Workshop Materials Now Available from Lessons from the Storm: Building (and Rebuilding) Strong, Sustainable, and Disaster Resilient Communities

Posted on: November 22nd, 2014 by Brett Schwartz

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Across the country, many communities that have been struck by natural disasters in recent years are looking for ways to rebuild that capitalize on their distinctive assets, increase housing and transportation choices, enhance quality of life, and strengthen long-term resilience and economic competitiveness.  Others are working to set the stage for sound recovery decisions when a disaster does occur.

On November 18-19, 2014, the NADO Research Foundation hosted Lessons from the Storm: Building (and Rebuilding) Strong, Sustainable, and Disaster Resilient Communities in Little Rock, AR, a workshop that brought together regional and local leaders from around the U.S. for a conversation about disaster recovery and preparedness strategies that also advance broader environmental, community, and economic development objectives.

The workshop, which focused on the needs of small to mid-sized metro areas and rural communities, included peer exchange and training on best practices for post-disaster recovery, resilient local and regional planning, sustainable development and smart growth, economic resilience, affordable housing recovery, and much more.  Additionally, participants toured Mayflower (http://cityofmayflower NULL.com/) and Vilonia (http://www NULL.rebuildvilonia NULL.org/home NULL.html), two small cities working to build back better after a devastating tornado in April, and downtown Little Rock’s Creative Corridor (http://www NULL.downtownlr NULL.com/files/27/Little_Rock_Creative_Corridor_AIA_Portfolio NULL._1 NULL.pdf) [PDF], which is in the midst of an exciting revitalization.

Workshop participants work in teams to meet a hypothetical community's critical needs in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, part of the Neighborhood Empowerment Network's Resilientville exercise.

Workshop participants work in teams to meet a hypothetical community’s critical needs in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, part of the Neighborhood Empowerment Network’s (http://empowersf NULL.org/) Resilientville exercise.

Materials from the workshop are now available.  Click here for the event packet which includes the agenda, information about the tours, and a contact list for attendees.  Click the links below for PowerPoint presentations (in PDF format).

Morning Plenary: Lessons from the Storm
Allen Dodson, County Judge, Faulkner County, Conway, AR
Carol Pedigo, Executive Director, AIA Middle Tennessee, Nashville, TN
David Perkes, Director, Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, Biloxi, MS
Joshua Schwartz, Executive Director, Mad River Valley Planning District, Waitsfield, VT

Lunchtime Activity: Build Your Resilientville
Daniel Homsey, Director, Neighborhood Empowerment Network, San Francisco, CA

Morning Plenary: Lessons from the Storm Part 2
Brooke Gregory, Community Program Coordinator for Clark County, Southern Bancorp Community Partners, Arkadelphia, AR
Robert Kloberdanz, Chairman, Charles City Park Board, Charles City, IA
EPA National Award for Smart Growth Achievement Video on Charles City Riverfront Park (http://www NULL.epa NULL.gov/smartgrowth/awards/sg_awards_publication_2013 NULL.htm#plazas)

Lunch Presentation: Imagine Central Arkansas
Richard Magee, Deputy Director, Metroplan, Little Rock, AR (http://vimeo NULL.com/109634800) (video)
Brad Lonberger, Principal, Gateway Planning, Dallas, TX

Building Economic Resilience
Josh Human, Director, Center for Hazards Research and Policy Development, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
Melanie Jewett Army, Supervising Planner, Rhode Island Statewide Planning Program, Providence, RI
Robin Keegan, Director of Community Resiliency, GCR Inc., New Orleans, LA

Rebuilding and Preserving Affordable Housing
John O’Brien, Mayor, Town of Lyons, Lyons, CO
Susan Reid, Executive Director, First Tennessee Development District, Johnson City, TN

Participants followed the path of the high-end EF4 tornado that ripped through Mayflower and Vilonia, and learned about the communities' inspiring visions for rebuilding stronger than ever and creating vibrant main streets and downtowns.

Participants followed the path of the high-end EF4 tornado that ripped through Mayflower and Vilonia and learned about the communities’ inspiring visions for rebuilding stronger than ever and creating vibrant main streets and downtowns.

This event was hosted by the NADO Research Foundation as part of our capacity-building programs for HUD Sustainable Communities Initiative (http://portal NULL.hud NULL.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/hudprograms/sci) grantees, EPA technical assistance recipients, and other regions and communities that have been impacted by natural disasters.  It was affiliated with the Sustainable Communities Learning Network (http://sclearningnetwork NULL.org/) and conducted with support from HUD, EPA, and EDA.

With questions, please contact Megan McConville ([email protected]) or Brett Schwartz ([email protected]).

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