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The Resilient Community

Advanced Disaster Mitigation Strategies and Sustainable Design Solutions

Overview

Generally, discussions of resiliency and sustainability are done in isolation of each other or focus only on individual buildings or systems. This paper focuses on the inter-connective tissue between the buildings, the social and physical infrastructure of resilient neighborhoods and communities in six sections:

  • Community Governance
  • Energy
  • Heating & Cooling Systems
  • Streets
  • Landscaping
  • Water

Each section will provides an overview of the overlapping goals between resiliency and sustainability, identify the specific threats from hurricanes, flooding, high winds, extreme heat, and earthquakes and the direct impacts these threats have on the specific topics. The long, immediate and short term solutions which address a neighborhood’s ability to be resilient against these threats will be identified as well as the overlapping goals with sustainability for the solutions. In some cases, the specific natural disaster has no impact on the topic and will be noted accordingly. Additionally, the solutions presented in each section identify strategies to be resilient against all the impacts, and does not necessary identify different strategies for each natural disaster. The solutions presented also look to go beyond just the specific impacts of each disaster to address broader issues of long term sustainability and resiliency.


Acknowledgements

Components of this paper were written as part of the work performed under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Technical Assistance and Research Contract (TARC), managed by URS Corporation, to advance disaster mitigation strategies and sustainable solutions for resilient communities. Terrapin’s role as a subject matter expert was to provide focused technical guidance on building science best practices that support two aspects of resilient communities: disaster resistance (wind, flood, and seismic hazards) and sustainability. This paper is the result of that effort, completed in August 2013.

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The Resilient Community

Advanced Disaster Mitigation Strategies and Sustainable Design Solutions

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