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Posts tagged ‘recommendations’

Input Needed: SLC’s New Pedestrian & Bicycle Master Plan

BikePedMasterPlan

Salt Lake City’s updated Pedestrian & Bicycle Master Plan is now available in draft form for public input!

The draft plan, developed over the past two years with input from thousands of residents and stakeholders, is available for review online at www.slcgov.com/opencityhall and the project website www.walkbikeslc.com. Download your copy. A hard copy is also available at the Transportation Division, please call (801) 535-6630 for details.

The City would like to hear from you to know to how well this plan reflects your vision, goals, and recommendations for the City’s walking and bicycling initiatives over the next 20 years. Are there things you would like us to change? Let us know!

The review period is open until Wednesday, December 17. 

Salt Lake City Perspective: White House Climate Recommendations

Photo Credit: Patrick Nelson

Big Cottonwood Canyon. Photo Credit: Patrick Nelson

The final report of President Obama’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience includes 34 recommendations organized into seven primary themes, all which emphasize the nexus of Federal programs and executive actions with the actions of state, local, and tribal governments and their citizens.

Water, energy and infrastructure are cross-cutting issues in many of the themes. Recommendations include climate planning efforts that not only prepare for climate effects, but also include mitigation approaches to reduce climate impacts in the future.

Five overarching principles were part of all recommendations:

  • Require consideration of climate-related risks and vulnerabilities as part of all Federal policies, practices, investments, and regulatory and other programs.
  • Maximize opportunities to take actions that have dual-benefits of increasing community resilience and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Strengthen coordination and partnerships among Federal agencies, and across State, local, and tribal jurisdictions and economic sectors.
  • Provide actionable data and information on climate change impacts and related tools and assistance to support decision-making.
  • Consult and cooperate with Tribes and indigenous communities on all aspects of Federal climate preparedness and resilience efforts, and encourage states and local communities to do the same.

Take a look at the recommendations below, including how they apply to Salt Lake City.

Theme 1: Building Resilient Communities

The Task Force has four recommendations that will support the development of resilient communities through new approaches to land use, building and infrastructure design, and planning:

  • Accelerate the development of models and disseminate best practices for community resilience.
  • Develop and encourage the adoption of resilience standards in the siting and design of buildings and infrastructure.
  • Encourage and reward climate-smart land use management and development practices.
  • Lead by example: The Federal Government should serve as a model for climate resilience in its investments, operations and programs.

Salt Lake City is aggressively preparing for future climate challenges, to be a resilient community with a high quality of life due to our climate preparedness activities. Our efforts will ensure future clean and sufficient water supplies, investment in renewable, clean energy systems, and alternative transportation systems. These investments will not only make Salt Lake City more resilient; they will also improve our citizens’ health through improved air quality and a more walkable community.

We have been fortunate to partner with Western Water Assessment, part of the NOAA Regional Integrated Science Assessment Program, to conduct climate vulnerability work.  This partnership has leveraged our access to actionable data and tools to support climate adaptation decision-making.  This is a good example of federal support being used to help local communities prepare for climate change impacts.

Theme 2: Improving Resilience in the Nation’s Infrastructure

Infrastructure has already been compromised in many areas of the nation by extreme weather events, affecting local economies and community security. Recommendations for the Federal Government to reduce the vulnerability of public and private infrastructure to climate impacts include these six major topic areas:

  • Support climate resilience as part of coastal infrastructure planning and investments.
  • Promote and prioritize the use of green and natural infrastructure.
  • Support and incentivize climate resilient water resource planning and management.
  • Integrate climate resilience planning and preparedness criteria throughout existing Federal transportation funding programs.
  • Support Property Assessed Clean Energy programs.
  • Support development of a clean and resilient energy grid.

Salt Lake City will benefit from these recommendations as it is proposed to require grant programs to address potential climate impacts as projects are reviewed. It is also recommended that the Federal Government finalize its guidelines on climate impacts and carbon emissions in NEPA evaluations, which will provide better long-term considerations of public health, safety, and financial risks for communities. This will especially help our regional transportation and watershed planning efforts.

