climate adaptation planning

We believe that resilience and adaptation work require the ability to lead when called, to follow when necessary, and to be radically open to new ideas, perspectives, and possible outcomes.

CAP’s service in climate adaptation planning includes Capacity Building for Teams, Climate Adaptation Roadmaps, Change Management for Climate Integration, Design Firm Liaison, Financing/Funding Mapping, Mitigation and Adaptation Alignment, Peer Review, Resilience Strategy Development, Stakeholder Mapping, Strategic Guidance on Investment Prioritization, Vulnerability Analyses, and Workshop Facilitation.

After a relatively quiet period of weather-related events in the 1990’s and 2000’s, the state of South Carolina was hit with a series of damaging storm-related natural disasters in 2015 (historic rainfall event), 2016 (Hurricane Matthew), 2017 (Hurricane Irma), 2018 (Hurricane Florence), 2019 (Hurricane Dorian), and 2020 (storm and tornado events). The federally-declared disaster declarations resulting from these events brought over $1 billion in federal disaster assistance to South Carolina, through flood insurance claims, public assistance grants, hazard mitigation assistance, and infrastructure funding. With the influx of federal disaster funding coming to South Carolina and increased interest in Nature-Based Solutions (NBS), the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) collaborated with Climate Adaptation Partners (CAP) to conduct a research project to understand the distribution of federal disaster funding in South Carolina from 2015 to 2021, the barriers that exist for state agencies to allocate the funding and/or local jurisdictions to utilize the funding, and what, if any, funds have been spent on nature-based projects?
Greens Bayou Park reimagines Greenspoint as a nexus of commerce, recreation, and residential life: a gateway to the Greater Houston Metropolitan Region. The park represents a rare opportunity to link the area’s myriad ongoing investments, including stormwater detention projects at Kuykendahl Road, Glen Forest, Aldine Westfield Road, and Lauder Road. These stormwater investments anchor the district and point to their potential to become true community resources. They link abutting neighborhoods to the bayou as it weaves past the new skate park, BMX park, Greenspoint Mall, the Exxon Campus Redevelopment, the I-46 exchange expansion and nearby Pinto Park logistics warehousing with adjoining fiber optic investment, proposed Light Rail and Bus Rapid Transit expansion, Beltway 8 commercial development, and the multi-billion dollar refurbishment and expansion at George Bush International Airport. Conceived as an opportunity to capture greater economic value in a larger systems-based approach that is mutually beneficial and monumentally different from the trajectory of any one project alone, this proposal catalyzed the development of a funded project for Greenspoint with City of Houston procurement.

w/ ONE Architecture & Urbanism and DEFACTO Architecture & Urbanism
The Charleston Medical District, which includes the Medical University of South Carolina, the Veteran’s Administration Hospital and Roper Children’s’ Hospital, retained Climate Adaptation Partners to develop and facilitate a series of technical charrettes on water, transportation, and heat geared toward raising mutual awareness of efforts, identifying opportunities for improved coordination and risk reduction, and connecting the various organizations working in parallel on common range of vulnerabilities in the Lockwood Corridor area of the Medical District.
The recently completed Charleston Vulnerability Assessment suggests a tripling of the number of extreme heat days within the century and identifies Extreme Heat as a significant risk to Charlestonians. NOAA and other organizations continue to escalate the alarm on the health risks associated with extreme heat as heat-related illness and fatalities far outpace fatalities from hurricanes or pluvial flooding per the CDC. Unfortunately, heat risk is not well understood or well-integrated into planned investments in Charleston. Based on a pilot project to analyze surface temperatures in the CMD, CAP is coordinating two efforts with NOAA / CAPA Strategies and the Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments (CISA) to more fully understand Charleston’s vulnerability to urban heat.
In 2019, the New York City Mayor’s Office of Resiliency and HR&A retained CAP as expert reviewer, working closely with the overall team, to refine and extend the analyses and provide formal peer review to improve the overall process of the development of the City’s Climate Adaptation Roadmap. Drawing from the New York City Panel on Climate Change, updated vulnerability analyses and significant stakeholder advisory group engagement, the Roadmap will cover all five boroughs of the city. With its +520 miles of coastline and wide ranges of exposures, the relationship between the NPCC climate projections, the vulnerabilities stemming from those projections, and the possible situational typologies across the boroughs is a central aspect to the work. CAP is conducting this work in concert with One Architecture and Urbanism.
CAP was retained by ONE Architecture and Urbanism to join a multidisciplinary team as part of Resilience by Design Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. The project, spearheaded by MRA Climate-Proof, focuses on how investment decisions in MRA developments can be climate-adaptive. The team’s approach looks beyond traditional water management approaches to escape established silos to better address societal issues. While extreme heat has historically been underestimated in regions with perceived temperate climates, CAP helped provide a more nuanced and robust understanding of extreme heat and its cascading impacts as a necessary component, along with other vulnerabilities, in a “waterAND” approach to adaptation planning. [image by ONE]
In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Enterprise Community Partners (ECP) asked Janice to serve as a Senior Advisor to ECP, the University of Puerto Rico Architecture and Planning School, and the Builders Association of Puerto Rico on the development of a guide, Keep Safe: A guide for resilient housing design in island communities, to assist homeowners who had been recently devastated by the storm to rebuild with affordable, safe, resilient, and equitable strategies. This team of 50+ experts from Puerto Rico and the mainland provided critical input to the development of the guide. Central to this effort was understanding the projected climate scenarios for Puerto Rico and how hazards, risks and associated vulnerabilities impact rebuilding efforts. Janice was also Senior Advisor to ResilientSEE™ on the development Communities Together, a complementary guide to Keep Safe, focusing on the development of Resilient Community Centers, a foundational need in an area that will be long-term recovering.
The Tel Aviv-Yafo Accelerator, a partnership between the Columbia University Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes, 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) and The Porter School of Environmental Studies at Tel Aviv University leveraged the expertise of investors, researchers, designers, and others to address extreme heat in Tel Aviv’s Shapira community. While the region’s environment is becoming hotter and dryer due to climate change, the community is also experiencing rapid population grown and demographic shifts all within a dense urban context. CAP was invited to participate as an Expert Facilitator and external reviewer with a focus on urban heat and health. Activities included workshop facilitation and site-based activities to assist community members, municipal leads and other partners in developing understanding and consensus.
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