ULI Awards $20,000 to help improve urban resilience in St. Petersburg, Florida.
ULI Tampa Bay will convene a Technical Assistance Panel to inform the City of St. Petersburg’s current Climate Action Plan, considering the city’s coastal vulnerabilities and the threat of sea level rise. The project has been convened with the support of Mayor Rick Kriseman and will be carried out in partnership with city staff. The District Council will also initiate a resilience working group to guide the project and plans to keep the working group in place to lead other resilience projects and raise awareness amongst the development community.
Program is Part of ULI’s Overall Efforts to Help Communities Prepare for Impacts of Climate Change
Efforts to improve the urban resilience of St. Petersburg, Florida; Boston; Detroit, Charleston, South Carolina; and Portland, Oregon are being supported by grants awarded by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) to its district councils serving those areas. ULI is a research and education institute dedicated to responsible land use and creating sustainable, thriving communities worldwide; its district councils advance ULI’s mission in 53 metropolitan regions in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The five grants, totaling $55,000, were awarded in the latest funding round of ULI’s Urban Resilience Program, which enhances the long-term sustainability and livability of communities by helping them better withstand the detrimental impacts of climate change, including the ability to quickly and safely recover from severe weather-related events. The Urban Resilience Program is part of ULI’s Center for Sustainability, which is dedicated to creating healthy, resilient, and high performance communities around the world.
Through the Urban Resilience Grant Program, which is funded with generous support from the ULI Foundation’s Annual Fund and the Kresge Foundation, district councils propose local activities such as workshops, research initiatives, advisory panels, or conferences aimed at improving community resilience; activities can be broad or more specific in scope, ranging from mitigating climate change risks to an overall community to improving the resilience of a specific site in an urban area. Proposed projects must involve both ULI members in the communities and partner organizations or other stakeholders.
“Improving the resilience of communities to the impacts of climate change also makes them stronger from an economic and social standpoint,” said ULI Center for Sustainability Executive Director Sarene Marshall. “These grant winners are tackling this issue with innovative approaches that are tailored to the needs of their communities, but whose outcomes can inform new ideas and solutions for other communities with similar vulnerabilities.”
The other Urban Resilience Grant recipients are:
- ULI Boston (awarded $12,500): ULI Boston will develop a regional resilience mapping tool that will highlight areas with chronic stressors of social, economic, and environmental resilience in the Boston metropolitan area. The goal is to inform regional decision making and provide the evidence for a set of recommendations that promote resilient development opportunities across municipal boundaries. The District Council’s Resilience Committee will collaborate on the development and promotion of the tool, including showcasing it at the World’s Major Climate Summit in Boston in 2017.
- ULI Michigan (awarded $11,000): Working in partnership with Michigan Community Resources, ULI Michigan will provide technical assistance with the design and development of five community-based green stormwater infrastructure projects in Detroit, including rain gardens, bio-swales and rain catchment systems. ULI members will provide expertise in environmental engineering and landscape architecture during project planning, as well as assist with implementation and installation. ULI Michigan will also collaborate with Michigan Community Resources to develop a community engagement and communications plan for the stormwater projects, including educational materials such as signage.
- ULI South Carolina (awarded $6,500): ULI South Carolina will work in partnership with the City of Charleston, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Coastal Conservation League to engage in a community asset mapping exercise considering property types, values, socio-economic profile and the cost of flood damage to private and public property and infrastructure. The mapping exercise will also include the development of a financial model that predicts the potential financial impact of continuing with business as usual, considering current risk assessment techniques and alternative techniques being explored by the insurance market. The exercise will address the city’s vulnerability to regular nuisance flooding and will build on the increased community awareness of vulnerability that followed flooding rains in October 2015.
- ULI Northwest (awarded $5,000): ULI Northwest will convene a resilience-themed panel or “Reality Check” in Portland that will address resilience within the context of the city’s construction boom, and the need to consider the long-term impact of urban design and development decisions. Through the event, which will be led by the newly formed ULI Committee on Resilience, the District Council aims to raise awareness of the impacts of climate change among the city’s property owners, developers and investors. The project is likely to focus on the business case of resiliency and the risks of inaction as it pertains to real estate development.