Hazards Planning Center

Naturally Resilient Communities

Project Overview

APA is one of six key partners united behind a new effort called the "Naturally Resilient Communities," or NRC, program that promotes the role nature-based solutions can play in helping reduce flood risk for communities while providing other benefits, such as improved water quality and enhanced recreational opportunities and wildlife habitat — all of which positively impacts local economies. Together, we collectively represent county governments, professional engineers, community planners, floodplain managers and conservationists.

Online at NRCSolutions.org, the partners have created a guide of nature-based solutions and related case studies of successful projects to help communities learn more and identify those solutions that might work best for them. This tool:

  • Enables end users to be able to understand and consider the suite of nature-based infrastructure options available at given locations based upon the type of issue to be addressed (e.g. stormwater, flooding, or erosion control/reduction)
  • Describes how projects, such as wetland restoration, oyster reef construction, or beach dune restoration, can be used to address flooding issues facing these communities
  • Provides an understanding of the ability of natural infrastructure to contribute to reducing risks and to provide a suite of other benefits.
  • Provides real world examples of success stories related to the implementation of natural infrastructure projects; and
  • Broadens the understanding of when such projects may be appropriate so they can be considered as part of the many regular and ongoing planning and project development activities undertaken by communities.

The guide also includes a collection of case studies that further articulate key steps in the process of developing natural infrastructure projects, identify specific types of natural infrastructure applications that can be implemented in a diverse set of geographies (e.g., wetland restoration), address a specific set of impacts (e.g., riverine flooding in industrialized waterfronts), or serve as iconic stories that create a compelling and memorable narrative around the use of natural infrastructure.

The Naturally Resilient Communities program is made possible with support from the Kresge Foundation and includes the following partners: The American Planning Association (APA), The American Society of Civil Engineers, The Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM), The National Association of Counties (NACo), The Nature Conservancy, and Sasaki Associates.