Theme 3: Ensuring Resilience of Natural Resources

The five recommendations here emphasize the need to protect and conserve terrestrial and aquatic natural systems to reduce climate vulnerabilities and enhance community resilience:

  • Restore and conserve ecosystems and lands to build resilience in a changing climate.
  • Combat the spread of invasive species, pests, and diseases.
  • Support resilience planning for ocean and coastal ecosystems.
  • Promote integrated watershed management and planning to protect water quality and quantity.
  • Enhance the scientific understanding of climate impacts on natural resources and provide technical assistance to help communities reduce adverse climate impacts.

Salt Lake City: Specific actions that will support Salt Lake City include the development of regional modeling initiatives to provide information to adapt to climate change impacts on water quantity and quality; and the development of a national, integrated water strategy that focuses on watershed protection and water conservation.

Our Mountain Accord process is an excellent example of how climate issues can be integrated into long-term integrated decision-making processes that encompass natural systems, land use, and transportation. Future preservation and development actions are evaluated and determined with a climate resiliency lens, and Federal support on how to measure climate resilience will be invaluable. Federal recommendations also include forest health planning at the State and regional level, which will directly benefit the Wasatch watersheds.

Theme 4: Preserving Human Health & Building Resilient Populations

Communities need to recognize the impacts of climate change on public health, social networks, and vulnerable populations, and prepare for those impacts by developing mechanisms to enhance resilience among residents. Major recommendations to support this theme include:

  • Address the needs of vulnerable populations, especially those already facing economic or health-related challenges.
  • Improve capacity to protect public health.
  • Assist communities in building food system security.
  • Improve disaster preparedness for communities most at-risk.
  • Explore Federal role in addressing climate change-related displacement, needs of affected communities, and institutional barriers to community relocation.

Salt Lake City will look to receive resources and incentives to support clean water, air, and local, healthy foods. The Federal Government is also recommending additional pre-disaster training on Federal response and recovery programs for elected officials and community leaders which would enhance our current emergency planning efforts.

Theme 5: Supporting Climate-Smart Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Preparedness and Recovery

Knowing that climate change will affect the frequency and severity of extreme weather hitting communities, these recommendations focus on ways for Federal agencies such as FEMA to better coordinate with communities both in preparedness planning and during disaster recovery.  Six recommendations in this area include:

  • Build a stronger culture of partnership and service to communities impacted by disaster.
  • Remove barriers to rebuilding for future climate resilience.
  • Incentivize and fund Community Resilience Plans with a holistic approach to preparedness and recovery.
  • Modernize data collection, analysis, and mapping based on current and predicted climate impacts to help improve local capacity for effective hazard mitigation planning.
  • Modernize and elevate the importance of hazard mitigation programs.
  • Strengthen the National Flood Insurance Program to prevent development that increases exposure and losses to flooding, and eliminate inequities for urban and rural locations.

While Salt Lake City is fortunate that we have yet to have a major climate-related disaster, continual planning will reduce risks to our citizens and minimize the costs of recovery when a severe weather event does occur. Having access to updated information from our Federal partners such as flood hazard maps, wildfire risk and erosion hazards will be essential to our resilience efforts.

Theme 6: Understanding and Acting on the Economics of Resilience

Climate change poses significant economic risk to all sectors and communities. These four measures encourage more prudent investments in long-term resilience to better ensure a vibrant economic future as the climate continues to change:

  • Promote private sector and workforce resilience to reduce economic disruptions associated with the impacts of climate change.
  • Reward resilient investments and consider the benefits of ecosystem services in cost-benefit analysis.
  • Safeguard places of national, economic, and historical significance.
  • Collaborate with the insurance industry.

Salt Lake City: Applying the true economic costs of future climate risks will be essential as we make future decisions. One example of this is our work with the State of Utah and regional energy providers to evaluate appropriate costs and account for benefits of renewable energy. We need to consider long-term economic, environmental and societal benefits of these investments, not simply short-term decisions that often undervalue climate resilient strategies. And as we move forward with our regional climate preparedness efforts, input from business leaders and representatives from professional organizations will be vital.

