(BLOOMINGTON) – Bloomington residents are invited to share their experiences, concerns, and ideas related to climate change in an online community survey (at the City’s Sustainability page, please click on the grey info card labeled “Bloomington Climate Survey”).
The survey is an important early step in a new initiative being undertaken by the City of Bloomington to improve resilience to climate hazards, an action identified by the community within the Sustainability Action Plan as a priority focus for 2020 climate action.
The City’s Department of Economic and Sustainable Development is developing the City’s first Climate Vulnerability Assessment and Climate Action Plan in partnership with climate action planning firm, paleBLUEdot.
The Vulnerability Assessment will identify and evaluate current and projected climate-related risks to people, infrastructure, and natural resources in Bloomington and Monroe County. Understanding susceptibility to climate hazards, such as flooding and heat effects, will then inform development of the Climate Action Plan, a set of prioritized actions the City, residents, businesses, and organizations can take to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
“To understand the threats of climate change and to diminish these threats where we can, we need community members to get involved,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “Gathering resident input is key to ensuring that the Vulnerability Assessment and Climate Action Plan will be uniquely informed by and responsive to our residents’ concerns and priorities.”
The survey takes between five and 10 minutes to complete. Responses are confidential and used only in the aggregate to factor citizen input into the climate vulnerability and action planning process. Survey respondents may provide their email addresses, to be used to provide each respondent with a summary of their survey responses, and later this year, to invite respondents to provide feedback on a draft Climate Action Plan.
Bloomington already experiences climate effects, including more high heat days and more frequent precipitation and flooding events. Climate modeling by Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience Institute for Bloomington shows how low-income households already experience a greater incidence of heat-related illness and are more likely to live in areas in Bloomington more susceptible to flooding.
“Improving resilience to climate hazards was identified by our community as a priority in previous sustainability planning efforts,” said Lauren Travis, Assistant Director for Sustainability. “This survey is designed to gauge residents’ perceptions of climate change, observed climate impacts in their lives, and their ideas and support for potential climate actions. Each response will help inform the development of our action plan. We hope all Bloomington residents make time to take this important survey.”