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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Tiered Assistance Program

2017

The City of Philadelphia created the Tiered Assistance Program (TAP) in 2017 in order to address water affordability for low income communities. In Philadelphia, water affordability is an issue that affects a large number of families - between April 2012 and January 2018, 40% of households either had unpaid bills or some other sort of water debt. To address this issue, the Philadelphia Water Department implemented TAP, a program that allows customers to pay water bills at a percent of their income - this payment is capped at 3%. Through this program’s fixed rates, Philadelphians who are struggling to pay their water bill can budget more accurately and access more affordable water, which is predicted to result in increased payment rates and reduced water debts.

Related Organizations: City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Community Heat Relief Plan

July 2019

The City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania addresses extreme heat and social disparities in its Beat the Heat Hunting Park Community Heat Relief Plan. The plan provides a roadmap of how to conduct an inclusive climate planning process through a community-based approach to combat urban heat emergencies. Beat the Heat was released in July 2019 by Philadelphia’s Office of Sustainability (OOS), in response to increased heat being identified as one of the main climate change threats in the city. OOS found that communities, where low-income residents and residents of color reside, are also most vulnerable to the heat. To cope with the heat disparities, OOS initiated the Beat the Heat pilot project in Hunting Park, which was identified as the most heat vulnerable neighborhood. The purpose of the project is to learn the causes of heat disparities and utilize a community-driven decision-making process to generate possible solutions for staying cool in the future. The plan is a collaborative work effort of city agencies, Hunting park organizations, residents, and community groups. Through the community engagement process, three priority areas were identified: 1. Staying cool and safe at home, 2. Staying cool and safe in public spaces, and 3. Greening and tree planting. The plan also provides a step-by-step Beat the Heat Toolkit for other urban communities to reduce social inequities and build climate resiliency.   



Related Organizations: City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Mid-Atlantic Forest Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment and Synthesis: A Report from the Mid-Atlantic Climate Change Response Framework Project

October 2018

This U. S. Forest Service report develop provides an assessment of the vulnerability of forest ecosystems in the Mid-Atlantic region and was designed to help resource managers incorporate climate change considerations into management practices. The report synthesizes the best available scientific information on climate change and forest ecosystems, focusing on a study area including 60 million acres of land across eastern Maryland, southern New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Of this area, about 32 million acres are forested.

Related Organizations: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), USFS Northern Research Station

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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An Equitable Water Future: Opportunities for the Great Lakes Region 

March 6, 2018

The U.S. Water Alliance has investigated water assets and systems in the Great Lakes region, and the equitable management of these assets. The report describes climate change impacts on water resources, along with other equity issues such as failing infrastructure, affordability, and workforce inclusion. Opportunities for the region to adapt the water sector, and detailed strategies provide a framework for making these water systems more inclusive.

Related Organizations: U.S. Water Alliance

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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From the Ground Up: The State of the States on Climate Adaptation for Agriculture

March 2018

Recognizing the leading role that states are playing in addressing climate change, this report from the Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy catalogues policies related to the need for agricultural adaptation in the 18 states states with climate adaptation plans (or specific agricultural policy papers). These states include: Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Related Organizations: The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Delivering Urban Resilience: Costs and benefits of city-wide adoption of smart surfaces

2018

This report quantifies the benefits and costs of smart surface technologies and finds that the risks from extreme heat and weather can be offset by these technologies. It draws on  Washington D. C. , Philadelphia, and El Paso as case studies and considers five smart surface technologies: cool roofs, green roofs, solar PV, reflective pavements, and urban trees. The authors find that adopting these technologies can generate millions (or even billions) of dollars in net financial benefits at the city level and can generate half a trillion dollars in net financial benefits nationwide.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Greg Kats, Keith Glassbrook

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Robust Stormwater Management in the Pittsburgh Region

2017

From the RAND Corporation - a global nonprofit research organization - this report addresses stormwater management and sewer overflow issues in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania metropolitan region within Allegheny County. The research behind this project provided the baseline science needed first to address this system future, in the face of climate change. This research is designed to support improved stormwater, wastewater, and climate resilience planning in the Pittsburgh region - and offers a robust framework for other cities facing these issues.

Related Organizations: RAND Corporation

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Chester, Pennsylvania Green Stormwater Infrastructure Plan and Community-Based Public-Private Partnership

June 2017

The City of Chester, Pennsylvania introduced the Chester City Green Stormwater Infrastructure Plan in 2017 as a means of addressing consistent stormwater pollution and overflow into the Delaware River, Chester Creek, and Ridley Creek watersheds. Chester’s combined sewer overflow (CSO) system often is overwhelmed during high rain and runoff events, which leads to increased flooding and water pollution and degradation of the river basin. The plan details Chester’s specific infrastructure needs, as well as the environmental and social benefits of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI). It also analyzes common GSI techniques including rain gardens, green roofs, stormwater planters, and porous pavements, and includes their typical cost. The plan then lists 20 potential sites within the City for GSI projects, guidance for first steps, suggestions for effective community engagement, and potential sources of both public and private funding. To fund the GSI projects, the City formed a community-based public-private partnership (CBP3), which is a different approach to financing stormwater management that expands on the traditional public-private partnership model by incorporating considerations of a community’s economic development needs. Coupled with its focus on green infrastructure as a primary means of stormwater management, this structure promotes not only improvements in water quality but in the community’s overall quality of life. The plan will also address equity through hiring local contractors for the infrastructure projects, training local workers to maintain projects, and creating new maintenance jobs for community members.

Related Organizations: Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Pennsylvania Sea Grant, City of Chester, Pennsylvania

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Resilience Strategy

March 2017

The City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania released its Resilience Strategy in March 2017 to provide a holistic strategy for helping the city to manage challenges from a changing environment, globalization, and urbanization. The Strategy sets goals, objectives, and action organized around a “P4” community-centered framework addressing resilience in terms of People, Place, Planet, and Performance.   The Strategy is intended to be a blueprint to help the city prepare for resilience challenges by helping the city improve coordination among government and non-governmental organizations, improve budgeting and capital coordination citywide, ensure the institutionalization of resilience practices, and increase resident engagement and empowerment.

Related Organizations: City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 100 Resilient Cities

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional Certification Program

2017

The Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional (CBLP) Certification Program is a voluntary credential for professionals who design, install and maintain sustainable landscapes in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The goal of the certification program is to certify professionals throughout the watershed who can maintain conservation landscapes that help reduce stormwater runoff, in turn benefiting local residents and ecosystems.

Related Organizations: Wetlands Watch, Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council, University of Maryland, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Maryland Sea Grant

Resource Category: Education and Outreach

 

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