With a population of about 80,000, Cranston is the third largest city in the state of Rhode Island. The city is part of the greater Providence metropolitan area. Due to its situation on the Rhode Island coastline, Cranston faces climate change risks associated with sea level rise, heightened flooding, and impacts on coastal infrastructure. The devastating effects of the 2010 floods in particular, as well as the projected frequency of similar events as a result of climate change, have heightened the awareness and concern of City staff and officials.
While an updated Hazard Mitigation Plan was completed in 2010, little has been done to actively address the impacts of climate change on the City. Substantial technical and financial assistance, as well as stakeholder involvement, will be needed to move forward with strengthening, supplementing, and implementing the recommendations outlined in the Plan as well as incorporating these strategies into other City plans and regulations. The City's municipal staff, officials, and others are very interested in engaging key stakeholders and community members in developing climate change adaptation measures, and anticipate that participation in this project will be helpful in achieving this goal.