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Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas: Lessons and Tools from 17 Case Studies

July 15, 2020

This report, produced by the Georgetown Climate Center, features 17 case studies about how states, local governments, and communities across the country are approaching questions about managed retreat. Together, the case studies highlight how different types of legal and policy tools are being considered and implemented across a range of jurisdictions — from urban, suburban, and rural to riverine and coastal — to help support new and ongoing discussions on the subject. These case studies are intended to provide transferable lessons and potential management practices for coastal state and local policymakers evaluating managed retreat as one part of a strategy to adapt to climate change on the coast. The case studies in this report were informed by policymakers, practitioners, and community members leading, engaging in, or participating in the work presented in this report. This report was written to support Georgetown Climate Center’s Managed Retreat Toolkit, which also includes additional case study examples and a deeper exploration of specific legal and policy tools for use by state and local decisionmakers, climate adaptation practitioners, and planners.

Related Organizations: Georgetown Climate Center

Authors or Affiliated Users: Katie Spidalieri, Isabelle Smith

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Wells-Goodfellow Neighborhood Green Space Project - St. Louis, Missouri

August 2017

The Green City Coalition (Coalition) -- a partnership between the Metropolitan Sewer District, the City of St. Louis, Missouri Department of Conservation, and the St. Louis Development Corporation -- is leading the conversion of approximately 9 acres of vacant land into greenspace for stormwater management and recreation purposes. The Wells Goodfellow neighborhood in St. Louis has the highest proportion of vacant land in the city, and also struggles with combined sewer overflows, basement backups, and street flooding that affect the Bissell Point Watershed broadly.

Related Organizations: City of St. Louis, Missouri

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Community School Parks Program - Los Angeles, California

2012

The Community School Parks program is a partnership service agreement and shared use policy that enables community members in under-resourced neighborhoods to access school parks and playgrounds during off-school hours when they would normally be closed to the public. People for Parks, now a program of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust (LANLT), opened the first Community School Parks in 2012 and has expanded the program since with the partnership with LANLT and the development of the shared use policy with the LA Unified School District that enables expanded access to school parks. These Community School Parks (CSPs) provide opportunities for youth, families, and neighbors within the community to connect, recreate, and enjoy green and open space in a safe environment. The program targets dense neighborhoods, typically low-income and communities of color, that are park-scarce and would not otherwise have access to open space within walking distance. In addition to Community School Parks, LANLT works to create new green space in communities of color, engaging community members from concept development through to implementation and park stewardship. 

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Georgetown Climate Center Managed Retreat Toolkit

July 15, 2020

Managed retreat, or the voluntary movement and transition of people and ecosystems away from vulnerable coastal areas, is increasingly becoming part of the conversation as coastal states and communities face difficult questions on how best to protect people, development, infrastructure, and coastal ecosystems from sea-level rise, flooding, and land loss. Georgetown Climate Center’s new Managed Retreat Toolkit combines legal and policy tools, best and emerging practices, and case studies to support peer learning and decisionmaking around managed retreat and climate adaptation. 

Related Organizations: Georgetown Climate Center

Authors or Affiliated Users: Georgetown Climate Center, Katie Spidalieri, Annie Bennett

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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City of Minneapolis, Minnesota Neighborhoods 2020: Community Engagement Working Group

December 2018

The City of Minneapolis’ Neighborhoods 2020 initiative is a process to restructure how the City serves and supports neighborhood organizations. As part of this process, Minneapolis formed a Community Engagement Policy Work Group, which created a framework for a Citywide Community Engagement Policy. This framework outlines the processes and stakeholder commitments necessary to improve the City’s engagement with community members, and places an emphasis on a thoughtful, integrated community engagement policy that extends to all members of Minneapolis. 

 

Related Organizations: City of Minneapolis, Minnesota

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Jade District Greening Initiatives - Portland, Oregon

2019

The Jade Greening Initiatives refer to two concurrent initiatives to plan and implement targeted tree planting and greening in the underserved Jade District of outer southeast Portland, Oregon. Residents in the district experience significant economic and health disparities due to historic public disinvestment, its location surrounded by major transportation corridors on all sides, and lack of tree canopy and accessible green space. With assistance from community-based organizations, community members and businesses worked together to set priorities for neighborhood development and greening. Collaboration, planning, and design of new greenspace were supported through the EPA's Greening America's Communities Program and the Oregon Solutions Program.

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LA Green Zones Program: Groundtruthing

2018

The Los Angeles County, California, Department of Regional Planning (DRP) developed the Green Zones Program in 2015, to attain equitable development for the next 20 years, and to help update the Los Angeles County General Plan. Centering on environmental justice and community engagement, the program aimed to ensure that residents of all income levels can enjoy the development of the County under the changing climate and severe heat. The program addressed the contamination problems in the unincorporated communities, and also secured affordable housing to avoid displacement of the existing residents due to development. The Green Zones Program Framework contained four elements: land use policy, community engagement, environmental justice screening map, and prevention and mitigation. "Groundtruthing" was the main procedural tool utilized by the program to collect and study the potential environmental hazards information in the communities. It emphasized the importance of collaboration with community members and community-based organizations. Groundtruthing was not a one-time event, but a continuing effort between the government and the local communities. 

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Making Public Participation Legal

October 2013

A publication of the National Civic League, this report offers legal frameworks and tools for state and local governments to use in order to enhance public participation within their communities. The paper presents the argument that the vast majority of public meetings are run with little citizen input, interaction, or deliberation. It includes model ordinances such as “A Model Municipal Public Participation at the Local Level,” “A Model State Public Participation,” and “A Model City Charter Language for Citizen Advisory Bodies.” These tools can be used to increase the scope and duration of public participation, garnering a greater range of collaboration and insight.

Related Organizations: National Civic League

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Well Farm Stormwater Management Project - Peoria, Illinois

May 2018

 

 

Related Organizations: City of Peoria, Illinois

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The Texas Title Project

2013

The Texas Title Project was a two-year program that began in 2013 after Hurricanes Dolly and Ike devastated Texas, and critically impacted lower-income communities. The purpose of the program was to help low-income families whose homes were destroyed during the hurricanes to acquire clear title to their property so that they could be eligible for government funding. In clearing any issues relating to these titles, homeowners then became eligible for federal government rebuilding assistance. The project's threefold mission was to: clear titles for those homeowners and families that participated in the program; develop a general model for providing these types of legal services that could be implemented in the future, when another disaster occurred; and to study the barriers that existed that prevented low-income homeowners from having a clear title, especially in areas that are disproportionately affected by disasters. In the two years it was operational, the Texas Title Project provided services for more than 350 families seeking disaster recovery assistance in East Texas and the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

Related Organizations: University of Texas, Austin, Texas General Land Office

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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