$0.00 – $6.00
Seven-person, multi-issue facilitated negotiation among local government, community, business, and environmental representatives trying to reach agreement on a strategy for managing climate change risks in a mid-size coastal city.
Flooding in Milton is a seven-person, multi-issue facilitated negotiation among local government, community, business, and environmental representatives trying to reach agreement on a strategy for managing climate change risks in a mid-size coastal city.
The game focuses on managing increased probability of river flooding through hard and soft infrastructure solutions, as well as land use planning. . It is one of four exercises developed as part of the New England Climate Adaptation Project.* The Milton game highlights potential financing strategies for various flood risk adaptation options, as well as dilemmas surrounding new commercial and residential development on undeveloped, flood-prone land along rivers.
Milton, a coastal city of 80,000 people, has a flooding problem. Milton recently experienced a major flooding event, during which the Granite River that runs through the city overflowed its banks, destroying or damaging many homes, businesses, and roads. The threat of flooding appears to be getting worse due to two different trends. First, over the last 50 years, as Milton and the surrounding metropolitan region have been developed, hard surfaces like roads and buildings have caused rainwater runoff to flow quickly into swollen creeks and rivers rather than drain into the ground. Second, climate projections indicate that Milton will see more rainfall and more severe storms in the future. Heavy rainfall not only causes the Granite River to flood, but it can also result in sewer collection systems overflowing onto streets and into storm drains, thus polluting Milton’s beaches and fishing waters.
In response to public concern, the mayor convened the River Flooding Task Force to generate recommendations about how flood risks in Milton can be managed now and into the future. The Task Force is a small working group of city officials and community leaders. If they can reach agreement on a set of actions to be taken, the mayor will make it his priority during the remainder of his administration to implement the recommendations.
- Climate change adaptation poses difficult planning choices, but there are actions cities and towns can take now to protect themselves that will be beneficial regardless of how severe climate change risks turn out to be.
- Development, conservation, and infrastructure investments decisions made today will continue to affect communities far into the future. Short-term actions that do not take long-term climate change risks into account could prove extremely costly in the long run.
- A community-wide approach to managing the collective risks associated with climate change can create opportunities to address other issues while reducing vulnerability and enhancing community resilience.
- Communities must assess their vulnerabilities and decide which adaptation strategies are most appropriate.
- Stakeholders may have conflicting interests that shape their views about which public policy choices make the most sense. By working collaboratively and taking science into account, communities can find creative solutions that meet the interests of diverse stakeholders.
- At-risk towns and cities will have to consider how the financial responsibility for reducing climate risks will be distributed and whose responsibility it is to implement adaptation measures.
This exercise requires seven roles: six stakeholders and one facilitator. Multiple groups of seven can play at the same time. Where there are uneven multiples of seven, players may be doubled up in certain roles.
Total time requirements: 2 – 3 hrs
Preparation: 30 minutes
Negotiation: 60 – 75 minutes
Debriefing: minimum of 30 minutes, during which players can reflect on the game experience and how it relates to real life situations
For all parties:
- General instructions, including a climate change risks assessment memo and floodplain map
- Confidential instructions for:
- Planning Director
- Public Works Director
- Executive Director, Community Action Partners
- President, Chamber of Commerce
- Chairperson, Geneva Heights Neighborhood Association
- Executive Director, Alliance for Watershed Health
- All of the above
- Teaching Notes
* The other three exercises developed as part of the New England Climate Adaptation Project include:
Coastal Flooding and Climate-Related Risks in Launton
Flooding and Climate Change Risks in Northam
Coastal Flooding in Shoreham: Responding to Climate Change Risks
Flooding in Milton Attributes
|Time required:||2-3 hours|
|Number of participants:||7|
|Neutral third party present:||Yes|
|Teaching notes available:||Yes|
|Author:||New England Climate Change Adaptation Project|