Climate Resilience Guidelines for Charleston

Learn more about the project to develop Charleston’s first Climate Resilience Guidelines and how you can get engaged.

About the Project

In Summer 2023, the Preservation Society of Charleston (PSC) launched the project to create the city’s first Climate Resilience Guidelines for Property Owners. Supported by a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and being developed in partnership with the City of Charleston and Clemson University, the guidelines will outline affordable and effective project recommendations for enhancing the resilience of existing properties and provide residents the tools they need to navigate the process for project approval.

Building on a century-long legacy as the nation’s oldest grassroots preservation organization, the PSC is undertaking this work to help establish innovative policies that support the long-term preservation of Charleston’s built environment and better livability for residents. The goal of the guidelines is to empower residents to pursue adaptations for changing climate conditions by offering a range of practical, attainable resilience solutions for private properties.

To help guide the project, the PSC is pleased to announce Preservation Design Partnership, LLC (PDP) as the lead consultant for the Climate Resilience Guidelines. Based in Philadelphia, PDP is a nationally recognized firm with over 25 years of practice in heritage planning and design. In recent years, its work has focused on creating planning tools that address flood resilience and mitigation for historic communities.

Downtown flooding during recent high tide and storm events. Photos courtesy Jared Bramblett. 

“Preservation Design Partnership appreciates the unique challenge in addressing adaptation in a city as rich and diverse as Charleston. We look forward to working with the Preservation Society, the City, and its residents to develop a menu of strategies to assist property owners and tenants to incorporate climate resilience into the long-term preservation of the city’s landmark heritage.”

– Dominique Hawkins, Partner and Managing Principal of PDP 

Get Engaged

The development of the Climate Resilience Guidelines will be a year-long project, and citizen feedback is a critical component of the process. In September 2023, we launched a resident survey to gather input on experiences with climate hazards, such as flooding, extreme heat, and severe weather events, and how this project can best support concerns and needs for building the resilience of existing properties. The survey is now closed with more than 500 responses gathered as of November 10. Stay tuned for more.

We will be sure to keep you up to date on any future engagement opportunities to help shape the Climate Resilience Guidelines. 

Contact Erin Minnigan, Director of Preservation & Planning, with any questions at eminnigan@preservationsociety.org.  

Further Reading and Additional Resources