Learn how you can reduce your community’s vulnerability to climate change

Our communities are becoming increasingly vulnerable to the hazards and impacts posed by the changing climate. While no two communities are alike in their experience, there are ways to manage the risks and maintain the services that residents and businesses have come to expect.

One of the most important things you can do is integrate climate change into your asset management practices and decision-making. Municipal service delivery depends on the local built and natural infrastructure, and climate impacts can put those infrastructure assets at risk. As Canadian municipalities enter a period of significant asset renewal, we can collectively ensure that resilient infrastructure is part of the solution.

If you’d like to learn more about how climate action and asset management can fit together in your municipality, we want to help. We’ve designed this web page and the resources on it to help you better understand how it all fits together. Below you’ll find a video, two fact sheets and a guide. With each resource we tell you what you’ll learn and how long it will take to complete that step on the journey.

We invite you to join us for this learning journey. Enjoy these resources in order or skip ahead to the information that’s most valuable to you.

Part one: Why use asset management to build climate resilience? (video)

Time investment: 5 minutes

Discover the many reasons why integrating climate change into your asset management decisions and practices can help your municipality.

You’ll learn:

  • What climate change looks like in communities across Canada
  • The impact on municipal infrastructure and capacity to deliver services
  • How integrating climate change into asset management can help
  • Key steps to balancing cost, level of service and potential risks

Watch: Why use asset management to build climate resilience?



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Part two: Considering climate change in risk management (fact sheet)

Time investment: 8 minutescover of risk management factsheet

Discover how you can improve your community’s resilience by integrating climate change into your asset management, through a risk assessment process.

You’ll learn:

  • What risk is, and the unique challenges of climate-related risks
  • Hazards that can affect municipal infrastructure and services
  • How your local government can get started in managing risk
  • The benefits of proactive risk management

Part three: Considering climate change in levels of service (fact sheet)

Time investment: 8 minutescover of levels of service factsheet

What are the services your community relies on and how do you plan for your community to sustainably deliver these services in the future? Consider how climate change might influence the costs, time and risks associated with levels of service.

You’ll learn:

  • Key features that characterize municipal “levels of service”
  • The role of infrastructure assets
  • Risks posed by climate change
  • How your local government can begin integrating climate change into asset management to protect services


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Part four: Guide for integrating climate change considerations into municipal asset management

Time investment: 1.5 hours (to read the entire guide). Exercises may require an additional time to complete.cover of the guide

Learn and apply your knowledge about risk management and levels of service. Integrating climate change into asset management is not easy. Climate change and its implications for municipal services and infrastructure are complex. Using this guide you will help your municipality establish a clear process and framework.

You’ll learn:

  • Definitions of key terms related to risk, climate and levels of service
  • How municipal staff can enhance community resilience by focusing on service delivery
  • How to incorporate climate change considerations into your processes for managing risk and maintaining levels of service—through a single framework for action

Use this guide in four ways:

There are four ideal ways to use this guide. It’s important to choose a path that meets your municipality’s needs. The framework presented in the guide was developed with diverse municipal experiences in mind.

Begin by reviewing the pathways outlined below and select the chapters and activities your municipality needs to complete.

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Pathway: Begin from the ground up.This pathway involves preparing a linked risk and levels of service framework that considers climate change. This approach is great for small communities and is a logical first step to help you identify what climate change will mean for your community and help you develop strategies to respond.

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Pathway: Focus on levels of service. If you are interested in documenting and assessing levels of service based on climate change considerations.

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Pathway: Focus on risk management. If you are interested in assessing and managing risk based on climate change considerations.

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Pathway: Adapt an existing framework. If you already have an asset management framework in place that has established levels of service targets and applies risk management practices, and would like to adapt it to consider climate change.

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What comes next?
Looking for more help in developing your asset management system? Check out these resources.
Guide: Building sustainable communities with asset management

Discover how asset management practices help municipalities sustainably manage infrastructure and deliver services over the long term.

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Guide: How to develop an asset management policy and strategy

Learn how to set up a sustainable asset management approach in your municipality. Hear from other communities that have successfully built asset management systems.

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This resource was developed by the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program (2017-2022). This program was delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and funded by the Government of Canada.

For more information on climate action funding, resources and training, please visit FCM’s Green Municipal Fund. For more information on asset management and climate resilience grants, training and resources please visit FCM’s Municipal Asset Management Program.

© 2024 Federation of Canadian Municipalities