Peer Learning

Think Resiliently, Act Regionally

Peer Learning Recap

In recent years, metro-regional scale governance has emerged in bellwether areas as one of the best ways to collaborate across sectors, disciplines and jurisdictions to design and implement effective strategies for reducing climate pollution and adapting to climate impacts. Regional governance allows diverse communities to pool ideas and resources, make faster progress towards adaptation & resilience goals, and attract more state and federal help.

In at least five places – Southeast Florida and the Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco regions, multi-jurisdictional collaboratives have formed to invent new ways of coordinating, both horizontally (across local governments) and vertically (among local, state and federal agencies). The diverse experiences of these five pioneering regions can serve as a guide for urban sustainability and resilience practitioners in other regions who are seeking to advance climate change adaptation in their communities.

This SCLA explored the best practices, challenges and opportunities associated with collaboration on climate action at the regional scale.

Benefits of regional collaboratives include:

  • The ability to aggregate local demand to get more technical and scientific assessment services from state and federal agencies
  • Cross-jurisdictional adaptation strategies that avoid “beggar-thy-neighbor” outcomes
  • Consideration of whole regions within the context of the ecosystems that sustain them
  • The ability for regions to “speak with one voice” at the state and federal level
  • More effective and uniform communications with the public via a communications landscape that is typically regional in nature
  • The ability to foster an environment for sustained attention to the issues beyond the term limits of individual elected officials

But there are also challenges:

  • Coordination and collaboration are notoriously hard to sustain
  • Intra-regional competition among local governments can present challenges
  • Implementation across multiple jurisdictions is extremely complex
  • Existing funding and decision making structures are often well-aligned with regional perspectives for progress

Presenters, Advisors, and Staff:

Danielle Arigoni, Deputy Director, Office of Economic Resilience, United States Department of Housing & Urban Development
Dan Barry, Municipal Sector Director, EcoAmerica
Chuck Bean, Executive Director, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
Jason Biermann, Deputy Director, Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
Matthew Dalbey, Director – Office of Sustainable Communities, United States Environmental Protection Agency
Maia Davis, Senior Environmental Planner, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
Laura Engeman, Manager, San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative
Garrett Fitzgerald, Strategic Partnerships Advisor, Urban Sustainability Directors Network
Jessica Grannis, Adaptation Program Manager, Georgetown Climate Center
Nicola Hedge, Climate Initiative Director, The San Diego Foundation
Nichole Hefty, Sustainability Chief, Miami-Dade County
Jennifer Jurado, Director – Environmental Planning & Community Resilience, Broward County
Professor Dan Kahan, Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor, Yale Law School
Krista Kline, Managing Director, Los Angeles Regional Collaborative
Jason Leichty, Environmental Projects Director, Broward County, Florida
Commander John Marburger, Climate Change Affairs Officer, United States Navy
Kate Marks, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis, United States Department of Energy
Megan McConville, Program Manager, National Association of Development Organizations
Michael McCormick, Deputy Associate Director for Climate Preparedness, Council on Environmental Quality, Executive Office of the President
Nile Molloy, Northern California Director, Citizens for a Better Environment
The Honorable Jennifer Montgomery, Placer County Board of Supervisors, Placer County, California
Jim Murley, Executive Director, South Florida Regional Planning Council
Jonathan Parfrey, Executive Director, Climate Resolve
Bruce Riordan, Bay Area Climate & Energy Resilience Project
Kif Scheuer, Climate Change Director, Local Government Commission
Tina Soika, Director of Engineering Services, Port of Seattle
Kerri Timmer, Government Affairs Director, Sierra Business Council
Susanne Torriente, Assistant City Manager, City of Ft. Lauderdale
Harriet Tregoning, Director – Office of Economic Resilience, United States Department of Housing & Urban Development
Mariia Zimmerman, Principal & Founder, MZ Strategies



An international nonprofit organization, the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) has 26 years of practical experience working with local leaders to accelerate climate change and sustainability solutions. ISC’s programs are designed to facilitate peer learning and engagement among local leaders charged with the work of making their communities more sustainable. ISC has led more than 110 projects in 30 countries, and currently works in Asia and the United States. Learn more at:



Slides from Maia A. Davis' presentation Building a Climate Resilient National Capital Region: It’s a Journey, Not a Destination Mia is an Environmental Planner with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments

Mariia Zimmerman, Principal, MZ Strategies presents on the history of regional approaches to problems in the United States.

Kif Scheuer, Climate Change Program Director of the Local Government Commission, talks about regional efforts to deal with climate change - in particular their advantages and obstacles. (8 minutes).

Jennifer Jurado, Director, Natural Resources Planning and Management Division of Broward County, Fl. speaks about the success of the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Compact. (15 minutes).

Krista Kline, Managing Director of the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability (LARC) speaks about LARC's successes and challenges. (11 minutes)