Consortium on Climate Risk in the Urban Northeast (CCRUN)

CCRUN Annual Report 2018
(Period of Performance: 6/1/17 - 5/31/18)

CCRUN Briefing Sheet (2017)

Principal Investigators
Radley Horton
Franco Montalto
William Solecki

Program Manager
Daniel Bader

Robert Chen 
Patrick Kinney 
Yochanan Kushnir
Malgosia Madajewicz 
Richard Palmer 
Philip Orton

Affiliated Institutions 
Boston University
City College of New York - Hunter College
Columbia University
Cornell University
Drexel University
Stevens Institute of Technology
University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Dates Funded 

CCRUN Website

Mission & Vision

The Consortium for Climate Risk in the Urban Northeast (CCRUN) serves stakeholder needs in assessing and managing risks from climate variability and change. It is currently also the only RISA team with a principal focus on climate change adaptation in urban settings. As such, CCRUN is designed to address the complex challenges that are associated with densely populated, highly interconnected urban areas, such as urban heat island effects; poor air quality; intense coastal development, and multifunctional settlement along inland waterways; complex overlapping institutional jurisdictions; integrated infrastructure systems; and highly diverse, and in some cases, fragile socio-economic communities.


CCRUN's projects are focused in three broad sectors: Water, Coasts, and Health. Research in each of these sectors is linked through the cross-cutting themes of climate change and community vulnerability, the latter of which is especially important in considerations of environmental justice and equity. CCRUN's stakeholder-driven approach to research can therefore support investigations of the impacts of a changing climate, population growth, and urban and economic policies on the social, racial, and ethnic dimensions of livelihoods and of communities in the urban Northeast. Disadvantaged socio-economic groups have been particularly underserved in the area of climate change, and one of CCRUN's long-term goals is the building of adaptive capacity among such groups to current and future climate extremes.

Decision Support Tools

Low Impact Development Rapid Assessment (LIDRA): LIDRA is a tool for comparing the cost effectiveness of reducing runoff with different green infrastructure / low impact development technologies.

Vulnerability and Risk Assessment Tool for Water Utilities (ViRTUE): ViRTUE can be used to rapidly assess climate change and other impacts on smaller water utilities, serving populations of 125,000 or less, in the northeastern United States. The purpose of this tool is to provide stakeholders and water managers with a user-friendly decision system model that enables the exploration of problematic future climate conditions using a stress test, in which the performance of local reservoir systems are tested over a wide range of potential climate and socioeconomic changes.

Other Resources

CCRUN Bibliography: A repository for papers by CCRUN team members, as well as general interest papers on climate impacts and adaptation in the urban Northeast.

CCRUN Climate Change Information: A collection of links to discussions on the nature of climate change and adaptation/mitigation challenges at the global level and in the urban Northeast, as well as a collection of “fact sheets” suitable for use in classroom settings.

CCRUN Green Infrastructure Seminar Series: An archive of seminars hosted at Drexel University on the topic of green infrastructure, and the urban adaptation and mitigation strategies in which it can play a role. Visitors can also register to attend future seminars in person or via the web.

CCRUN Regional Maps: A collection of maps of the urban Northeast relating to infrastructure, demographics, and climate change projections.



Dr. Chelsea Combest-Friedman
Social Scientist, Program Director (Acting)
P: (301) 734-1240

Caitlin Simpson
Program Manager
P: (301) 734-1251

Dr. Ariela Zycherman
Social Scientist, Program Manager
P: (301) 734-1244

Sean Bath*
Program Specialist (UCAR)
P: (301) 734-1294


Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. 


1315 East-West Highway Suite 100
Silver Spring, MD 20910