Grosvenor has published "Resilient Cities", a report on resilience as a combination of vulnerability and adaptiveness.
In general, says the report, "US cities do not score particularly well in our vulnerability rankings. Inequality in US cities leads to social tension, utilities lack investment, and urban sprawl leads to the over consumption of land resource. US cities are currently weak on access to energy but that situation is changing fast due to shale gas exploitation. The strong US ranking is due to adaptive capacity, where resources, public accountability of elected officials and the technology of the US are dominating factors. This suggests that US cities will continue to see a pattern of effective public intervention, but often only after a major shock has occurred."
Grosvenor ranks Seattle as the 11th-most adaptive and resilient city in the world. The scores were based on a combination of factors: form of governance, institutional capacity, technical and academic capacity, disaster preparedness and funding resources.
While this report is ultimately aimed at the financial sector, it is fairly concise and worth a read.
A busy time for the federal government!
First, the 2014 National Climate Assessment has been released. This is the third NCA and it details how climate change has already been observed around the United States. The NCA includes chapters that focus on specific geographic regions, economic sectors, and indigenous people. You can directly view the Northwest regional chapter here. The White House has also put out press releases that break observed climate change down even further by state. The Washington press release is here and is worth a look.
Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security is seeking lead and partner institutions to form a Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence. You can view one of those calls here on grants.gov, or go to our grants calendar for more information.
Thirdly, the NOAA Ocean Service has released a "road map" for the next 3-5 years, showing how NOAA will take action on:
•Coastal resilience: preparedness, response, and recovery
The road map is a great window into the new Office for Coastal Management (OCM), the new combined OCRM/CSC. OCM is lead on important outcomes under the Coastal Resilience priority, plays a solid supporting role in coastal intelligence and place-based conservation priorities (although is lead on the place-based outcome related to “Ecosystems Service Valuation” on p. 14).
Robert Pirani and Laura Tolkoff, writing for the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, have published "Lessons from Sandy." Highlights of this meaty document include:
- their definition of resilience: "the capacity to recover quickly from shocks and stressors while at the same time reducing future risk."
As they put it, “Resilience” emerged as a buzzword after Hurricane Sandy, but it has existed in many disciplines to describe a system’s capacity to recover from adversity. In the urban context, resilience is a community’s ability to rebound quickly from shocks and stressors while at the same time reducing future risk (Rodin and Garris 2012). Implicit in this definition is the focus on iterative learning, adapting in the face of adversity, and risk reduction. By incorporating resilience as a goal for planning, investment, and operations, metropolitan areas can become less vulnerable over time. Importantly, resilience is about managing known risks but also about preparing for the unpredictable. Consequently, resilience requires solutions that are robust across many future conditions, with multiple lines of defense, and with opportunities to learn as uncertainties become known."
-a holistic view of resilience, which meshes together disaster relief, insurance and flood risks, infrastructure and science.
-recommendations for federal actions (which begin on page 34). This is particularly relevant to those of us who are involved with the President's Adaptation Task Force right now.
You can view the document here and a link will be in the library going forward.
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