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Land Acquisition and Restoration Projects in the Greens Bayou Watershed in Harris County, Texas: Greens WetBank and Bayou Greenways 2020

In Texas, Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) and other local partners, including the nonprofit Houston Parks Board, are implementing different land acquisition, restoration, and conservation projects in the Greens Bayou watershed in Harris County and the City of Houston. Two programs and initiatives include the Greens Bayou Mitigation Bank (Greens WetBank) and Bayou Greenways 2020. The Greens WetBank is a wetland mitigation bank on nearly 1,000 acres of land in Harris County, where HCFCD restores wetlands and generates revenue by selling “wetland credits” to developers who need to offset wetland losses at locations outside the Greens WetBank’s land in Harris County. In addition, Bayou Greenways 2020 is a large-scale, public-private initiative led by Houston Parks Board to create 150 miles of greenways and trails and an additional 3,000 acres of public greenspace along Houston’s major bayous through land acquisition and conservation efforts. Bayou Greenways 2020 has been the result of an extensive community engagement campaign and funding leveraged from federal, state, local, and private sources to create local parks and open spaces in Houston. Greens WetBank and Bayou Greenways 2020 are examples of how comprehensive land acquisition, restoration, and conservation actions can increase local resilience in a specific watershed by mitigating future flood risks, enhancing the environment, and creating community assets. Other jurisdictions could consider a similar model to coordinate future land uses in a watershed with climate adaptation, including managed retreat strategies, hazard reduction, and natural resource and open space management. 

Related Organizations: Harris County, Texas, Houston Parks Board

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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New Orleans, Louisiana Project Home Again Land Swaps

2013

The New Orleans Project Home Again (PHA) in Louisiana involved a land swap and redevelopment program implemented post-Hurricane Katrina that can serve as an example for how public-private partnerships can help people retreat away from flood-prone coastal areas. Through this project, PHA aimed to concentrate redevelopment at higher elevations away from low-elevation floodplains and expand relocation options for impacted homeowners. The hurricane-damaged homes on participants’ original properties were demolished and converted to climate resilient open space for flood retention, environmental, and community benefits. Specifically, PHA used a land swap program that enabled low- and middle-income homeowners to relocate to less vulnerable areas with new affordable, clustered housing. The PHA program demonstrates how land swaps can offer a tool for planners and policymakers to effectively guide redevelopment in disaster recovery settings and expand affordable and resilient housing opportunities. A similar land swap model could also be considered in a pre-disaster context and phased over time, if community consensus, vacant or developable land, and funding for housing construction exists. 

Related Organizations: Project Home Again, New Orleans Redevelopment Authority

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Exploring Transfer of Development Rights as a Possible Climate Adaptation Strategy - Urban Land Institute Resilience Panel Focus Group with Miami-Dade County

November 2017

In November 2017, the Urban Land Institute’s Southeast Florida/Caribbean District Council (ULI) published a report in partnership with Miami-Dade County's Office of Resilience exploring the possibility of creating a Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) program in the County of Miami-Dade, Florida as a possible climate adaptation strategy. The report was the result of the work of a ULI Resilience Panel Focus Group - established by ULI and the Office of Resilience - to assess the feasibility of a TDR program and whether one could facilitate the voluntary retreat of people and vulnerable development away from flood-prone areas at the county or municipal level.

Related Organizations: Urban Land Institute, Miami-Dade County, Florida

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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From Newtok to Mertarvik: A Native Alaskan Tribal Village Relocation

Several tribal villages in Alaska are facing impending community-wide climate impacts of permafrost degradation, sea level rise, erosion, and flooding - which require immediate adaptation measures, including the potential of managed retreat. However, only one, the Village of Newtok, is in the process of actively relocating to a new site, Mertarvik, which was conveyed to Newtok through a federal land grant. The Newtok team - composed of federal, state, and local tribal representatives - is prioritizing the development of housing, roads, energy, and an evacuation center in the near-term. The project goal is to relocate everyone in Newtok to Mertarvik by 2023. The Newtok relocation has been funded by a patchwork of federal and state agencies for over 20 years. This case study can highlight one approach and ongoing lessons learned for state and local jurisdictions confronting larger-scale questions about managed retreat, and the process of transitioning entire communities to higher ground. 

