Author Archive | Wesley Shaw

Incorporating Sea Level Rise into Post-Disaster Planning

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has just released “Post-Disaster Redevelopment Planning: Addressing Sea Level Rise During Long-Term Recovery.” This is the fifth and final piece of the Post-Disaster Redevelopment Planning Guidebook (PDF). The first four parts provided a planning process to guide post-disaster redevelopment activities that enhance community sustainability and ensure resilient redevelopment after […]

US Infrastructure Not Ready for Future (or Current) Weather

States and cities are trying to come to terms with what the change means to them and how they can prepare for it. Transportation engineers build highways and bridges to last 50 or even 100 years. Now they are reconsidering how to do that, or even whether they can, with so much uncertainty. I wish […]

Big Bill For Levee Upkeep Comes To New Orleans

the US Army Corps of Engineers will hand over control of much of the city’s ~$13B levee system next summer. But with ownership/control comes responsibility, at the tune of an estimated $38M a year. Few are arguing that the city’s protective system is bad, but it’s unclear if or how the city will be able […]

CRS Coastal Webinar Video Available

Berry Williams gave a great webinar today called “FEMA’s Community Rating System: Save Money and Prepare Your Community for Flooding”. Anybody curious about the CRS (including those who want information on pending changes to the program) should have a look. You can watch it below:

Are Federal Programs Making Our Coastal Communities Less Resilient?

The New York Times takes a serious look at the impact of the National Flood Insurance Program and the Stafford Act on coastal building and planning practices and finds the results troubling (to say the least). While the article discusses the inequity of a system where the federal government spends so much on such a […]

Rebuilding after Sandy (or Another Storm)? Don’t Forget about Historic Property Requirements

The National Historic Preservation Act focuses on preserving our Nation’s heritage. It also caries some pretty substantial requirements for all federal agencies working on projects that could impact historic properties. In particular, see Section 106, whose requirements are NOT waived during a disaster. See the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s page on natural disaster for […]

How Would the Dutch Fix Our Flood Problems?

. . . not surprisingly, with less focus on recovery and more on preparation. The Dutch “way of thinking is completely different from the U.S.,” where disaster relief generally takes precedence over disaster avoidance, said Wim Kuijken, the Dutch government’s senior official for overall water control policy. “The U.S. is excellent at disaster management,” but […]

Send the Planners to Jail for Allowing Sandy

Ed Blakely says planers should be sent to jail for allowing development in areas we all know are at great risk: I advance this argument to get the attention of our planning profession, which has been complacent and diffident when we know better. We blame our political masters. But an engineer who knowingly gives bad […]

Will 2012 be the Second Worst Disaster Year since 1980?

Climate Central breaks it down: With about six weeks remaining in the year, there have already been 11 natural disasters that have cost $1 billion or more in damage, bringing 2012 to second place on the list of top billion-dollar disaster years. The current record-holder is 2011, when there were 14 billion-dollar disasters. The widespread […]

Would You Buy on the Waterfront?

The New York Times takes a look. Their conclusion? “Although real estate experts say property values are unlikely to suffer in the long term, it is possible that new zoning and planning regulations — and buyers’ expectations — could reshape how residential housing along the water is built, marketed and sold.” If by “property values” […]