Hyperlocalism: Transforming the paradigm for climate adaptation


Throughout Phase I, the HyLo team identified climate adaptation initiatives locally and across the US and engaged advocacy groups working to inform and empower individuals in climate change awareness. The team explored the gaps between current policy and neighborhood interests and assessed the potential impact of granular scale—hyperlocal—data, and correspondingly scaled and designed community engagement to bridge this gap. The team focused on analyzing Miami’s geologic, built, and social environment’s risks and assets to be able to discern the potential for Hyperlocalism to move climate adaptation discourse toward a people-first perspective, and tested a method to invert dominant processes of top-down communication to bring community voices to the forefront. Building on this initial work, the team will advance their Integrated Climate Risk Assessment (ICRA) protocol through a process of analysis, engagement and evaluation with their community partners, the CLEO Institute and Catalyst Miami, Miami-Dade County and City of Miami Resilience Officers and teams, and The Nature Conservancy in Florida Cities Manager to develop an innovative and replicable model for community member and policy-maker communication. Expected results include new co-produced knowledge to inform climate adaptation strategies; increased coordination across key stakeholders in climate adaptation, and more effective individual, neighborhood and community climate adaptation decision-making. The team believes that the Hyperlocalism methods and ICRA protocol can enable communities to develop a broader array of physical, social, and economic adaptation measures, and that this process itself can serve to strengthen existing culture and communities.

Phase I (2019)

For coastal communities facing unlivable conditions as soon as 2100, finding strategies for adapting to climate change is imperative. U-LINK’s ‘Climate Adaptation’ team aims to change the conversation surrounding resilience and climate change by focusing on climate adaptation strategies at a hyper-local scale, putting the needs of individuals in the community first. On the importance of addressing climate change at a hyper-local scale the team writes, “We view this fundamentally human-based approach as critical to helping individuals and communities across the globe face the challenges of climate change.” The team, with faculty from Architecture, Communication Studies, English, Marine Geosciences, and Atmospheric Sciences will build on existing local knowledge and networks of organizations to help communities adapt to climate change. Ultimately, the team will focus not only on discovering actionable strategies for affected communities, but also on laying a foundation for much-needed interdisciplinary collaboration in climate action.   


Amy Clement, Atmospheric Science; Tyler Harrison, Communication Studies; Joanna Lombard, School of Architecture; Sam Purkis, Marine Geosciences; Gina Maranto, English; Angela Clark, Libraries