Design decisions for buildings and communities are critical to efforts to increase local and regional resiliency. Building designers — of residential, institutional, and commercial structures — should strive to incorporate passive and active survivability concepts into new and renovated structures. Community planners and developers need to incorporate concepts that increase the capacity to maintain transportation flow, strategies to handle water management, and infrastructure approaches that will withstand a variety of risks.
Recent studies have pointed out the economic costs of rising temperatures, increased sea levels, and extreme weather events — all factors associated with climate change impact in the Southeast United States.
Costs of Doing Nothing: Economic Consequences of Not Adapting to Sea Level Rise in the Hampton Roads Region, a 2016 report from Virginia Coastal Policy Center, College of William & Mary Law School, narrows down the data to the Hampton Roads area. This report looks at several scenarios for sea level rise and the economic consequences.
PrepareAthon 2016 took place August 27, 2016, and offered participants activities and information focused on emergency preparedness; sustainable lifestyle options such as energy saving homes, local food, healthy lifestyles, and stormwater; and adaptation strategies such as installing solar or wind systems. Local emergency responders, including Richmond Fire and Emergency Services and Red Cross representatives, were available, and hands-on workshops — for example, build your own emergency preparedness kit or rain barrel — and a variety of hands-on activities for children and adults were part of the event.
A 2014 research report developed by Grosvenor quantified the resilience of the world’s most important 50 cities based on two criteria: vulnerability and adaptive capability. The Resilient Cities Report collected independent data and created a scale on which to place each of the 50 cities. The results Canadian cities in the top three, with U.S. cities following. A notable conclusion can also be made from the highest forecast population growth occurring in the least resilient cities from the list.
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) produced a report in November 2015 that expanded upon climate impacts addressed in the American Climate Prospectus. The report includes estimates on climate change’s effects on infrastructure, tourism, ecosystems, agriculture, water resources, and human health. Furthermore, the report speaks on the costs of inaction. The report concludes that risks and costs grow with increasing severity of climate change impacts and can be significantly reduced via immediate mitigation actions.
The Colorado Resiliency Framework 2016 Annual Plan is an extension of the Colorado Resiliency Framework that was adopted in 2015. This plan details how the Colorado Resiliency Working Group will achieve the goals laid out in the framework, mainly via resiliency-focused projects in the community, economic, health and social, housing, infrastructure, watershed and natural resources sectors.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology has produced two volumes of a Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems. The first volume spends time describing the methodology and provides a fictitious example of the planning process while the second volume provides reference chapters to Volume 1. A four page planning guide brochure is also available for a more succinct guide to community resilience.
The city of Norfolk, as a 100 Resilient Cities grantee, developed a Resilience Strategy that was published in October 2015. The stated goal of the plan is to reduce risks as well as embrace new ways of thinking and thriving in conditions that require continuous innovation. The full plan is available online.
By Jerry Walker, CEM, LEED AP, Chairman of the Board, Resilient Virginia and Henrico County Energy Manager
Resilient Virginia burst onto the radar screens of leaders from federal, state and local governments, and concerned citizens with their 2016 Resilient Virginia Conference in Richmond, on March 22nd March 23rd. The two-day conference at the Greater Richmond Convention center attracted over 220 attendees, speakers and exhibitors. With a theme of activating communities and businesses for a more resilient future, three major geographic regions were addressed; coastal, rural, and urban. Issues such as weather, coastal flooding, urban-underdevelopment, agricultural demands on dwindling farm space, and man-made threats to our well-being were all addressed.
The 2016 Resilient Virginia Conference
“Activating Communities and Businesses for a More Resilient Future”
March 22–23, 2016 | Richmond, Virginia
The 2016 Resilient Virginia Conference took place March 22–23, 2016 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center in Richmond, Virginia. The first statewide conference on resiliency activated community and business stakeholders around the Commonwealth:
- to learn about resiliency planning to address current and future environmental, social, and economic challenges, and
- to become leaders in their communities to address formulating plans for a resilient future.
View the complete conference agenda here.