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Resilience, Adaptation, and Sustainability Plan Assessment Methodology: An Annotated Bibliography



Christopher T. Clavin, Avery M. Dabreau, Emily H. Walpole


In the United States, preparing for the impacts of natural hazards is primarily the responsibility of communities and local governments. Increasingly, while communities address these hazard mitigation responsibilities, they are concurrently undertaking emerging planning processes that address objectives such as resilience, adaptation, and sustainability. These planning objectives require a process that may be technically and administratively complicated, often requiring the incorporation of emerging scientific information and decision making under uncertainty. The growth of these planning documents in practice and a field of scholarly work assessing the quality of these planning documents provides an opportunity to better understand how to increase the quality of these planning processes. This annotated bibliography was assembled to achieve two objectives: (1) to provide a review of scholarly literature assessing or evaluating community or local scale planning for objectives related to resilience, adaptation, and sustainability, and (2) to inform the future development of an analytical methodology to assess the content of resilience, adaptation, and sustainability planning guidance, instructions, and requirements for practice. A discussion of the review findings addresses the second objective by presenting a set of plan quality principles that can be used for future plan and associated material assessment. The discussion also highlights concepts observed related to resilience, adaptation, and sustainability terminology, and findings from the review related to the state of practice and research on resilience, adaptation, and sustainability planning. Future areas of work to advance research capabilities related to plan quality assessment are also presented.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 2117
Report Number


Community planning, urban planning, community resilience, assessment, resilience, adaptation, sustainability, hazards, mitigation


Clavin, C. , Dabreau, A. and Walpole, E. (2020), Resilience, Adaptation, and Sustainability Plan Assessment Methodology: An Annotated Bibliography, Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 22, 2024)


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Created September 27, 2020, Updated September 28, 2020