The Communities You Want
Over the past three years we have been calling attention to expected climate impacts in our region. Through a panel event in 2012 we kicked the topic into high gear, leading to a conference the following year, Climate Change and the Bottom Line. Last fall, on October 2nd we took the topic to the next level and launched the PNW Resilience Challenge, a 3-year initiative to accelerate our regional planning and preparation in the face of likely increases in both short-term and long-term disruptions.
Across the nation and internationally storms are becoming significantly more frequent and costly. We are not immune to the impacts here in our region. While this year we are enjoying summer weather early, getting the garden in and planning on growing tomatoes, the downside of our warm weather is our snowpack is lower than it’s ever been, putting our water supply at risk. Not only that, we get a large percentage of our food and other goods from regions such as California that are experiencing drastic changes.
As it turns out, even with all of the changes in our weather patterns and the skyrocketing increase in our urban density, we have the opportunity to create huge upsides by taking action right now.
Communities that are the best at coming back even better after disruptions have these qualities:
- Interconnected groups of people that support each other
- Greenspaces that absorb stormwater and bring people together
- Buildings on safe ground, above likely flood zones
- Power supplies from diverse sources that recover quickly
- Backup water supplies
- Diverse local food networks
No surprise, these are the communities most of us want right now!
By participating in the PNW Resilience Challenge you can help us accelerate these positive changes. On the ground we are working at community centers and churches in RainWise zones to put in cisterns and rain gardens that will absorb excess stormwater before it heads to the Sound with roadway pollution. Through Cari Simson’s work at Urban Systems Design, we are also getting a baseline of community thoughts and proposed strategies for tackling the possibility of rising seas and increased heat island effects in the Duwamish Valley.
The PNW Resilience Challenge is pulling in a growing group of citizens and professionals, aiming to bring both public and private dollars to strengthen our infrastructure now. You can help by getting involved.
Join the mailing list for the PNW Resilience Newsletter to get the updates and hear what you can do as we move the effort forward.
Please remember us this Tuesday and donate through GiveBIG. Your donation will be partially matched by Seattle Foundation and will help us increase our effort at this critical juncture in tome here in the Puget Sound Region.
Thank you for being a part of it!