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Category Archives: Resilient Virginia News
The 2017 Resilient Virginia Conference
“Connecting Communities, Business, and Educators for Resiliency Solutions”
August 1–2, 2017 | Richmond, Virginia
Plan to take part in the second statewide conference on resiliency!
Conference registration is now open!
by Maureen Roskoski, CFM, SFP, LEED AP O+M,
Senior Professional, Corporate Sustainability Officer
Facility Engineering Associates
Business Resilience is the ability to rapidly adapt and respond to business disruptions while maintaining continuous business operations. Business resilience planning provides guidance for ensuring the ability to respond, resume, and restore to a pre-determined level of operation following a disruption. At FEA, we help our clients strive for resilience through comprehensive planning that takes a holistic and long-term view of the threats and their individual enterprise in order to ensure that the business is prepared to avoid, mitigate, and recover from adverse events. But, what were we doing ourselves? Were we walking the talk?
Resiliency, Sustainability, and Economic Opportunities in the DC Region
Organized by Leaders in Energy and Resilient Virginia
When: October 20, 6:00–8:30PM
Where: Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
777 North Capitol Street NE, Washington, DC 20002
Training Room First Floor
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.
By Allison Meade, Resilient Virginia Intern,
and Rising Senior, Cornell University Biology and Society Major
Recent updates to the Resources portion of the Resilient Virginia website have allowed for the inclusion of three economic assessments related to climate change. These reports, which were written and published by well-known names such as Michael Bloomberg and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, approach the economic impact of climate change by assessing the risks presented and costs of inaction.
The first of the three is called Risky Business, The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States. It was published in June 2014 and co-chaired by Michael Bloomberg, Henry Paulson Jr. and Thomas Steyer. The report introduces climate risk by region, covering the continental U.S. as well as Alaska and Hawaii, and explores next steps to take in risk management. The research used for the report combines peer-reviewed climate science projections through 2100 and derived estimates of the impacts of the projected changes in temperature, precipitation, sea levels, and storm activity on the national economy (Risky Business).
The second report was produced in November 2015 by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and is entitled Climate Change: Cost of Inaction for Maryland’s Economy. The report builds on their publication, American Climate Prospectus, in estimating how climate change will affect infrastructure, tourism, ecosystems, agriculture, water resources, and human health. The report also includes an updated version of the costs of inaction that were previously in the Maryland Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
The third economic assessment resource was produced as a Grosvenor Research Report in April 2015 and is called Resilient Cities. As a private property group, Grosvenor conducted this research to help their clients move beyond classic definitions of property risk, and fully take into account the shifting patterns contributing to the uncertain future of real estate across the globe. The report quantifies the resilience of 50 of the most important cities in the world, based on two key components of resiliency: vulnerability and adaptive capacity.
With regard to vulnerability, the study analyzed five different themes. First, cities were assessed for vulnerability to physical events resulting from climate change, including sea level change, hurricanes and typhoons, floods, droughts, and mass movements of populations. Under the second theme, environment, threats from all types of pollution and overconsumption of resources were measured. The third theme included a measurement of each city’s ability to provide access to food, energy, and water at a reasonable cost. Fourth, the cities were evaluated according to their level of housing and transport infrastructure along with basic utilities. Lastly, each city’s internal tensions were assessed with regard to factors such as affordable housing, education and health, religious and cultural freedom, crime-free living conditions, and business environments.
The adaptive capacity component was also based on five areas of city performance. First, the cities were evaluated for democratic governing, freedom of speech and community involvement. Second, cities were assessed based on long-term projects and the associated groups involved. Third, the technical advancement of each city was evaluated through existing monitoring organizations and the technical expertise of institutions. Disaster management programs were evaluated in the fourth area of city performance, making budget resources and funding the last assessment theme for adaptive capacity.
Based on the five areas of each component, cities were placed on a ranking scale for both vulnerability and adaptive capacity, and an overall scale combining both. The study concluded that the top three most resilient cities are located in Canada, with two U.S. cities following close behind. The study also concluded that the cities that will be facing the strain of great population growth in the future are also those with the least adaptive capacities.
Each of these articles can be found under the publications section of the resources tab on the Resilient Virginia website.
By Allison Meade, Resilient Virginia Intern,
and Rising Senior, Cornell University Biology and Society Major
In order to provide readers direct access to timely reports that were referenced at the March 2016 Conference, Resilient Virginia has posted some of them on our Resources page (www.resilientvirginia.org/resources/publications). These resources vary in content, from agricultural and water mitigation techniques to a rating system for sustainable infrastructure, although they all connect to the idea of resiliency.
Of the resources, notable reads include the Norfolk Resiliency Plan, NIST Community Resilience Planning Guide, Climate Change Adaptation for Agriculture, and the Nature Conservancy Guide for Incorporating Ecosystem Service Valuation into Coastal Restoration Projects. These all provide examples of local, state or regional initiatives to plan for mitigation and adaptation strategies that will help establish resilient communities across the country.
