In 2012, the Coastal Sustainability Studio developed the Louisiana Resiliency Assistance Program to disseminate best practices in community planning and create networks around resiliency planning. The case studies presented here examine resiliency planning in Louisiana, the United States, and around the world. They are divided into four categories: Conservation, Flood Mitigation, Louisiana, and Planning.
The town of Morpeth in the North East region of England has suffered from severe flooding in the last decade. In September 2008, the town experienced the heaviest rainfall ever recorded in the area – approximately 6 inches in 48 hours – resulting in the overtopping of the River Wansbeck flood defenses and damage to approximately 1,000 properties.
A collection of “amphibious” floating houses, with floating foundations to protect them against flooding, were built in the village of Maasbommel in the Netherlands, in areas that lie outside of flood protection infrastructure. This project shows how people in floodplains can better live with the water through housing that adapts to changing water levels.
After numerous floods and repetitive losses of property, the City of Charlotte, NC and Mecklenburg County decided to adjust their approach to floodplain management. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Storm Water Services Division (SWS) took the initiative to research and update maps used to identify flood hazards.
Through the combination of outreach, regulations and incentives, South Holland, IL has created a community engaged in their own resiliency. The residents are aware of their exposure to floods and take the necessary steps to reduce that vulnerability.
In an English town threatened by coastal and river flooding, cooperation between local government, the national Environment Agency, utility providers, and housing developers has allowed for the planning and funding of a flood defense strategy.
Stormwater runoff from the city is a major contributor of pollutants to the San Lorenzo River and Monterrey Bay. In partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and State of California, the San Lorenzo River Flood Control Project was created to control stormwater and reduce flooding.
After a reassessment of flooding risks in 2008, FEMA included 8,000 new San Mateo properties in the Special Flood Hazard Area of the Flood Insurance Rate Map. The residents of the area reacted by voting to build a levee themselves with fees of $76 annually to fund levee construction and floodwall improvements.
In April of 1997 the City of Grand Forks was flooded by the Red River to the north. Grand Forks received help from all over the country during the clean-up and since that time Grand Forks has not only recovered, it has flourished.
The City of Boulder has actively protected Boulder Creek within its city limits since the mid 1980’s. More recently, the City has implemented the Greenways Master Plan to protect the riparian habitat of the outer reaches of the river – outside of the city.
In the early 2000s, the City of Rahway, New Jersey, created a small park for floodplain restoration which proved effective in reducing property loss and restoring ecosystem functions. The success of this project prompted the creation of a greenway master plan and built public support for a broad range of sustainability-minded initiatives in the city.