Category: Resilience

Recorded webinar: Building Resilient States: A Framework for Agencies

building-resilient-states-webinar-coverHow could better land use and transportation strategies help your state recover and remain resilient in the face of disaster?

On October 22, Smart Growth America released Building Resilient States: A Framework for Agencies, a resource designed to help state agency staff integrate land use and transportation issues into their conversations about resilience. Disaster preparedness professionals can also use it to make strategic decisions and build communities that are more resilient from the ground up.

As part of the kickoff, we hosted an online conversation about resilience efforts at the state level. We talked all about the new resource—as well as national best practices, and how the states of Colorado, New York, and Vermont are using these strategies.

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Introducing “Building Resilient States”

Storms, floods, droughts, landslides, and wildfires have affected thousands of individuals, families, businesses, and communities across the United States in recent years.  

In the immediate aftermath of disasters like these, state agencies play a crucial role in emergency response and recovery. However, states can also ​plan for long-term resilience and help communities ​build in more resilient ways.

Building Resilient States: A Framework for Agencies lays out seven key steps ​state administrations can take to become more resilient. Disaster preparedness professionals can use it to understand how decisions about land use and transportation can support their efforts to protect people, property, and infrastructure across their state.

We’ll be talking all about this new resource—as well as national best practices and how the states of Colorado, New York, and Vermont are using these strategies—during a kickoff panel discussion today at 1:00pm EDT. Register to join us for this free event.

During that event we’ll discuss this emerging field of practice and how some of the nation’s leading disaster preparedness agencies are using land use and transportation strategies to make their states more resilient.

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Is your state built to bounce back from disaster?

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It’s hurricane season here on the East Coast. Just this past weekend we braced for the worst with Hurricane Joaquin.

If you were like me, you might have stocked up on bottled water, flashlights, and batteries. Maybe you also thought that there must be more we can do to protect our communities from disaster — and to help them bounce back afterwards.

Better decisions at the state level can help communities withstand disasters and bounce back more quickly afterwards. Later this month, Smart Growth America will release a new resource designed to help states figure out how to do just that.

Building Resilient States: A Framework for Agencies will help state leaders integrate land use and transportation issues into their conversations about resilience. Disaster preparedness professionals can use it to understand how more strategic decisions can build communities that are more resilient from the ground up.

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Introducing Smart Growth America’s State Resilience Program

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Resilience-based land use planning can help communities weather hazards like the wildfires that struck Bastrop, TX in 2011. Photo by Joe Wolf, via Flickr.

State governments play a key role in addressing the immediate aftermath of disasters. But what can they do to reduce risks before disasters happen—and how can they guide rebuilding to reduce future risks? State leaders sit at the intersection of policy and investment decisions that can ensure long-term state resilience and economic growth.

Smart Growth America’s new State Resilience Program, launching today, is a first-of-its-kind initiative offering resources, tools, and guidance for state leaders working to build more resilient places and reduce the risk that natural hazards pose to vulnerable populations and local economies. Drawing on the innovative work of state leaders, federal agencies, and national experts, the State Resilience Program offers resources and guidance representing the cutting edge of land use and engagement strategies for hazard resilience.

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Resilience summit discusses how states can help vulnerable populations prepare for and recover from disaster

Hurricane KatrinaThousands of people were unable to evacuate during Hurricane Katrina due to lack of access to transportation. These individuals were disproportionately elderly, low-income African Americans. Photo by Andrea Booher, via the FEMA Photo Library.

A community is only as resilient as its most vulnerable residents. States can do more to define who is most at risk in the face of natural hazards, and can begin to take steps to address these populations’ needs.

That was the takeaway from the panel of environmental justice experts who spoke at the Governors’ Institute on Community Design State Resilience and Economic Growth Summit in Washington, DC, last week. The panel discussion was part of a a two-day event that brought together experts on disaster recovery and long-term resilience to discuss best practices and new strategies for states.

“You can’t just talk about the general population and resilience and expect resilience to spread to all communities,” began Matthew Tejada, Director of the Office of Environmental Justice at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). “It’s important that we save a special place to talk about resilience for those communities that are overburdened, that are vulnerable.”

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State and local partnerships prove essential at State Resilience Summit

080609-F-6967G-196Flooding in places like Lake Delton, WI prompted the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to focus on local disaster recovery strategies. Photo by Paul Gormond, via Wikimedia Commons.

How can states partner with local authorities to improve disaster resilience, while also addressing local economic, environmental and equity concerns?

An expert panel tackled this question earlier this week at the Governors’ Institute on Community Design State Resilience and Economic Growth Summit in Washington, DC. The two-day event brought together experts on disaster recovery and long-term resilience to discuss best practices and new strategies with state and federal leaders. The Governors’ Institute on Community Design is an initiative of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation administered by Smart Growth America.

In a day two breakout session on “The Role of State and Local Partnerships”, participants heard from leaders on the challenges of building strong state-local partnerships for resilience implementation.

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Webinar recap: HUD’s National Disaster Resilience Competition

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New York, NY’s FDR Drive after flooding from Hurricane Sandy. Photo by David Shankbone, via Flickr.

Applications are currently open for HUD’s National Disaster Resilience Competition, and earlier this week, Smart Growth America hosted a webinar to discuss details of this $1 billion opportunity.

If you missed the webinar, you can now view the presentation slides online. The slides include an overview of the application process by Danielle Arigoni, Deputy Director, HUD Office of Economic Resilience, and Jessie Handforth Kome, Deputy Director, HUD Office of Block Grant Assistance.

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Innovative partnerships drive economic discussion at State Resilience Summit

netherlandsA project in the Netherlands combined flood mitigation with local housing development. Photo by Royal Netherlands Embassy.

When state governments focus on resilience, who should be their key partners? How can unconventional stakeholders lend their support to the process?

Those questions took center stage today at the Governors’ Institute on Community Design State Resilience and Economic Growth Summit in Washington, DC. The two-day event is bringing together experts on disaster recovery and long-term resilience to discuss best practices and new strategies for states. The Governors’ Institute on Community Design is an initiative of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation administered by Smart Growth America.

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