Building Resilient States: Profiles in Action

In October 2015, the Governors’ Institute on Community Design, a program run in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Smart Growth America, released Building Resilient States: A Framework for Agencies, a report intended to introduce and integrate land use and transportation issues into states’ conversations about resilience. The Framework was designed to help … Continued

Building Resilient States: A Framework for Agencies Webinar

How could better land use and transportation strategies help your state recover and remain resilient in the face of disaster? In October 2015, 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 … Continued

New and expanded urban development programs included in President Obama's 2017 budget proposal

promise-zone-camdenPresident Obama in Camden, NJ in May. Camden is one of 13 Promise Zones, a program through the Department of Housing and Urban Development that would be expanded under the 2017 proposed budget. Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy, via HUD.

President Obama released his proposal for the fiscal year (FY) 2017 federal budget yesterday, and it outlines the President’s lofty political ambitions for the coming year. The proposal focuses on five main goals: continuing the country’s economic and fiscal progress, supporting innovation, creating opportunity for all Americans, national security and global leadership, and improving how government works. Smart growth strategies play an important role in achieving several of those goals — here are some specifics of what the budget would mean for programs related to housing, urban development, and transportation.

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.

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.

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.

Building Resilient States: A Framework for Agencies

This document is intended to introduce and integrate land use and transportation issues into states’ conversations about resilience. Disaster preparedness professionals can use it to understand how strategic decisions about land use and transportation can build communities that are more resilient from the ground up.

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.

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.”