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Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Planning Framework

In October 2020, the Commonwealth of Virginia published the Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Planning Framework (Framework), which presents the Commonwealth's strategy for implementing coastal protection and adaptation measures to increase the flood resilience of coastal communities and economies. The Framework presents the core principles of the Commonwealth's approach to coastal adaptation and protection and describes how Virginia will develop and implement its first Coastal Resilience Master Plan (Master Plan) by the end of 2021.

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Vermont Global Warming Solutions Act

In September 2020, the Vermont State Legislature passed the Vermont Global Warming Solutions Act (H.688), which requires the state to pursue climate solutions that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and support environmental and economic resilience. Specifically, the act transforms Vermont's existing GHG emission reduction goals into legal requirements and orders the development of the state’s first Climate Action Plan to identify strategies to reduce state GHG emissions, build healthy and resilient communities, and adapt to Vermont's already-changing climate. Notably, the act includes a provision that allows private citizens to bring a lawsuit against the state government upon the state's failure to adopt or update any rules necessary to implement the Climate Action Plan, including for failure to promulgate rules necessary to implement adaptation or resilience actions, in order to require the state to comply with the act. The act also has a noteworthy focus on equity and ensuring that resilience building programs are accessible to rural, low-income, and marginalized communities. 

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Louisiana Watershed Initiative

August 15, 2018

In August 2018, Governor John Bel Edwards launched the Louisiana Watershed Initiative in response to historic flooding events in 2016 that revealed Louisiana's high susceptibility to flooding throughout the state. Louisiana has a devastating history of flooding, with the state experiencing 16 federally declared flood- and hurricane-related disasters in the past 20 years. The Watershed Initiative is a statewide effort to reduce flood risk and increase flood resilience in Louisiana through regional coordination of floodplain management.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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plaNorfolk 2030 - Norfolk, Virginia

March 26, 2013

In 2013, Norfolk, Virginia updated its general plan by adopting plaNorfolk 2030. Among other items, plaNorfolk 2030 accounts for the city’s increased awareness of environmental vulnerabilities caused by sea-level rise, in conjunction with soil subsidence, and how flooding risks can be mitigated through land use planning. The plan informed the Norfolk 2100 plan, adopted in 2016, and the city’s updated zoning ordinance in 2018, which aims to enhance floodplain and coastal resiliency and incentive development in upland areas.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Community Land Trust Brussels, Belgium

December 7, 2020

The Brussels Community Land Trust (CLTB) focuses on providing affordable housing for the most at-risk populations in the capital region of Belgium, such as low-income workers, immigrants, single mothers, seniors and people with disabilities. CLTB focuses on developing multi-family apartment buildings; it has constructed three projects with 48 units and has seven other projects under construction or study that would deliver more than 120 units. It is building highly energy efficient “net zero” housing developments that conform to sustainability requirements established by the Brussels-Capital Region. Several CLTB projects are also incorporating other green design features, such as green roofs, public gardens, and other community spaces to enhance both the environmental and social benefits of the project. It is exploring opportunities to build local energy cooperatives, to leverage incentives to build housing powered by renewable energy sources, and to shift development patterns to enhance access to transit and shift mobility patterns to emphasize biking and walking. CLTB is also working to develop “social economy hubs” in its projects to provide business incubation opportunities for the neighborhood and to support local job creation. For example, one of their development sites had old warehouses and rather than tear those buildings down immediately, CLTB worked with residents to organize temporary uses on the site including pop-up restaurants, cooking classes, and incubation of a catering business.

Author or Affiliated User: Jessica Grannis

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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New York Community Risk and Resiliency Act Implementation Guidance

November 4, 2020

In November 2020, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released a series of four guidance documents to implement part of the New York Community Risk and Resiliency Act (CRRA), as amended by the New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). The CRRA requires that state agencies consider future climate impacts as a part of certain planning, permitting, and funding actions. The CRRA also requires that the DEC issue guidance for state agencies and other audiences to implement the CRRA. In accordance with that requirement, DEC issued four guidance documents: (1) Using Natural Measures to Reduce the Risk of Flooding and Erosion, which describes natural resilience measures and their uses for reducing risks associated with erosion and flooding; (2) New York State Flood Risk Management Guidance, which presents recommendations to state agencies on considering flood risk in planning and project implementation; (3) a guide on Estimating Guideline Elevations, which presents the principles introduced in the New York State Flood Risk Management Guidance to assist planners, engineers, designers, and architects in flood mitigation project design; and (4) Guidance for Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Assessment, which provides general principles of climate risk mitigation that state agencies should follow when undertaking "smart growth assessments" required by the CRRA and other state statutes. While these guidance documents were developed by DEC to facilitate implementation of the New York Community Risk and Resiliency Act, much of the information presented is applicable to other jurisdictions that seek to manage floodplains in accordance with climate risks.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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California Executive Order N-82-20 Addressing the Biodiversity Crisis

October 7, 2020

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an Executive Order on October 7, 2020 creating a California Biodiversity Collaborative and setting a goal of conserving at least 30% of the state’s land and coastal waters by 2030 to combat the biodiversity and climate crises. The EO also calls for engaging with stakeholders across California to, among other things: prioritize investments to protect biodiversity, habitat restoration, wildfire resistant and sustainable landscapes; protect pollinators, native plants and animals, and soils; naturally sequester carbon; and develop a “Natural and Working Lands Climate Smart Strategy.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Climate and Health Adaptation Planning Guide for Michigan Communities

October 2020

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, in collaboration with Michigan State’s School of Planning, Design and Construction, released their Climate and Health Adaptation Planning Guide for Michigan Communities in October 2020. The purpose of the Guide is to help communities in Michigan and other Great Lakes states develop a climate and health adaptation plan and integrate climate and health concepts into existing initiatives. The Guide describes a step-by-step approach laying out how communities can develop a plan, and includes tools and guidance on how to implement each step.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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California SB 379: Land use; general plan; safety element; climate adaptation

October 8, 2015

California SB 379 requires all cities and counties to include climate adaptation and resiliency strategies in the Safety Elements of their General Plans upon the next revision beginning January 1, 2017. The bill requires the climate adaptation update to include a set of goals, policies, and objectives for their communities based on the vulnerability assessment, as well as implementation measures, including the conservation and implementation of natural infrastructure that may be used in adaptation projects.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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National Integrated Heat Health Information System - Urban Heat Island Mapping Campaign

2018

The National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS) Urban Heat Island Mapping Campaign provides technical and financial support to urban areas to help them identify neighborhoods at greatest risk from heat stress. NIHHIS is an integrated system that develops science-based products and services for urban areas to understand and reduce health risks related to extreme heat, which is likely to increase in frequency and severity in many urban areas as a result of climate change. Cities receive training, loaned equipment, and data processing and other technical support through the Mapping Campaign. Once complete, each participating city has detailed heat distribution data and maps, as well as a final report detailing the work and findings.

Resource Category: Funding

 

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