Assessing and Building Resiliency to Climate Change
- Claire Still, Sustainability Specialist, AECOM
AECOM has a robust climate change and resilience practice completing work across the country for both the public and private sector. This presentation will provide a high-level overview of a couple of projects that AECOM has worked on in this space. This will include state-level resilience work in New York, where we are currently completing individual state agency climate vulnerability assessments by looking at how climate change could affect their operations and the people they serve. The presenter is a part of the core team for this project and will provide a background on the approach of these assessments and how the state agencies will utilize them in their adaptation planning.
The presentation will also provide an overview of a project completed in New Orleans on small business resilience to disasters. We modified the United Nations Disaster Resilience Scorecard to focus on the resilience of small- to mid-sized businesses and how they prepare for disasters. The team then interviewed 200+ businesses and synthesized the results across the city and provided recommendations to the city and businesses to improve resilience. The presentation will provide an overview of the Disaster Resilience Scorecard and the quantitative results from the data collected from the businesses. The presentation may also feature examples from other projects that are occurring now or may occur before the Symposium in March 2019.
Regional Planning Approaches to Addressing Climate Change
- Andrea Sweigart, Associate Principal, AECOM
Regional planning is an effective way for local governments and communities to identify and address projected climate change impacts. The presentation will take a look at this approach with a deep dive into the Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) AECOM is leading among the Cities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the four (4) Navy installations. As a regional study covering both Norfolk and Virginia Beach, the JLUS is focused on evaluating the present and future impacts of flooding on the facilities and infrastructure that support the Navy, and developing actions that the Cities could potentially take in response to flooding issues that could reduce or eliminate both short- and long-term risks for the military.
Leveraging Available Data to Understand and Mitigate Loss during Extreme Storm Events
- Lisa Jeffrey, Senior Associate, Hazen and Sawyer
- Matthew Jones
This presentation will provide an approach to leverage readily available data during storm events to better understand potential consequences, mitigate impacts and enhance public safety. There is currently a great deal of emphasis on establishing municipal resiliency plans, understanding risks and vulnerabilities. This approach shifts the focus to informed decision making during a storm event, making use of the large amounts of historical and real-time available data. As reported in the daily news, municipal leaders are being called on to make educated decisions regarding public safety during storm events. This decision support framework can be used to draw from the available data sources both internal to the municipality (historic, repetitive flood loss data, tidal flooding levels, roadway elevations) and external public sources of data (FEMA flood maps, NOAA rain gages, USGS rain and flood stage data etc.). Using a business intelligence framework, leaders can draw on these data sources to enhance public safety. This methodology represents another tool for municipalities facing increased frequency and intensity of storm events.
The Impacts of Institutional Traps on Coastal Resilience
- Zane Havens, Graduate Coastal Resilience Fellow, Virginia Sea Grant/Clark Nexsen
Rising sea levels and frequent storm events have made flooding a real threat for coastal communities. Despite the increasing intensity and frequency of these catastrophes, flood preparation and mitigation efforts are still lacking in many areas, and the institutions responsible are often criticized for these shortcomings. This presentation aims to identify within the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Flood Insurance Program several “institutional traps”, or self-reinforcing processes that limit an institution’s ability to cope with and prepare for a disturbance event. Using three case studies (amphibious foundations, the Resiliency Adaptation Feasibility Tool, and Hurricane Florence), this presentation will spotlight instances where these obstacles have stifled innovations in flood mitigation, as well as illustrate successful attempts to circumvent these traps and to make real progress in the field of floodwater management.