Resilient Virginia

Our mission is to accelerate resiliency planning in communities across the Commonwealth.

What Is Resilience?

Resilience is the ability to identify risks and build the capacity to maintain or rapidly regain functionality and vitality in the face of chronic stressors or severe disturbances.
  • For the short term, resiliency planning enables communities to better address extreme weather or other high impact events.
  • For the long term, community resiliency provides the ability to adapt and thrive despite changing climate, environmental, social, and economic conditions.
Why Your Community Needs Resiliency

Why Your Community Needs a Resiliency Plan

Communities face increasing challenges from extreme weather events and unpredictable climate patterns. Meanwhile, economic, environmental, health and other social stresses continue to impact communities on an on-going basis. New ways of bringing together climate information, socio-economic trends, and natural resource impact are needed. Resiliency plans can provide a roadmap for localities to strengthen physical and societal infrastructure so they can continue to function and thrive as centers of production, sources of essential services, and equitable communities despite short and long-term challenges.

The Four Main Components of a Resilient Community

Ecosystem Services
Economic Activities
Infrastructure and Buildings
Community Action
There is no “one size fits all” solution. Resiliency planning involves analyzing a community’s strengths and identifying gaps in how well it can deal with natural and man-made disasters, public health challenges, and socio-economic stressors. Depending on the regional location — coastal, urban, or rural, as well as local socio-economics, and other community factors, local governments will need to identify and prioritize which of the sub-categories from these four main resiliency components will help them formulate resiliency solutions. Factors of Resilient Communities

Coastlines

Resilience Strategies: On the Coastline

Cities in Hampton Roads have identified infrastructure adaptation, land use planning, and social equity as critical resiliency components. For example, Norfolk’s Resilience Strategy has set three basic goals: 1) Design the Coastal Community of the Future; 2) Create Economic Opportunity by Advancing Efforts to Grow Existing & New Industry Sectors; 3) Advance Initiatives to Connect Communities, Deconcentrate Poverty & Strengthen Neighborhoods.

Urban Areas

Resilience Strategies: In the Cities
The Northern Virginia Regional Commission has brought together regional cities and counties to create a “Roadmap to Resiliency” that seeks to 1) assess risks and vulnerabilities from stormwater and floods, sea level rise, and urban heat extremes; 2) identify critical infrastructure, including buildings, energy systems, and civil infrastructure; and 3) develop policy directions and project databases of potential mitigation/adaptation solutions. View their Resilient Critical Infrastructure Report.

Rural Communities

Resilience Strategies: Rural Communities

In rural communities resiliency plans need to address systemic economic stressors, such as the viability of agricultural enterprises in the face of environmental, climate, and market risks; health and educational challenges; and broadband connectivity, that are major ongoing challenges. See the West Piedmont Economic Development District’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy report.

How Resilient Virginia Can Help Your Community

Resilient Virginia can be a critical factor at both the state and local levels in moving resiliency initiatives forward.

Resilient Virginia’s Approach

  • Bring a statewide approach to the forefront to highlight the diverse risks being addressed by communities across the Commonwealth;
  • Work across institutional and political silos to educate multiple community elements;
  • Build collaborative relationships so that communities are more inclusive, cohesive, and productive when addressing their challenges; and
  • Activate communities to strengthen physical and societal infrastructure so they continue to function as centers of production, sources of essential services, and equitable communities despite challenges.

Our Goals

  • To inform diverse community representatives around the Commonwealth about natural, climate-related, and man-made challenges;
  • To educate key groups about models for community resiliency planning; and
  • To activate these communities to engage in resiliency plan development.

Resilient Virginia Provides

  • A hub for information on resiliency planning, climate change, preparedness, environmental challenges, energy security, economic stressors, health and social equity, and national security threats;
  • Workshops and training for local governments and community organizations on planning “how-to’s” and high priority issues that impact resiliency strategies; and
  • Statewide conferences that report on progress, define new challenges, and propel implementation of practical and policy solutions.