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Greening Vacant Lots

October 11, 2016

In a 2016 book, Local Code – 3,659 Proposals About Data, Design and the Nature of Cities, the author, Nicholas de Monchaux, discusses how vacant lots can be a valuable resource for helping cities boost their climate resilience.  Monchaux, an architecture professor at the University of California- Berkeley, analyzed vacant lots in four cities (New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Venice). He highlighted the potential to use vacant lots for projects to mitigate urban heat islands and manage stormwater; he also discusses the equity aspects of adaptively reusing vacant properties. He suggests that cities invest more in greening unused spaces in underserved communities as a way to achieve greater environmental and social impact.  The book looks at  potential transformation of different types of lands and public spaces including abandoned public streets, lots, rights-of-way, and alleyways. 

Author or Affiliated User: Nicholas de Monchaux

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A Post-Event Review of the October 2015 Floods in South Carolina: A Deep Dive into the Columbia and Charleston Event

October 11, 2016

Using the narrative of the October 2015 flood in South Carolina, this report focuses on how to better reduce risks, improve response activities, and be more strategic about planning for flood recovery. The report analyzes flooding in both Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina, drawing on interviews with impacted people and hard data on economic and physical impacts. The report recognizes that climate change will be an ongoing stress in the region, and offers lessons about planning for flood resilience, but does not focus specifically on climate impacts.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Kanmani Venkateswaran, Karen MacClune, Michael Szoenyi, Sierra Gladfelter

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Pittsburgh P4 Initiative and Performance Measures Project

October 2016

In 2015 the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania launched the P4 Initiative - based on a central unifying framework of: People, Planet, Place, and Performance. The initiative was established to create a set of performance measures to help guide new development through the City’s Urban Redevelopment Authority. P4 aims to establish Pittsburgh as a “city of the future,” with a new model of urban growth and development that is innovative, inclusive and sustainable. This model and the related performance metrics represent a comprehensive planning approach for climate adaptation and resilience - that other cities could find useful to adopt also.

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Local Solutions Report: Identifying and Meeting the Needs of Local Communities Adapting to Climate Change

October 2016

This report analyzes feedback from over 600 respondents from 48 states and 19 countries working on climate adaptation at the local level. The report makes the case that climate adaptation at the local level is vital, but that local practitioners need additional support. Data collected by Antioch University New England’s Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience was used to the determine the issues that local communities face when adapting to climate change and offers recommendations to better meet those needs.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Abigail Abrash Walton, Christa Daniels, Michael Simpson, Jason Rhoades

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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100 Resilient Cities - Resilience in Action

October 17, 2016

Resilience in Action, subtitled Early Insights into How Cities are Institutionalizing Resilience, profiles three cities – New Orleans, USA; Melbourne, Australia; and Semarang, Indonesia – for their efforts to institutionalize and mainstream resilience. Each city is a member of 100 Resilience Cities (100RC), a non-profit and global urban resilience initiative developed by the Rockefeller Foundation. The report highlights replicable best practices and lessons learned, as examples for others to utilize in developing urban resilience practices.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Sandy Build It Back: Workers Rebuilding Their Own Communities

October 27, 2016

This white paper is focused on New York City’s Build it Back program following Hurricane Sandy, highlighting its commitment to equity in the rebuilding of residential neighborhoods. The Sandy Build it Back program set a precedent for local hiring resulting in career-track jobs for low-income Sandy-impacted residents. The paper relates the context and a vision for equity in recovery, describes Build it Back’s primary successes, and offers key lessons learned and areas of improvement.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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A Sense of Place at Risk - Perspectives of residents of coastal Louisiana on nonstructural risk reduction strategies

April 14, 2016

Supported by Oxfam America, this study documented the views of residents from three vulnerable Louisiana coastal parishes - Terrebonne, Lafourche, and Plaquemines.   These parishes face extreme coastal land loss from flooding and sea level rise, and other critical climate and social impacts. The study focuses on nonstructural coastal flooding mitigation measures, such as restoring coastal marshlands. A series of interviews were conducted to investigate how residents understand and respond to the challenges of sea level rise and climate change.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Resilient Jean Lafitte, Louisiana Flood Preparedness Toolkit

2016

The Jean Lafitte Flood Preparedness Toolkit developed by the Town of Jean Lafitte, Louisiana, provides information, guidelines and recommended regulations to reduce flood risk in the region. Jean Lafitte faces many climate related impacts including sea level rise, storm surge, hurricanes, with subsequent extreme flooding, erosion and permanent wetland loss - that in turn leads to more flooding. The toolkit provides best practices and guidelines to reduce flood risk on a Site and Building Scale as well as on Community Scale development.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Connecticut DOT - Walk Bridge Replacement Project

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) is replacing the Norwalk River Railroad Bridge (Walk Bridge) to address the current structure’s vulnerability to climate hazards such as storm damage and heat. The 118-year old Walk Bridge already experiences frequent and costly service failures, including closure failures due to extreme heat. CTDOT expects that heat-related operational failures will increase as the number of high-heat days increase with climate change.   The Walk Bridge is a “swing bridge” spanning the Norwalk River in the Southeast part of the state.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Climate Change, Resilience and Fairness - How Nonstructural Adaptation Can Protect and Empower Socially Vulnerable Communities on the Gulf Coast

April 2016

Utilizing case studies from extreme flooding events, this paper synthesizes lessons learned, hazard mitigation strategies, and best practices in adaptation. The focus is on nonstructural adaptation strategies such as disaster planning and mitigation, and property buyouts. The best practices for implementing nonstructural adaptation strategies are also discussed with respect to impacts on, and solutions for, vulnerable communities.  The paper is grounded in three case studies of flooding events that each caused widespread damage, occurred across a range of demographic and socio-economic conditions, and involved both structural and nonstructural post-disaster adaptation strategies.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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