Related Organizations: Village of Newtok, Alaska, State of Alaska

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Mitigation Matters: Policy Solutions to Reduce Local Flood Risk

November 2019

This report from The Pew Charitable Trusts provides brief summaries of 13 case studies from across the U. S. where states or cities are effectively implementing flood mitigation strategies. The case studies are organized by strategies using existing funds, those generating new revenue, and those employing updated or new regulations to reduce risk and mitigate the impacts of flooding. Because flood risk and the cost of adapting to floods is expected to increase, this report aims to offer model examples and lessons learned to decision-makers seeking to improve their communities’ resilience to floods and storms exacerbated by climate change.

Related Organizations: Pew Charitable Trusts

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Scorched: Extreme Heat and Real Estate

August 2019

Extreme heat is an increasingly severe climate change impact across the United States - to the environment and natural resources, public health, infrastructure and ultimately, the economy.  Scorched provides an overview of extreme heat’s implications on the built environment and current and future real estate markets. Heat mitigation and adaptation strategies are discussed related to building design, building materials, green infrastructure and public space design. Case studies highlight the how the real estate sector is leading in implementing ‘heat-resilient’ building designs and land uses.

Related Organizations: Urban Land Institute

Authors or Affiliated Users: Katharine Burgess, Elizabeth Foster

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Ready For Tomorrow: Seven Strategies For Climate-Resilient Infrastructure

April 19, 2019

Ready for Tomorrow discusses the necessity and strategies to build resilient critical infrastructure, in preparation for future climate impacts. Recommendations for decision makers are provided to help design, fund, and build resilience into policy and public investments in Infrastructure.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Lower Manhattan, New York Climate Resilience Study

March 2019

Building on the recovery and climate planning efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, New York State and City funded the Lower Manhattan Climate Resilience Study to identify adaptation and resilience strategies for Lower Manhattan - which is a critical economic, cultural, and civic hub for New York City and the region. Led by the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency and the New York City Economic Development Corporation, this study included a climate risk analysis of the area and identified approximately $500 million worth of short- and long-term investments in coastal resilience projects.

Related Organizations: New York City Mayor's Office of Recovery and Resiliency, New York City Economic Development Corporation

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Atlanta, Georgia Environmental Impact Bond for Green Infrastructure

February 21, 2019

The City of Atlanta, Georgia Department of Watershed Management is issuing an environmental impact bond (EIB), which will finance green infrastructure to address water quality, reduce flooding and improve stormwater management in Atlanta’s Proctor Creek Watershed neighborhoods.  The $14 million EIB - the first to be offered on public markets - was the result of a partnership between the City of Atlanta, Quantified Ventures, the Rockefeller Foundation, and broker-dealer Neighborly. Supporting the expansion of EIBs into public markets, the Rockefeller Foundation will cover the costs of structuring a public bond with a grant to Atlanta - chosen from applicants of its 100 Resilient Cities network.

Related Organizations: City of Atlanta, Georgia, The Rockefeller Foundation

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Higher Standards: Opportunities for Enhancing Flood Resilience in the Eastern Shore of Maryland

January 2019

Georgetown Climate Center (GCC) prepared this report to help the Eastern Shore Climate Adaptation Partnership (ESCAP) identify strategies for adapting to increasing sea-level rise and flood risk in the Eastern Shore region of Maryland. This publication is a part of a series of reports assessing the sea-level rise vulnerability of communities in Maryland's Eastern Shore, as well as potential adaptation responses. ESCAP worked with the Eastern Shore Regional GIS cooperative to assess sea-level rise vulnerabilities in the six counties and two municipalities that participate in ESCAP.

Related Organizations: Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, Georgetown Climate Center

Authors or Affiliated Users: Jessica Grannis, Katie Spidalieri, Jennifer Li

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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