The posted resources are intended to serve local governments, businesses, and community organizations as examples of ongoing activities promoting resiliency planning and potentially frameworks for future actions. You can also view many of the presentations given at the 2016 Resilient Virginia Conference at http://resilientvirginia.org/buildings/2016-conference. All publications shared by Resilient Virginia can be found at this link.
By Allison Meade, Resilient Virginia Intern and Annette Osso, Managing Director, Resilient Virginia
On Thursday, June 30, Resilient Virginia held its 2016 Annual Meeting in Charlottesville, Virginia. Resilient Virginia took the opportunity to highlight year two accomplishments, including the first statewide Resilient Virginia Conference, and to introduce the new Board of Directors.
The meeting hosted three guest speakers and also provided a presentation on the newly developed Resiliency Checklist for Local Governments. Our guest speakers were: Angela Navarro, the Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources; Terence Hill, a Senior Policy Advisor at EMerge Alliance; and Adrianna Vargo, the Director of Grower Services at Local Food Hub. Each took time to present on resiliency progress in their areas of work.
Angela Navarro spoke about the June 28 news release by Governor McAuliffe on the signing of Executive Order 57 to reduce carbon emissions in the state. The order directs the creation of a workgroup and steps to take towards reducing carbon pollution from the state electricity sector in order to meet the requirements of the Clean Power Plan. The news release on the signing of the order can be found at the Governor’s newsroom page.
Terence Hill followed Navarro with a short presentation on the resilient design attributes of direct current, microgrids, and transactive energy systems. Hill’s presentation on the technology involved, design options, and their impacts can be found here. Adrianna Vargo was the third guest presenter, speaking about the LocalFoodHub and their efforts in local Virginia communities. She focused on the connection of local farms to regional markets and the positive impact this has on both the farmers and consumers of the local food. Her presentation and website with details on the scope of business are provided.
Following the guest speakers, Annette Osso, Managing Director of Resilient Virginia. gave a presentation on the 2016 version of the Virginia Municipal League and Virginia Association of Counties Go Green Virginia checklist. New this year is the Resiliency Checklist section of the GoGreen Government Challenge. The Resiliency Checklist, developed by Resilient Virginia Board members and other colleagues, provides a roadmap for localities to use when assessing the state of their resiliency preparedness, finding the gaps, and planning ahead.
The checklist provides a spirited point system meant to encourage actions to reduce carbon emissions within the local government and wider community, and find out more about the GoGreen Government Challenge here. It encompasses 11 areas for action including community involvement, resiliency, energy efficiency, renewable energy, procurement, land use and transportation, environmental stewardship, water quality supply and flooding, waste management, employee incentives, and innovation.
For the last portion of the meeting, attendees were invited to give short presentations on their work with resiliency. Notable presentations included: Travorise Marks, Resilience Program Manager, from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, who spoke on emergency preparedness within the state; Joanie Freeman of Eco-Village Charlottesville, who spoke on the progress of that initiative; Vince Meldrum from Earth Force who spoke about youth involvement in stormwater management; Joyce Bodoh from the Rappahannock Electric Cooperative who spoke on the utility’s energy efficiency initiatives, and Jim Pierobon with Southeast Energy News who spoke about ongoing coverage of clean energy and conventional energy topics in the Southeastern United States. The overarching themes of mitigation and adaptation were developed and reflected on by all who participated.
Finally, Nell Boyle, the newly elected Chair of the Board of Directors, encouraged people to become involved in planning committees for upcoming programs, such as a webinar series and the 2017 Resilient Virginia Conference. She encouraged support for our statewide resiliency initiatives by becoming a member or annual sponsor of Resilient Virginia.
Terence Hill: Resilient/Reach Building Code
Adrianna Vargo: Local Food Hub
Resilient Virginia: 2016 Annual Meeting
Save the Date for the Resilient Virginia Annual Meeting!
Date: Thursday, June 30, 2016
Location: City Space, On Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall
100 5th St. NE, Charlottesville, VA 22902
Noon–3:00 PM: Resilient Virginia Annual Meeting for Members, Partners and Friends
Join the Resilient Virginia Board of Directors, Members, Partners and Friends for lunch and an afternoon of lively presentations on:
- The newly created GoGreen Virginia Resiliency Checklist for the Virginia Municipal League and Virginia Association of Counties Local Government Challenge. Speaker: Annette Osso, Managing Director, Resilient Virginia (gogreenva.org)
- Direct current, microgrids and “transactive energy” systems as the “new deal” in energy security. Presenter: Terence Hill, Senior Policy Advisor, EMerge Alliance (emergealliance.org)
- Charlottesville’s LocalFoodHub, which connects small farms with local customers and provides food access initiatives – Speaker: Adrianna Vargo, Director of Grower Services, LocalFoodHub (localfoodhub.org).
- Just confirmed! Angela Navarro, Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources will provide an update on the Clean Power Plan implementation.
Bring your own resiliency stories and ideas to share about how to inform, educate, and activate Virginia communities.
Register Today! Select a registration option below to get started. Payment will be completed through PayPal. Registration details will be collected after payment is confirmed. To pay by check, download the registration form here.
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.