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New York State Climate Smart Community Coordinators

May 2021

Beginning in 2021, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) initiated the New York State Climate Leadership Coordinator Services. In 2022, the program name was updated to  Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Coordinators. The program is a $3. 5-million initiative to select relevant organizations to serve as contractors to provide technical assistance to local municipalities on climate change adaptation and mitigation projects. Selected contractors will work in one of three territories in New York 一 Western, Eastern, and Downstate territories 一 and will help local governments and communities with “outreach, education, planning, capacity-building, and assistance with project implementation.

Resource Category: Education and Outreach

 

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Gainesville Parks & Recreation Strategic Plan 2018-2022

In the Gainesville, Georgia Parks & Recreation Strategic Plan 2018-2022 (the Plan), the Gainseville Parks and Recreation Agency outlines a five-year strategy to develop and improve its parks, recreation programs, and community facilities to better serve the needs of all of its residents. In creating the Plan, Gainesville consulted national and local parks’ strategic plans, completed surveys, and gathered input from community comments. This outreach significantly informed the Plan’s strategic vision for the future of Gainesville.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Greauxing Resilience at Home — Miami-Dade County, Florida: Little River Adaptation Action Area Plan

June 16, 2022

The Little River Adaptation Action Area (AAA) plan was released in January 2022 as part of the process to implement the Miami-Dade County Sea Level Rise Strategy. Adaptation Action Areas are locations that are especially prone to climate impacts like coastal flooding so that they can be prioritized for funding and planning purposes. The Little River AAA is made up of parts of the City of Miami, as well as the Village of El Portal and two unincorporated areas. Identified as one of the communities in that area most susceptible to climate impacts, Miami-Dade County’s Office of Resilience, in collaboration with Florida’s Department of the Department of Environmental Protection and private partners like Savino-Miller Design, developed the adaptation plan to address existing conditions across five sectors by offering distinct adaptation tools that can help mitigate the impacts of climate within each sector. From this plan, local policymakers and planners can take the generalized idea behind AAA — and the practice of making adaptation plans more specific to localities — as well as the specific projects and programs recommended within the document and implement them in their own communities. This case study is one of 24 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Collection of Lessons and Case Studies from Louisiana and Beyond.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Greauxing Resilience at Home — Mecklenburg County, North Carolina: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services, Risk Assessment/Risk Reduction (RARR) Tool

June 16, 2022

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services (CMSWS) is a joint municipal–county stormwater utility that manages and maintains the regulated floodplains within Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, including the City of Charlotte. CMSWS has developed a system for assessing community flood risk through the Mecklenburg County Risk Assessment/Risk Reduction (RARR) Tool for comprehensive mapping, impact analysis, and county-wide floodplain management. This map-based application allows the agency to collect and analyze flood risk data to help identify and reduce flood risk at the parcel level and regionally. RARR is a data-driven framework and set of tools that dynamically assess, evaluate, and ultimately prioritize flood mitigation strategies. The flood risk analysis processes supported by the RARR tool, along with the resulting solutions that CMSWS offers as described in this case study and a companion report, can guide other local jurisdictions in flood resilience planning, and promote climate adaptive policies. This case study is one of 24 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Collection of Lessons and Case Studies from Louisiana and Beyond.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Greauxing Resilience at Home — City of New Orleans, Louisiana: Gentilly Resilience District Projects

June 16, 2022

In 2015, the City of New Orleans released its Resilient New Orleans strategy outlining the city’s vision and plan for building a more equitable, adaptable, and prosperous New Orleans. The strategy outlines various recommendations, which all go towards one of three main goals: adapting to thrive, connecting to opportunity, and transforming city systems. One project featured in Resilient New Orleans is the Mirabeau Water Gardens project. Informed by the design and stormwater management features outlined in the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan, the Mirabeau Water Gardens project, once completed, will serve as a recreational, environmentally friendly amenity for the community that also reduces flood risk. Specifically, a former convent will be converted into a public green space. This project is part of an overall plan to create the Gentilly Resilience District — a 12-project program designed to make a small neighborhood in New Orleans more resilient to the impacts of climate change and future disaster and flood events. Additional projects a part of the Gentilly Resilience District include the Pontilly Neighborhood Stormwater and the Blue and Green Corridors projects. Throughout the development of the plans and programs relating to the Gentilly Resilience District, local policymakers offered numerous opportunities for community input. Most of the projects not only increase community resilience, but also offer new spaces for the community to gather, educate residents on the benefits associated with green infrastructure, and incorporate safe walking and biking paths throughout the neighborhood. This case study is one of 24 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Collection of Lessons and Case Studies from Louisiana and Beyond.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Greauxing Resilience at Home — City of North Miami, Florida: Good Neighbor Stormwater Park and Repetitive Loss Master Plan

June 16, 2022

The City of North Miami, Florida Good Neighbor Stormwater Park is a public open space with the capacity for local flood prevention, doubling as a stormwater reservoir. A repurposed vacant lot within North Miami’s residential neighborhood of Sunny Acres, this adaptive stormwater green infrastructure is vegetated with an array of native trees and plants, while also acting as a communal space with walking paths and artistic structures that educate the public on flooding hazards. The project was funded in part through the Van Alen Institute’s Keeping Current: Repetitive Loss Properties Grant design competition, won by the City of North Miami, and the landscape architecture firm Dept. for implementation. The Stormwater Park was once considered a repetitive loss property by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), due to repetitive flooding from stormwater and sea-level rise — common across South Florida neighborhoods. As a part of the project, the landscape architects selected to design the park were also asked to put together a plan that could support the replication of this pilot project across the region in the most flood vulnerable communities. Dept. developed a Repetitive Loss Master Plan, which illustrates priority strategies for flood risk reduction and resilient design. Other local decisionmakers of flood-prone communities with vacant, abandoned, deteriorated, or repetitive loss lots can look to North Miami’s example for green infrastructure public space design planning that goes beyond capturing stormwater, and integrates the community’s well-being — such as access to green space — for greater long-term resilience. This case study is one of 24 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Collection of Lessons and Case Studies from Louisiana and Beyond.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Greauxing Resilience at Home — City of Houston, Texas: Resilient Houston and Affordable Housing and Nature-Based Efforts

