diego is working collaboratively with community members and stakeholders to develop Climate Resilient SD.

girl drinking waterTogether, we can thrive in a changing climate while improving social equity, health, safety and the environment for everyone.

Climate Resilient SD

Climate Resilient SD is the City’s comprehensive climate adaptation and resiliency plan, which will increase our ability to adapt, recover and thrive in a changing climate.

View previous community engagement tools and meetings

City staff developed the plan over the past several years using input from organizations and agencies, public outreach events, public hearings and community surveys, as well as potentially impacted City departments.

Learn more about potential adaptation strategies the Planning Department discussed with the public to address sea level rise, extreme heat, wildfire and flooding by viewing the engagement tools:

Potential Adaptation Strategies (English)

Potential Adaptation Strategies (Spanish)

Potential Adaptation Strategies (Tagalog)

Potential Adaptation Strategies (Vietnamese)

Potential Adaptation Strategies (Chinese)

On April 19, 2021, City staff held a virtual workshop so the public could learn more about the plan and share their ideas on how we can flourish as our climate changes. View the video recording of the workshop.

City staff hosted a virtual workshop on Oct. 19, 2021, to introduce the Climate Resilient SD draft plan to the public and listen to public feedback. View the video recording of the workshop.

Comments and input on the Climate Resilient SD draft plan were gathered using an interactive tool. View the draft and the comments.

A document was also prepared to summarize all of the community engagement that had been conducted that has been conducted so far for this planning effort, and how public feedback received through this engagement has shaped the development of the Climate Resilient SD plan. View the PDF icon community engagement summary.

How can you prepare for wildfires?

Fire season in California is year-round. Wildfires are unplanned fires that burn in natural areas like forests, grasslands or canyons. These dangerous fires spread quickly and can devastate open space areas as well as communities. Wildfires can be dangerous, so it is important to be prepared. Children, older adults and people with chronic health conditions are especially vulnerable to the effects of wildfires. Wildfire preparedness is key to protecting yourself, your community and your property from the damages of fire. Check out some of the resources below so that you can be ready and stay fire safe!

Here are some resources to help you prepare:

For more information on preparing for wildfires:

For information on wildfire smoke health risks:

Tracking fires in California:

How can you prepare for extreme heat events?

Extreme heat is when the weather is much hotter than usual, and sometimes more humid. In San Diego, extreme heat days currently occur when the temperature is above 93.1 degrees. These days are projected to become hotter and more frequent in the future.

Extreme heat can be dangerous, so it is important to be prepared. Children, older adults, and people with chronic health conditions are especially vulnerable to the effects of extreme heat.

Here are a few steps you can take to prepare before an extreme heat event:Cool Zone

  1. Learn how to recognize the signs of heat illness.
  2. Each spring, check that your household’s fans, air conditioners or other cooling equipment are in good working order.
  3. Cover your window with drapes or shades.
  4. Identify places in your community where you can go to get cool, such as the nearest Cool Zone or shopping mall.

Stay safe during an extreme heat event: girl drinking water

  1. Minimize direct exposure to the sun, and avoid high-energy activities or work outdoors, if possible.
  2. Stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day. Avoid beverages with caffeine, sugar or alcohol.
  3. Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothes. If you are outside, find shade, and wear a hat wide enough to protect your face.
  4. Watch for signs of heat illness, including heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
  5. Check the local news for health and safety updates.
  6. Check on family members, seniors and neighbors, and consider pet safety. If pets are outside, make sure they have plenty of cool water and access to shade.
  7. Take a cool shower or bath to help cool off.
  8. Use your own fans or air conditioners or spend time in air-conditioned places.
  9. Use your oven less to help reduce the temperature in your home. Instead, eat light, cool and easy-to-digest foods such as fruit or salads.
  10. Take a cool shower or bath to help cool off.

For more information on preparing for hot days:

What is the difference between mitigation, adaptation, and resilience?

Climate Migration
Climate Mitigation (City’s Climate Action Plan) vs Climate Adaptation (City’s Climate Resilient SD).  Image from the CalOES 2012 Adaptation Planning Guide.

Mitigation focuses on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to avoid the worst potential impacts of climate change.

Adaptation focuses on reducing impacts from climate change-related hazards.

Resilience enhances the ability to bounce back from a disruptive event.


Vulnerability Assessments

Citywide Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment

The Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment was a key step towards completing Climate Resilient SD. Backed by the best available science and informed by a diverse Stakeholder Advisory Group, the Vulnerability Assessment identified and evaluated which City assets are vulnerable to climate change and the potential consequences that could occur. A high level overview of the findings is presented in the PDF icon brochure. Read the full report.

Kid’s drawings from Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment outreach.
Kid’s drawings from Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment outreach.

Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment

The City of San Diego has long recognized the need to address the risks from sea level rise, storm surge, and coastal erosion. To better understand these risks, the City conducted a sea level rise vulnerability assessment with funding from a California Coastal Commission Local Coastal Program Local Assistance Grant. This vulnerability assessment is a technical report that presents key findings from the assessment of exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity of critical built, natural, and cultural assets to coastal hazards.

State Lands Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment

Pursuant to Assembly Bill No. 691 (AB 691), and as a local trustee of the granted public trust lands, the City completed a state granted lands sea-level rise vulnerability assessment, evaluating the impacts of sea-level rise on its public trust lands and detailing a plan to address vulnerabilities and mitigate impacts. The assessment considers the recommendations under the California Ocean Protection Council’s State Sea Level Rise Policy Guidance and the California Coastal Commission’s Sea Level Rise Policy Guidance to assess impacts of storms and extreme weather events, changing shorelines, trends in relative local sea level, and impacts to public trust resources and values. Through this assessment, the City identified the vulnerabilities of City assets and public trust resources and facilities, considered replacement or repair costs, and assessed the impact to non-market values, such as ecosystem services, for the years 2030, 2050, and 2100. To address these vulnerabilities, the City, with input from local stakeholders, compiled a list of potential adaptation and mitigation measures, organized by climate change hazard. These measures included with estimated costs, associated benefits, and timeframes for implementation.

More Information

Documents Related to the Climate Resilient SD Plan

An Addendum to Environmental Impact Report No. 104495 was prepared. In accordance with Senate Bill 379, the Climate Resilient SD Plan also includes an amendment to the City's General Plan Public Facilities, Services, and Safety Element. View the edits in strikethrough/underline format.

On Sept. 13 and 14, 2021, the City partnered with the San Diego Foundation, High Tech High and other volunteers to hold an urban heat mapping event. Using heat sensors, volunteers traveled along designated routes and collected thousands of temperature and humidity data points in the morning, afternoon and evening. The data was then sent to CAPA Strategies who created high resolutions maps to show heat distribution across the City. The urban heat mapping results are just one tool the City will use to strategically decide where to prioritize the implementation of strategies that address extreme heat. This project was funded by a grant from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and CAPA Strategies. PDF icon Learn more about the event and view the report.

Climate Resiliency in the San Diego Region

Climate Change and Resiliency in California

Strategic Plan Priority Areas of Focus

This program focuses on the following priority areas of the Strategic Plan:

Protect & Enrich Every Neighborhood

Ensures every neighborhood can not only adapt to climate change but can thrive in a changing climate.

Advance Mobility & Infrastructure

Climate Resilient SD adaptation strategies involve mobility and infrastructure investments that are critical for climate adaptation and improve our communities.

Champion Sustainability

Climate Resilient SD adaptation strategies ensure future investments in infrastructure are resilient to climate change and involve nature-based climate change solutions that can reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions.

Foster Regional Prosperity

Investing in adaptation strategies can drive and promote regional economic prosperity.