Last week marked the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Leaving behind nearly 2,000 casualties, leveling homes, and blazing a trail of destruction throughout the Gulf—the Hurricane exposed how vulnerable cities are to natural disasters. While it is impossible to claim climate change was the sole cause of Hurricane Katrina, scientists warn that climate change will increase the intensity and incidence of extreme weather events.
In response, city and municipal leaders are springing into action—refusing to allow a repeat of that horrific event. In New Orleans, city leaders have developed a climate resilience plan, which will highlight many of the lessons learned from the disaster. The plan will implement 41 climate solutions across three broadly defined sectors: environment, city services, and social and economic equity. The actions are wide ranging, and include measures from storm water drainage, to an overhaul of the cities regional transit system.
The bold actions that are being put into place by community and city leaders should be a template for mayors and municipal officials across the country. Action on climate is gaining momentum—to join with other leaders to help improve your community, come sign up with Path to Positive Communities!
In a city vulnerable not only to the environmental threats of hurricanes and disappearing wetlands, but also to the slow-burning disasters of poverty, crime and failing infrastructure, building resiliency in New Orleans will require a many-pronged approach.
Resilient New Orleans, a policy agenda released yesterday, calls for 41 actions in three broad areas: environment, city services, and social and economic equity. Policy proposals include improving stormwater drainage, redesigning a regional transit system, and establishing a savings-matching program to help low- and moderate-income residents set aside emergency funds.
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