2014 National Planning Excellence Awards: Environmental Planning

Broward County Climate Change Element

Broward County, Florida

The Broward County Climate Change Element (Element) is a county-wide strategy to protect residents, businesses, and infrastructure from climate change impacts and promote energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reductions. The Element was adopted in February 2013 and is a coordinated initiative consisting of 82 environmental policies that focus on local actions for addressing a subject with global implications. The Element looks to partners and collaborators to participate in the plan's implementation to improve community resilience and builds upon existing planning initiatives such as the Broward Climate Change Action Plan. Broward is the first local government in Florida to amend its comprehensive plan to provide for the Adaptation Action Areas designation as required by Florida state law.

Broward's beaches protect $4 billion in upland property and infrastructure. The Element aims to protect beach and dune systems through shoreline protection and erosion control.

The Element identifies climate-vulnerable areas; develops adaptation strategies for the built environment, natural systems, and green infrastructure; establishes intergovernmental coordination mechanisms to address climate change on a local, regional, and federal level; and supports creation of a regional climate change action plan. The Element took into consideration how the community will best adapt to and mitigate for the economic, environmental, and social effects of climate change.