Theme 7: Building Capacity for Resilience

Communities must have the capacity to recognize, understand, and assess relevant climate-related risks in order to successfully prepare for climate change. These recommendations detail the ways that the Federal Government can provide data resources and create public awareness to support local climate preparedness efforts:

  • Provide data, tools, and guidance at a scale sufficient to guide decision-making and investments.
  • Foster and support cross-jurisdictional and regional cooperation.
  • Create a Climate Resilience Corps to boost community capacity.
  • Increase climate literacy and public awareness.

Salt Lake City: Education is needed to clearly link how the climate is changing and how it will impact the lives of our citizens. Having more centralized data will help both Salt Lake City and our residents identify climate risks and support community resilience planning.

#ActOnClimate in Salt Lake City

Over the last nine months, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and Salt Lake City Green Director Vicki Bennett have participated in the White House’s State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, which was tasked with advising President Obama on how the Federal government can best respond to the needs of communities nationwide already dealing with the impacts of climate change.

The task force, made up of 26 officials from across the country, is holding its fourth and final meeting today in Washington D.C. Formal recommendations will be delivered to the President in the fall.

Today the President is announcing a series of actions to respond to the Task Force’s early feedback to help state, local, and tribal leaders prepare their communities for the impacts of climate change by developing more resilient infrastructure and rebuilding existing infrastructure stronger and smarter. See below for full details.

We’re proud to #ActOnClimate right here in Salt Lake City! Learn more at SLCgreen.com or dashboard.slcgov.com.

And check out this SLCgreen blog story about how the City is leading the way with solar!

 

FACT SHEET: Taking Action to Support State, Local, and Tribal Leaders as They Prepare Communities for the Impacts of Climate Change

Providing Federal resources to support climate preparedness:

  • National Disaster Resilience Competition. The nearly $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition, announced by the President on June 14, will make resources available to communities that have been struck by natural disasters in recent years.  Building on the success of the Rebuild by Design competition after Hurricane Sandy, this competition will create replicable models of modern disaster recovery that apply science-based and forward-looking risk analysis to address recovery and resilience needs.  The competition will also help communities create and implement disaster recovery plans that will make them better prepared for future extreme weather events and other shocks.

    Today, new details for the competition are being announced by the President. The year-long competition will have two phases: (1) risk assessment and planning; and (2) design and implementation.  Many communities will be eligible for funding and technical assistance during Phase 1 to develop innovative, data-driven, and community-led approaches to recovery that increase preparedness for future disasters.  A subset of these communities will be invited to continue in Phase 2 to design solutions for recovery and future resilience. The best proposals will receive funds for implementation to demonstrate how communities across the country can build a more resilient future.  More information is available at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=FactSheet_071514.pdf.

  • Helping tribes prepare for climate impacts. The Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Indian Affairs today launched a new $10 million Federal-Tribal Climate Resilience Partnership and Technical Assistance Program that will help tribes prepare for climate change by developing and delivering adaptation training. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy will establish an interagency group to provide tribes with data and information, improve Federal collaboration, and assist with climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts.
  • Investing in the nation’s rural electric system. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced awards totaling $236.3 million in funding for eight states to support improved rural electric infrastructure. A modern, reliable electric system is critical to attract and retain residents and businesses in rural communities. Supporting rural electric utilities’ deployment of smart grid technologies will increase efficiency and reliability and bring more jobs to rural America.  President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are committed to smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity, support the rural way of life, and ensure the Federal Government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
  • Developing advanced mapping data and tools. The Department of the Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey and other Federal agencies today launched a $13.1 million 3-D Elevation Program partnership designed to bring Federal agencies, academia, corporate entities, states, tribes, and communities together to develop advanced 3-dimensional mapping data of the United States.  These data and related tools will be used in the areas of flood risk management, water resource planning, mitigation of coastal erosion and storm surge impacts, and identification of landslide hazards as an essential component of supporting action on climate resilience. More information is available at http://nationalmap.gov/3DEP/.
  • Safeguarding access to quality drinking water amid drought. USDA continues to work with producers, communities, affected states and other agencies to help address the current West Coast drought. This week, the Department will announce additional funds to help rural communities struggling with drought. These funds will help rural communities that have experienced or are likely to experience a significant decline in the quantity or quality of drinking water due to severe drought and other emergencies.


