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RV 2014: Tangible Changes to Address a Changing Climate by Christopher Forinash


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Tangible Changes to Address a Changing Climate

Early planning to address climate change focused on trying to reverse global warming. As those efforts continue, it's important to address the impact global warming is already having: sea level rise, extreme weather events, record-breaking heat, drought and wildfires. As a top contributor of greenhouse gas emissions, the transportation sector plays a critical role in both curbing emissions and adapting to changes that put roads, airports, rail, transit systems, pipelines, ports and waterways at risk. Hear about state and federal actions to adapt to climate change, then explore tangible steps communities are taking to make transportation systems more resilient. From New York to Los Angeles County, hear case studies about responding and adapting to local climate risks.

Moderator: Kate Meis, Executive Director, Local Government Commission, Sacramento, California
Christopher Forinash, Program Director, National Sustainable Communities Learning Network, Institute for Sustainable Communities, Washington, DC
Cris B. Liban, Environmental Department Manager, Metro, Los Angeles, California
Projjal K. Dutta, Director, Sustainability Initiatives, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York, New York

Published in: Environment
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RV 2014: Tangible Changes to Address a Changing Climate by Christopher Forinash

  1. 1. Adaptation and Transportation Christopher Forinash Rail~Volution 2014 - Minneapolis
  2. 2. ISC mission and reach Help communities around the world address environmental, economic, and social challenges to build a better future shaped and shared by all. 2 Currently, we have 10 offices worldwide and a staff of 85.
  3. 3. Our approach to capacity-building Peer-learning & training workshops On-going support/direct engagement Efficient access to high-caliber information
  4. 4. Our work with communities
  5. 5. Cities as solutions ~ 380 Teams ~ 500 Communities ~ 2,150 Practitioners Legend Climate Leadership Academy Urban Sustainable Leadership Academy National Sustainable Learning Network Regional Leadership Academy Regional Programs Metro-scale Programs
  6. 6. Upcoming workshop Think Resiliently, Act Regionally October 14-16 in Alexandria, Virginia - Metro-Boston - New England - National Capital Region - The Twin Cities - Sierra Nevada - Puget Sound Regional Council - P2R2 Northeast Florida - Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact - Sacramento Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative - The Bay Area Climate & Energy Resilience Project - Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action & Sustainability - San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative
  7. 7. Asking the climate question How might changing climate affect …? – Ask at all levels: system, networks, facilities, and services – Ask in planning, design, construction, and operation Kate asked: What are your risks? Responses? Challenges?
  8. 8. What is adaptation?
  9. 9. What is adaptation? Fundamentally a risk management strategy – Likelihood of climate impacts – Severity of potential consequences Identify assets, vulnerabilities, potential responses Evaluate feasibility, effectiveness, cost Incorporate into decision-making
  10. 10. What range of responses? Main adaptation responses – Protection: defensive measures – Accommodation: change designs – Managed retreat: removal, relocation – Avoid: prevention Start here: vulnerability assessment – Identify areas, populations, systems for focus – Use best climate data
  11. 11. Southeast Florida • Climate Compact – Four counties (2+2), 5.9 million people, signed in 2010 – Common scenarios and vulnerability assessments • Regional climate action plan in 2012 – 110 recommended actions in 7 areas – Many on transportation (including mitigation) – Adaptation Action Areas • FHWA vulnerability assessment pilot 12
  12. 12. Adaptation Action Areas • Change to Florida Community Planning Act • Optional comprehensive plan designation for areas that: – experience coastal flooding – are vulnerable to the related impacts of rising sea levels • Purpose: prioritizing funding for infrastructure and adaptation planning
  13. 13. Resilient Vermont Response to flooding in 2011: from recovery to resilience
  14. 14. Resilient Vermont recommendations Know our risks: Conduct a statewide Transportation Vulnerability Assessment that produces a statewide data set and map that shows areas of highest relative vulnerability and is used to guide prioritization of investment Align rules and investments for strong communities: – Designate pilot adaptation areas and direct investments there – Provide guidance and incentives to adapt transportation infrastructure
  15. 15. Gulf Coast assessment • Advanced effort that produced key findings as well as tools and methods • Vulnerability assessment of coast from Galveston to Mobile • Mobile region – Detailed asset mapping, vulnerability assessment, risk analysis – Excellent new tools – See Rob Hyman presentation from September 2014
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  18. 18. Other resources and tools FTA adaptation workshops and pilots in 2011-12 – NOAA digital coast – DOT – Georgetown Climate Center –
  19. 19. American Society of Adaptation Professionals Connecting and supporting the people who are building climate resilience. – Build on Promising Practices – Share Information – Network & Connect 600+ Members Nationally – 35% Government (Local, State, Federal, Tribal) – 30% Non-Profit – 20% Academic – 15% Private Sector
  20. 20. Joining ASAP
  21. 21. Thank you! Christopher Forinash