Date of Award

Fall 12-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Urban and Regional Planning


Planning and Urban Studies

Major Professor

John Renne

Second Advisor

Marla Nelson

Third Advisor

Linda Stone


Contending with a changing climate presents a necessary push for planning. Although climate change is considered a global environmental problem requiring a global commitment and trans-national action, more and more, policymakers are recognizing the vital need for action at the local level. In the US, especially in the absence of national climate legislation, many local governments have begun developing strategic plans, or climate action plans (CAPs), to address adapting to impacts of climate change and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. This thesis involves case studies of Portland, OR and Chicago, IL, cities with recently adopted CAPs and with considerable recognition in the field. The analysis involves an evaluation each city’s CAP and an evaluation of its implementation. The studies help elicit an understanding of the measures cites are employing to mitigate climate change and determine ways the planning profession can better assist communities in climate policy development and its prompt implementation.


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