At a Glance

The project innovates open space planning by using a vulnerability analysis to inform management strategies that support natural systems and preserve their ability to adapt to urban pressures and changing climate conditions.

Project Description

Healthy parks and open spaces provide cleaner air and water, reduced heat, and provide habitat and access to nature. However, Austin's natural areas are under threat and require immediate action to build resilience and reduce possible impacts to people and property. Biohabitats is leading the climate vulnerability analysis for the City of Austin Parks Department as part of a multidisciplinary team bringing national trends in land management and climate mitigation research and practical experience from restoring and managing and monitoring natural communities on the ground.

These large-scale goals are based on understanding stressors and contributors to climate vulnerability of Austin's natural areas, which in turn entails an understanding of exposure, sensitivity, and the adaptive capacity of the system and its components. These elements vary by habitat types, hydrologic systems, development, and other landscape features. The vulnerability analysis characterizes the viability of parks and open space and informs long-term management strategies.

The Land Management Plan defines goals, objectives, and strategies for monitoring, action thresholds, and guidance for future scenarios and conditions. Using an adaptive management approach will allow managers to adjust based on regular monitoring and review. This phased approach builds system understanding and supports communication about the City's developing land management philosophy and approach.



Southern Rocky Mountain

Physiographic Province

Coastal Plain


Willbarger Creek-Colorado River

Expertise Areas

Climate Change


City of Austin


Austin, Texas, United States

Project Team
  • Ecosystem Design Group