Resilience at the Institute

Dec 19, 2018

Communities around the country and world face environmental challenges from flooding to drought and from sea level rise and sinking land.

Helping communities find the right tools to become more resilient and able to weather these storms is increasingly becoming a priority for coastal and deltaic communities. Earlier this year, and adding to the long-term existing support from the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, the Greater New Orleans Foundation awarded a grant to the Institute to establish a Resilience Lab. Additional funding from the Foundation for Louisiana and the Walton Family Foundation has spurred the Resilience Lab to some exciting milestones this year.

As part of the Resilience Lab’s work, the Institute joined forces with Tulane University’s ByWater Institute, to form a new speaker series “Future Cities/Future Coasts,” in order to explore coastal cities’ challenges and solutions. The first speaker, author Elizabeth Rush, discussed her new book Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore at the Tulane River and Coastal Center in New Orleans on Nov. 7. Additional events will be announced in 2019.

In Texas, the Institute supported the City of Houston and 100 Resilient Cities as the city pursues their “Resilient Houston” effort with two days of workshops in November attended by more than 200 local stakeholders representing a wide range of sectors and expertise.

Led by the Institute’s Vice President for Adaptation and Resilience, Jeff Hebert, the Institute is overseeing a multidisciplinary team of experts to support the City of Houston in the development of a comprehensive resilience strategy. Houston joined the 100 Resilient Cities network in August and will work with the Institute and other partners to enhance the city’s long-term vision to build resilience to the shocks – such as hurricanes and rainfall flooding – and stresses that can weaken the fabric of a city.

The Institute’s Resilience Lab has also announced a partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation’s newly announced Resilience Accelerator initiative with Columbia University’s Center of Resilient Cities and Landscapes and recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ecole des Ingénieurs de la Ville de Paris, an engineering university based in Paris, to share knowledge and expertise on adapting the urban environment to the challenges of the future.

This collaborative approach is the cornerstone of the Institute's Resilience Lab by providing a way to connect experts across disciplines, inform science through community involvement, and provide real solutions to communities facing environmental challenges

Read the entire Resilience at the Institute newsletter here.