Rebuilding stronger and safer after natural disasters:

  • Establishing a Mitigation Integration Task Force.  In order to help communities build back stronger and safer in the face of new risks, FEMA has established a Mitigation Integration Task Force to develop and implement a Mitigation Integration Pilot Program by the end of August.  Working with State, tribal, local, and eligible private non-profit partners, FEMA will identify pilot projects in current and emerging disasters where there are specific opportunities to make investments that result in a more resilient outcome than using a single funding source and program.  This pilot program will work to equip communities to meet their recovery objectives and ensure that all resources are brought to bear through FEMA’s Mitigation and Recovery programs to minimize the impact of future disasters. This is part of FEMA’s goal of breaking the cycle of disasters — saving lives, protecting property, reducing losses, and allowing individuals and communities to recover more quickly after a disaster.
  • Accounting for Climate Change in Hazard Mitigation Planning.  To ensure that States are preparing for the impacts of climate change, FEMA will release new guidance for State Hazard Mitigation Plans that calls upon States to consider climate variability as part of their requirement to address the probability of future events in state planning efforts. Last issued in 2008, FEMA’s guidance for these plans helps States prepare in advance of a disaster to identify and drive actions for more resilient and sustainable recovery, such as elevating or relocating homes and businesses to reduce flood risks associated with sea-level rise and more intense storms or rebuilding to higher standards. More information is available at http://www.fema.gov/multi-hazard-mitigation-planning.

Building more resilient communities:

  • Committing to “Preparedness Pilots.”  The Administration today announced the launch of two “Preparedness Pilots” in cooperation with the City of Houston and the State of Colorado, with NASA (Johnson Space Flight Center) and the Energy Department (National Renewable Energy Laboratory).  The pilots will involve key Federal agencies in each community, including NASA, the Energy Department, the Department of Defense, the Department of the Interior, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Department of Agriculture. These pilots will bring together federal agencies and local communities to assess and plan for their region-specific vulnerabilities and interdependencies associated with the impacts of climate change. This effort will advance preparedness planning on the ground and help create models for other communities and agencies to follow.
  • Making our coasts more resilient.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) today announced new program guidance under Section 309 of the Coastal Zone Management Act to ensure greater consideration of how climate change may exacerbate challenges in the management of coastal areas.  Through this effort, $1.5 million of competitive funding will be available to help states and tribes make improvements to their coastal management programs. The guidance will help state and tribal coastal managers better prepare for the impacts of climate change and improve the safety of their communities.  More information is available at http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/.
  • Improving stormwater management. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today launched a Green Infrastructure Collaborative among government agencies, NGOs, and other private sector entities to advance green stormwater infrastructure.  Green infrastructure, such as urban forests and rooftop gardens, can be used as an important tool for building resilience to climate change impacts such as increased precipitation and heat island effects. Federal agencies will provide funding assistance in at least 25 communities across the country for green infrastructure projects, technical assistance to create integrated green stormwater management and hazard mitigation plans, and recognition and awards programs for innovative green infrastructure projects. Agencies will also add guidance on green infrastructure to existing Department of Transportation (DOT) and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) peer-to-peer exchange and training programs. The partnership will also provide a platform for conducting research on increasing affordability and effectiveness, sharing best practices, and developing actionable planning tools that decision-makers have been seeking.
  • Assessing climate-related health hazards. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today released a new guide, “Assessing Health Vulnerability to Climate Change,” to help public health departments assess local vulnerabilities to health hazards associated with climate change. The assessments will help inform targeted public health actions to reduce the health impacts of climate change. More information is available at: http://www.cdc.gov/climateandhealth/pubs/AssessingHealthVulnerabilitytoClimateChange.pdf