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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

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FHWA Resilience Pilots

FHWA supported the work of state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to develop and pilot approaches for assessing the vulnerability of transportation systems to climate change and develop strategies for building resilience in the transportation sector. Nineteen pilot projects were selected and the pilot jurisdictions worked with FHWA's Climate Change and Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessment Framework. This FHWA website includes the individual pilot studies for the pilot projects funded in 2013-2015 and webinars of the pilot teams discussing their work and their findings.

Related Organizations: New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) , Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Washington State Department of Transportation, Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization, Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO), Iowa Department of Transportation, Maryland State Highway Administration, North Central Texas Council of Governments, Tennessee Department of Transportation

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Gulf South Rising 2015 - Final Report

September 5, 2015

Gulf South Rising (GSR) was a regional movement of coordinated actions and events in 2015, to highlight the impact of the global climate crisis on the U. S. Southern Gulf Coast region.  This report describes the movement and introduces many of the participants. GSR was a locally­-led grassroots effort that coordinated common narratives and goals from across the region, including frontline communities in Louisiana, Alabama, Texas, and Mississippi, through convenings, activism, and demonstration events.

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Austin, Texas: Preparing for Water Scarcity and Drought

August 19, 2015

Developed by the Georgetown Climate Center, this case study discusses how the City of Austin, Texas agencies are preparing for climate change impacts to water supply and increasing drought. It examines how city agencies are developing a climate adaptation plan, assessing climate change risks across sectors, establishing of a Water Resource Planning Task Force, and developing recommendations to address long-term reductions in the city’s water supply in response to recent city council resolutions.

Author or Affiliated User: Aaron Ray

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Gulf of Mexico Climate Change Adaptation Inventory

June 24, 2011

The Climate Change Adaptation Inventory is a compilation of climate adaptation activities and research initiatives taking place at the federal, state, and local levels in communities adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico. The inventory focuses specifically on those projects and efforts that address climate change or sea level rise. Research activities captured by the inventory are limited to those projects that have applications to coastal communities, particularly planning and development, land management, and socioeconomic initiatives.

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Dallas-Fort Worth Airport Operational Changes to Manage Extreme Snow and Ice Events

2011

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) has introduced maintenance and operations procedures for snow and ice removal in cases of unusual snow events that would limit the airport’s role as one of the world’s busiest airports.   After experiencing a large snow and ice storm in 2011, DFW could not handle the snow-clearing needs to keep the airport operating at full capacity. The storm occurred right before the Super Bowl in 2011, halting the flow of thousands of visitors using the airport for travel and bringing attention to the need to better manage severe winter storms.

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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. 

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Protecting the Public Interest through the National Coastal Zone Management Program: How Coastal States and Territories Use No-Build Areas along Ocean and Great Lake Shorefronts

May 2012

This report provides an overview of policy options for limiting new construction in vulnerable coastal areas, and a summary of existing laws and regulations in states with federally approved coastal management programs (CMPs). To better understand and communicate how state CMPs manage ocean and Great Lake shorefront development, NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) (now a part of the Office for Coastal Management) conducted this study to look specifically at where states are employing shorefront strategies to protect the public interest and natural resources.

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Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas — City of Austin, Texas: Flood Risk Reduction Buyout Projects

July 15, 2020

The City of Austin, Texas has adopted a model to provide consistent relocation benefits for voluntary home buyouts in the city’s floodplains as a part of its “flood risk reduction projects.” In addition to the cost of a person’s original home, the city will provide homeowners with moving and closing costs, and a replacement housing payment if the cost of a new comparable home (located outside of the city’s 100-year floodplain) is more than the original home. This policy encourages owner participation in the buyout program and helps to minimize the economic and social costs of relocation. The city’s Watershed Protection Department prioritizes buyouts in accordance with a Watershed Protection Master Plan that strategically guides related city actions, including potential buyouts, to reduce the risks associated with erosion, flooding, and poor water quality. A mix of municipal bonds, federal grants, and local funds (primarily through a drainage fee paid by owners of properties based upon impervious surface cover) have been used to fund the buyouts. Austin’s example is noteworthy for its emphasis on implementing buyouts in accordance with a comprehensive flood mitigation program and facilitating transitions for people located in floodplains through relocation assistance. Other jurisdictions considering managed retreat could implement an interdisciplinary buyout approach across different sectors and government agencies (e.g., floodplain and emergency management and housing and community development). .

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Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas — Harris County, Texas: Flood Control District Local Buyout Program

July 15, 2020

Harris County, Texas established a voluntary home buyout program through the regional government agency, the Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD), that can serve as an example for other local jurisdictions considering retreat from coastal and riverine flood-prone areas. The buyout program is focused on risk reduction and flood mitigation best practices, where once bought out, properties are returned to open space uses to restore their natural beneficial flood retention functions. HCFCD has developed an effective communication and outreach strategy to educate the public and encourage program participation. Historically, properties have been acquired with grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance program, Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program, and local funding from a dedicated ad valorem property tax (i.e., a tax based on a property’s assessed value). Other state, regional, and local jurisdictions considering managed retreat could implement a similar comprehensive buyout model that operates in both a pre- and post-disaster context to reduce flood risks and engages the community throughout the entire process. This case study is one of 17 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas: Lessons and Tools from 17 Case Studies.

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