Resiliency in cultural resource planning

Posted in: Cultural Resources, Environmental


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2017 U.S. billion-dollar weather and climate disasters: a historic year in context by Adam B. Smith, January 8, 2018.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2017 U.S. billion-dollar weather and climate disasters: a historic year in context by Adam B. Smith, January 8, 2018.

Wildfires in the West. Hurricanes on the coasts and Puerto Rico. Drought in Montana and North Dakota. Hail storms. Tornados. Freezing orchards. These are some of the natural disasters that occurred in 2017 in the United States. Last year the cost of weather and climate disasters in our country topped $300 billion, with 16 individual events each reaching a billion-dollar price tag.

Resiliency is the capacity of individuals, communities, and businesses to survive, adapt and grow in the face of natural disasters. It focuses on improving these systems to address long-term stresses or acute shocks. As a profession that looks to the future, planners are responsible for incorporating resiliency strategies into projects. Resiliency planning comes in many shapes and sizes. It can apply to master plans, infrastructure systems, security, economies, societies or individual resources.

More specifically, resiliency planning applies to cultural resources. According to the National Park Service, approximately $40 billion of cultural resources are located along U.S. coastlines. These resources are at “high risk” due to sea level rise. The good news is that there is a bevvy of resources on the topic. For example:

We’re addressing resiliency at Mead & Hunt. We recently developed a Climate Change Report that discusses how planners, architects and engineers can help clients be resilient. Please contact me (Jen Wolchansky) about how you can integrate resiliency in your line of work.

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Jen Wolchansky

About the Author

Jen Wolchansky, AICP, ENV SP, is a senior environmental planner and project manager focusing on NEPA and sustainability. Jen has planning experience across the board having worked with transportation, urban planning and aviation. When not at work, Jen partakes in environmental appreciation by rock climbing, trail running or simply relaxing outside with a cold brew.

Read more posts by Jen Wolchansky

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