Poster: Cities in Hot Water: Inclusive Hazard Planning
As climate changes, cities are increasingly called on to use their limited resources to adapt to intensified and varied hazards. Different social groups’ diverse needs are not always accounted for in standard hazard mitigation planning processes. Learn how students at Yale University worked and the City of New Haven, CT developed an inclusive hazard mitigation planning approach.
As the climate changes, cities are increasingly called upon to use their limited resources to adapt to intensified and varied hazards. However, existing standard methodologies for hazard mitigation planning rely heavily on historic data on storm events and spatial projections and do not account for unique neighborhood-scale vulnerabilities. In a year-long project, students at Yale University worked with the City of New Haven, CT to pilot an inclusive hazard mitigation planning approach to account not only for the city’s physical risks, but also for neighborhood-scale social vulnerabilities related to inland flooding, sea-level rise, heat incidents and worsening air quality.
In late 2015 the City of New Haven entered into a collaboration with the school of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University to help update their existing Hazard Mitigation Plan. Through spatial analysis, field research, in-person interviews and multi-disciplinary collaborations, graduate student teams built on existing risk assessments and were able to uncover vulnerability hotspots previously not addressed by the city. By layering in-depth social vulnerability index analysis over areas of physical risk, their work revealed climate justice issues related specifically to urban heat risk, air-quality-induced asthma, and flooding.
The results of their study are being utilized by the City to update the Hazard Mitigation Plan, identify and prioritize use of funding resources, and forge valuable community partnerships. The resulting plan is an example for how other mid-size coastal cities with industrial heritage and socio-economic stratification can approach climate risk mitigation and leave no one behind.
Confirmed SpeakerLaura Hammett, AICP, is an urban planner and current Masters of Environmental Management candidate at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She is focusing her studies on methods of urban climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction. Prior to returning to graduate school she served as a community development volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps in Lezhe, Albania and consulted to the U.S. Air Force to help them solve complex environmental and land use planning challenges at their installations in the Pacific. She studied Urban and Environmental Planning at the University of Virginia.