June 16, 2022

Houston has been battered by six federally declared flooding disasters in five years, including the record-setting Hurricane Harvey in 2017. A significant amount of Houston’s existing development is located in vulnerable floodplains. These land use patterns, combined with recurrent disasters, have served as the impetus for Houston to undertake several related efforts to increase local resilience. The city has thus begun to plan to increase its resilience against future storms. In 2018, the city responded by adding structural elevation requirements in the 500-year floodplain and increasing them for the 100-year floodplain. In addition, the city developed the Resilient Houston plan. If implemented, the proposed recommendations in Resilient Houston will promote affordable housing with access to job centers, improve community resilience through green space preservation, and enhance stormwater management through the promotion of green stormwater infrastructure. Other local governments facing similar threats from disaster events and pressures to develop in floodplains could evaluate and consider adopting some of Houston’s planning and land-use actions. This case study is one of 24 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Collection of Lessons and Case Studies from Louisiana and Beyond.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Greauxing Resilience at Home — St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana: Resilient Planning, Affordable Housing, Environmental, and Funding Initiatives

June 16, 2022

St. John the Baptist Parish is one of Louisiana’s oldest settled areas. The parish is water-adjacent and predominantly rural. Over the last decade, significant weather events have highlighted the flooding and other risks that come with proximity to both the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Pontchartrain, the latter of which borders the parish. The parish’s location in the path of New Orleans’s evacuation routes compounds the need to prepare for flooding and hurricane events. The parish has undertaken several initiatives to adopt development trends and patterns that will guide population growth in ways that make the parish and its communities more resilient to future rainfall and flooding risks. Namely, the parish developed a Comprehensive Land Use Plan in 2014 and a Coastal Zone Management Plan in 2016. Most recently in 2019, the parish partnered with the state and nonprofit philanthropy Foundation for Louisiana through the Louisiana Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments (LA SAFE) capital improvement process to create an Adaptation Strategy. Collectively, the plans offer a variety of principles, goals, and policies related to the parish’s growth and development. Those policies and development planning goals encompass prioritizing natural features, such as adopting green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) solutions and conserving open space, in addition to addressing the socioeconomic dynamics that come with planning for affordable housing. In general, the parish seeks to preserve low-density and conservation-oriented development trends across most of the parish, much of which is flood-prone. This approach will discourage floodplain and open space development by directing population growth and affordable housing investments toward drier, denser areas of the parish. These efforts are supported by public engagement, external partnerships, and federal and innovative funding sources. Other local policymakers working to address rural flood, population growth, and housing management issues can look to St. John the Baptist for their policies directing population growth toward denser, more urban areas. Those policies allow the parish to preserve rural and flood-prone areas and maintain parish character and reduce risk to homes and infrastructure. This case study is one of 24 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Collection of Lessons and Case Studies from Louisiana and Beyond.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Greauxing Resilience at Home — City of Asheville, North Carolina: Affordable Housing, Environmental, and Climate Resiliency Initiatives

June 16, 2022

In recent years, Asheville, North Carolina has faced population growth and affordable housing challenges compounded by climate change. Against this backdrop, Asheville also recognizes the importance of retaining its unique sense of place, culture, and character, including protecting trees and natural landscapes. As such, the city is working to ensure that it creates a healthy, livable community resilient to these and other impacts. Over the last two decades, Asheville has released several plans, assessments, and policies related to growing the city’s climate and environmental resilience and ensuring an adequate affordable housing stock. Accordingly, the city has pursued — and plans to continue pursuing — strategies that preserve the city’s culture and character while making the area a safer, more affordable place. Many of these strategies are facilitated through prioritizing the environment and affordable housing in different city plans and incentives-based amendments to zoning ordinances. Asheville serves as an example for other jurisdictions seeking to integrate climate and resilience elements within local governance structures, plans, and zoning ordinances while tackling other local challenges, such as maintaining or increasing affordable housing stock or retaining a distinct local culture. This case study is one of 24 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Collection of Lessons and Case Studies from Louisiana and Beyond.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Greauxing Resilience at Home — City of Atlanta, Georgia: Prioritizing Affordable Housing and Nature in the Face of New Growth

June 16, 2022

Because income in Atlanta has not kept pace with rising costs of living amid a population surge, the city has developed several housing initiatives to increase its affordable housing stock and prevent the displacement of existing residents. In 2019, Atlanta released its One Atlanta Affordable Housing Action Plan (plan), a strategic document that includes quantitative goals and policy and program proposals related to building and preserving affordable housing across the city. In the context of managed retreat, Atlanta’s affordable housing efforts have relevance for policymakers in jurisdictions preparing for population growth due to climate change and other causes. The city is implementing a variety of programs and policies to increase the overall housing stock and increase the affordability of homeownership for current residents. These strategies focus on changes to the land-use and zoning code and various financial assistance programs for homeowners, in addition to securing additional resources for the development of affordable rental homes. The city has also engaged in different planning and zoning initiatives around increasing and maintaining green space and tree canopy in both areas targeted for conservation and new, strategic growth. This case study highlights notable initiatives in Atlanta that policymakers in other growing communities can look to when developing their own affordable housing and anti-displacement programs that are aligned with nature. This case study is one of 24 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Collection of Lessons and Case Studies from Louisiana and Beyond.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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