Economic Impacts of Resilient Investments in the Great Lakes

September 2021 - December 2021


The team’s research evaluated the economic benefits of three city-government climate resilience projects implemented in the Great Lakes Region (GLR). The case studies are adaptation projects implemented in Toledo, Ohio, Two Harbors, Minnesota and Ann Arbor, Michigan.  The cases indicate climate-resilience focused interventions were cost-beneficial for Two Harbors and Ann Arbor and projected to be cost-beneficial for Toledo. The research illustrates the complexity of climate-resiliency projects and the economic considerations that exist within them.

The report provides an overview of each project that includes a cost-benefit analysis, interviews with project related stakeholders, as well as a qualitative review of the best practices in climate resilience project implementation and evaluation.  And concludes with several recommendations to strengthen the capacity and integrity of all climate-resilience based projects.

The team recommended GLC develop a standardized methodology for analysis that will evaluate the project and demonstrate actions to increase climate resiliency with measurable social or economic impact. They further encouraged GLC to utilize its position as a supporter of sustainability to promote data-driven projects, emphasizing a cost-benefit analysis before the project, and monitor the impacts of the project after implementation.



Great Lakes Commission