A resiliency framework can provide a path to building a common understanding of what resiliency is, establishing a community’s baseline existing conditions; analyzing shocks and stresses a community may face; and a vision for a what a more-resilient community can look like, with goal and strategies to achieve this vision.
A roadmap takes all of this and establishes a clear, actionable path towards developing projects, gaining public and stakeholder input and support, implementing the framework, measuring success, and updating the framework as needed.
Develop Actionable Project Ideas with Owners:
Once strategies are identified, it is time to begin to develop projects - activities that bring a strategy to life. As an example, a strategy may be to “expand bike and mass-transit infrastructure downtown to reduce congestion, increase transit options to commercial sectors, and improve air quality from reduced emissions,” whereas a project may be to “install contra-flow bike lanes along Blake St. between 14th and Broadway.”
Projects come in a myriad of shapes, from education and outreach programs, to resilient affordable housing projects, to green infrastructure development. Resiliency projects can be low-cost and volunteer-heavy, or multi-million dollar projects requiring dedicated staff.
For example, the El Paso Regional Resiliency Framework identified the following project:
|Create an inventory of equipment assets, including their condition, maintenance schedule, and what agency to contact for access.||Infrastructure Mapping||Create a secure, but usable, inventory of all infrastructure assets across the county, including information on who owns them, and who to call during a disruption for emergency responders and resiliency planners.|
|Evaluate and revise zoning and building codes and the development review to create a foundation for resilient housing.||Improve Codes and Zoning for Resiliency||Improve existing regional building and maintenance codes and local zoning to support resiliency and sustainability throughout the region.|
Effective resiliency frameworks should balance ambitious and innovative thinking with the need to develop projects that can feasibly be implemented given resource and technical constraints. Successful projects require owners that have the resources and knowledge to reasonable implement them. Considerations identifying for successful projects include:
- Project owners’ capabilities: Is the project something that the organization normally does? What people/expertise can be leveraged to ensure successful project outcomes? Specific sector or project expertise helps to identify which organization is most appropriate to lead implementation of the project.
- Capacity: Do physical or capital constraints exist? A project owner requires the manpower to implement a project, and access to funding streams that will make the project long-lasting.
- Feasibility: Does the project have the support necessary from the lead implementing organization, the public, elected officials, and framework stakeholders? Is there a realizable opportunity for funding? A project can be successful because of its opportunity for being implemented, and it is important to identify potential issues early on in the framework process.
- Funding and Technical Assistance: In addition, projects need funding sources to get off the ground. Technical assistance can help to ensure the plan sets realistic community goals. Meanwhile, capital assistance provides communities with access to funding projects. Roadmap to Resiliency Worksheets help to identify funding and technical assistance needs for projects.
- Resiliency Prioritization Criteria: The Colorado Resiliency Framework establishes the following criteria to evaluate and prioritize project ideas. When developing strategies and projects, the amount of work needed to be done becomes clear, and it can be overwhelming trying to figure out where to start. Prioritization takes into consideration the impacts of actions and weighs them against immediate and future needs, allowing for a focused approach that uses limited resources in a manner that provides the best returns to the entire community. Not all projects need to meet all prioritization criteria. However, they provide a lens that can aid in decision making and selection of projects.
|Resiliency Prioritization Criteria:|
|Co-Benefits:||Provide solutions that address problems across multiple sectors creating maximum benefit.|
|High Risk and Vulnerability:||Ensure that strategies directly address the reduction of risk to human well-being, physical infrastructure, and natural systems.|
|Economic Benefit-Cost:||Make good financial investments that have the potential for economic benefit to the investor and the broader community both through direct and indirect returns.|
|Social Equity:||Provide solutions that are inclusive with consideration to populations that are often most fragile and vulnerable to sudden impacts due to their continual state of stress.|
|Technical Soundness:||Identify solutions that reflect best practices that have been tested and proven to work in similar regional context.|
|Innovation:||Advance new approaches and techniques that will encourage continual improvement and advancement of the best practices serving as models for others in Colorado and beyond.|
|Adaptive Capacity:||Include flexible and adaptable measures that consider future unknowns of changing climate, economic, and social conditions.|
|Harmonize with Existing Activity:||Expand, enhance, or leverage work being done to build on existing efforts.|
|Long-term and Lasting Impact:||Create long-term gains to the community with solutions that are replicable and sustainable, creating benefit for present and future generations.|
Build Community Support:
A resiliency framework should reflect the values and priorities of the broader community. This can be achieved through a thorough and transparent engagement process. While all aspects of a framework may not be universally held or agreed upon it is important to actively seek public input and comment to garner support for the framework and its strategies and projects, leading ultimately to meaningful change.
Strategic stakeholder engagement was a key component in the resiliency framework development process for Boulder, El Paso, and Larimer Counties. Multiple intensive work sessions, and public engagement events helped to inform the planning team, align the frameworks with community values, and ultimately help the planning team to address the most pressing and important resiliency needs.
While the approaches utilized for the pilot local resiliency process were valuable, they are but two of a number of strategies and techniques for getting broad community support. Below are a number of tools and reports that can guide you through the stakeholder engagement process:
- Bright Spots in Community Engagement: A series of case studies of U.S. communities and their process for building civic participation
- Urban Planning and the Public Participation Process: Explores the use of technology and social media in planning processes.
- A Guidebook to Community Engagement: Addresses how to involve urban and low-income populations in environmental planning processes.
- Detroit Works Long-Term Planning Project: A report on strategies and tools used to address barriers of civic engagement, including planning fatigue and cynicism about planning and engagement efforts, compounded by social and cultural tensions.
- Participation Tools for Better Community Planning: An overview of public participation tools to help communities plan for land use and transportation programs.
- Stakeholder Engagement Tools for Action: An adaptable comprehensive strategy for engaging and maintaining stakeholder input.
Present the Findings:
It is important to have transparency throughout the process with opportunities and time for stakeholders and members of the public to review and comment to inform the framework. These efforts can take many forms depending on the need for additional public engagement. The Plan Comment Form was used in the Colorado pilot local resiliency process to promote thorough and efficient plan feedback.