Climate change factors into Ludington's future plans

Jul 6, 2016

The Ludington harbor opens into Lake Michigan.
Credit U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The City of Ludington is thinking about its future. City leaders have come up with a 20-year master plan that’s meant to guide development in Ludington over the next two decades. It lays out challenges and opportunities the city is expected to face.

One of those challenges is climate change. The master plan predicts higher temperatures in the future, along with less snowfall and more frequents storms.

City Manager John Shay says Ludington has always had a close relationship with its natural resources, and in the face of a changing climate, there are things government can do to protect them.

"If a commercial building, for example, is coming in, should there be a requirement for a minimum amount of green space or for the planting of trees, in an effort to reduce the amount of impervious surface," says Shay.

Still, climate change can be a touchy subject around town.

“Like in the country as a whole, there are people who wholeheartedly believe that there is climate change and a good portion of it is impacted by mankind," says Shay. "And there are others … that are questioning that.”

Ludington residents have had opportunities to influence the master plan, which passed the city's planning commission Tuesday night.

John Shay spoke with All Things Considered host Aaron Selbig about what's in the new master plan.