Climate Change Adaptation Implementation Plan

After creating its Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, the City of Barrie, ON, was in need of an implementation plan that would outline exactly how the actions identified in its strategy would be achieved. With a grant from FCM’s Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program (MCIP), Barrie was able to complete its implementation plan in 2018.

The adaptation strategy identified 28 climate change impacts as priority areas for Barrie, including extreme heat and cold, temperature variability in shoulder seasons, invasive species, water quality, flooding, erosion, and extreme weather events. To address these impacts, the strategy outlined 59 priority actions that would later be fleshed out in an implementation plan.

The creation of the adaptation strategy and implementation plan was guided by ICLEI Canada’s Building Adaptive & Resilient Communities Program (BARC), a national program that helps local governments prepare for the impacts of climate change. BARC’s five-milestone framework guides municipalities through a comprehensive planning process, with each step building on the previous one. With the completion of the adaptation strategy, Barrie successfully achieved the first three milestones—initiate, research and plan. The next step was to develop a plan for implementing the strategy, as part of BARC’s fourth and fifth milestones—implement and monitor/review.

To prepare the implementation plan, the City consulted extensively with the community and with a wide range of municipal departments and branches. The final implementation plan contains 44 Action Specific Action Plans (ASAPs) detailing how the city will achieve the 59 priority actions outlined in its adaptation strategy. The ASAPs identify responsible departments, community partners, budgets, tasks, timelines and success measures. The Plan includes a reporting template that each responsible department would use to track its progress.

The City Council endorsed the implementation plan in Spring 2018. That same year, the City began an in-depth review of its official plan, which will be informed by climate change considerations and recommendations made in the Adaptation Implementation Plan. Adaptation actions undertaken thus far include the creation of a mapping application to show residents the status of plowing, sanding and salting of roads (particularly helpful during extreme winter weather events) and an increase in the number of edible plants in city gardens, along with a pilot program to donate food to local organizations.

In 2020, after a full year of implementation, the City will report back to Council and the public on the status of each action and whether it is completed, in progress or upcoming.

Project details

  • Project: Climate Change Adaptation Implementation Plan
  • Sector: Planning
  • Grant amount: $72,080
  • Lead entity: Department of Engineering, City of Barrie

Primary objectives

  • Guide the implementation of the 59 priority actions outlined in the City of Barrie’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, which are organized under seven goals:
    • Maintain public health and safety; minimize risks to buildings and properties; strengthen infrastructure resilience; help local businesses and the tourism industry adapt to changing conditions; protect biodiversity and enhance ecosystem functions; minimize disruption to community services; and build community resilience.
  • Help the city move from the planning stages of adaptation to the implementation of priority actions.
  • Ensure that the actions identified in the adaptation strategy are integrated into the city’s day-to-day operations and decision-making processes—particularly in key areas, such as service delivery, asset management, infrastructure projects and community planning.
  • Build resilience to the impacts of climate change and reduce the associated risks to Barrie’s physical, economic, social and ecological systems.
  • Demonstrate leadership by taking progressive and innovative steps to achieve the vision of the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.

By the numbers

  • 59 priority actions provided with implementation plans
  • 44 Action Specific Action Plans (ASAPs) created from the priority actions, outlining specific tasks and deadlines
  • 28 priority climate change impacts addressed
  • 58 internal staff members consulted in the development of the implementation plan
  • 14 different city departments involved in the development of the implementation plan

Project activities

  • Set up a project team (the city project manager and the consulting team) and an adaptation team (staff members from across various departments with expertise and responsibility for adaptation actions).
  • Draw upon research conducted during the development of the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, including a literature review of existing research and ICLEI Canada’s database of adaptation tools used by other Canadian municipalities.
  • Design an engagement strategy for ongoing consultation with stakeholders and the community, including a stakeholder advisory group to provide sector-specific input and advice.
  • Engage with city departments to discuss implementation considerations for each action prioritized in the adaptation strategy, and to determine the responsible departments, set budgets and timelines, and identify tasks and success measures.
  • Develop Action-Specific Action Plans (ASAPs) for each priority action identified in the adaptation strategy.
  • Integrate input from the adaptation team and stakeholder advisory group into the draft implementation plan.
  • Hold a public event and administer an online survey to gather community feedback on adaptation actions.
  • Identify the people, branches, and departments within the city that will be responsible for maintaining data and measuring progress.
  • Conduct research to identify baselines, indicators and data sources for measuring progress.
  • Develop a monitoring and evaluation strategy with key performance indicators to measure success and shortcomings, and to support continuous improvement.
  • Develop an annual reporting framework.
  • Synthesize all the information gathered into the final draft of the implementation plan.


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