Yesterday, the Center for American Progress, in anticipation of the coming anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, released a report highlighting the work of 50 "Storm-Ready Cities" across the country. Storm-Ready Cities are those that have taken steps to plan for and adapt to increasingly frequent extreme weather. At the League, we were pleased to see that the Center recognized two of our member communities, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, for their leadership and vision. Congratulations to the leaders of those two cities!
However, the list of communities in Michigan that are tackling this important issue does not start and end there. A growing number of other local governments are taking the steps necessary to become Storm-Ready. For example, the City of Marquette and the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission have each recently developed climate adaptation plans with the assistance of MSU Extension and the UM Graham Sustainability Institute. The City of Monroe is working with its neighboring townships and LIAA to integrate resilience into its master plan. And the City of Flint is tackling climate adaptation as part of its new Imagine Flint process.
The League is cosponsoring a conference February 25 & 26 at the University of Michigan-Flint that will showcase the work of these communities and others. To be notified when registration is open for that conference and to learn more about the resources available on this topic, join the Michigan Green Communities network.
Luke Forrest is a member of the Michigan Green Communities Steering Committee. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or @l4est.
The Great Lakes Adaptation Assessment for Cities (GLAA-C) is a three-year project that seeks to strengthen the science and decision-making for more effective urban adaptation to climate change in the Great Lakes region. The project, which is funded by the University of Michigan and Kresge Foundation and led by the University's Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute, teams researchers with city decision makers in five Great Lakes cities in order to identify adaptation needs, opportunities for action, and relative costs of response options to climate change. The programs developed for the five cities will include implementation steps which will be able to be universalized and replicated in other cities in the region. This conference call is an opportunity for Michigan communities to learn about GLAA-C and how it can be applied locally and regionally.
Join the conference call at 10am eastern Wednesday, January 16, by calling 734-794-6099 and using code 43720. Once the call begins you can view presentation slides here.
Luke Forrest is a Project Coordinator with the Center for 21st Century Communities. Contact him by email or Twitter.
After a record-setting spring and summer, with temperatures soaring, community leaders may be looking for constructive initiatives they can undertake to help residents cope with and adapt to extreme heat. Georgetown University recently released a guide targeted specifically for local governments titled "Adapting to Urban Heat". This guide includes a number of low-cost policy options available, provides criteria to help communities decide which options to pursue, and documents results with case studies from around the country.
For more tips about greening your community, visit our Green Communities page.
Luke Forrest is Project Coordinator for the Center for 21st Century Communities. Contact him via email or Twitter.