CHICAGO — The American Planning Association (APA) and its APA Foundation have awarded $78,000 to seven communities in the form of disaster recovery grants. The grants were funded through the APA Foundation's community assistance initiative. The grants will aid communities that were impacted by natural disasters including hurricanes, floods, and wildfires during 2017.
The APA Foundation's mission is to advance the art and science of planning through philanthropic activities that provide access to educational opportunities, enrich the public dialogue about planning, and advance social equity in the profession and in our communities. Its three priority initiatives are research, scholarships and community assistance.
The seven disaster grant recipients — located in California, Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico — will use these grant funds to support post-disaster resiliency and infrastructure projects, as described as follows:
Santa Rosa, California
Recipient: Burbank Housing Development Corporation for a California APA Chapter wildfire recovery Community Planning Assistance Team. Funding will be applied to rebuilding the Journey's End, a multifamily housing site for low-income senior households after wildfires destroyed 116 of the 160 homes in October 2017.
Deerfield Beach, Florida
Recipient: City of Deerfield Beach for the creation of a post-disaster redevelopment plan that will be part of a larger emergency management program. The plan is expected to meet county, state and federal requirements.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Recipient: University of Puerto Rico and the Georgia Institute of Technology for creating a collaborative approach to engage students and universities in disaster recovery efforts. Students will examine macro issues, such as transportation, housing, and public health, to better understand the general environment in Puerto Rico before and after Hurricane Maria.
San Isidro, Canóvanas, and Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico
Recipient: University of Puerto Rico to help build capacity, formalize partnerships and organize disaster recovery resources and requests by mapping a network of local planners and community organizations throughout the area. The network will include students, professional planners, key community organizations and universities part of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning to promote disaster recovery in the Island.
The Coastal Bend, Texas
Recipient: APA's Texas Chapter to create the Harvey/Sandy Dialogues, a series of three programs on selected themes by members of the Texas APA Harvey Recovery Team. The information and training provided in these programs for recovery planning will help planners and planning officials in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
Recipient: City of Rockport, Texas, for a Recovery Planning Assistance Team (RPAT), modeled after APA's Community Planning Assistance Teams, to rebuild a more environmentally and economically resilient downtown Rockport. Planners will leverage partnerships with Texas A&M University and the Texas APA Chapter to create a plan to support post-Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts and prepare for future weather events.
Recipient: City of Wharton, Texas, for a Recovery Planning Assistance Team, modeled after APA’s Community Planning Assistance Teams, to integrate and connect hazard mitigation infrastructure projects to existing and future public spaces across the city. Wharton has experienced three major flood events within 16 months.
Funding for the disaster recovery grants came through a matching fundraising campaign and in part by a grant from the Pisces Foundation, which seeks ways to accelerate to a world where people and nature thrive together.
To learn more about the APA Foundation and its initiatives, visit www.planning.org/foundation/.
The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides vital leadership in creating great communities for all. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the profession of planning — physical, economic and social — to foster quality of life for all residents. The 40,000 members work in concert with community members, civic leaders, and business interests to create communities that enrich people's lives. Through its philanthropic work, the APA Foundation helps to reduce economic and social barriers to planning. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Learn more at www.planning.org.
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Roberta Rewers, APA, 312-786-6395; email@example.com