resilience reporter

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More than 12 years after Hurricane Katrina, scientists are learning what makes some survivors more resilient than others

Smart surface solutions can improve disaster resilience, health and comfort in cities

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Smart surfaces include green roofs, solar panels, permeable pavement, and reflective pavement. The report, “Delivering Urban Resilience,” focused on three cities: El Paso, Texas, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC.

A cost/benefit analysis by clean energy advisory and venture capital firm Capital E suggests that implementing smart surface solutions in major cities would have multiple resilience and health benefits as well as save money.

Smart surfaces include green roofs, solar panels, permeable pavement, and reflective pavement. The report, “Delivering Urban Resilience,” focused on three cities: El Paso, Texas, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC.

Over 40 years, the three cities would reap savings of $3.6 billion in Philadelphia; $1.8 billion in Washington, D.C.; and $538 million in El Paso. These figures would be realized after factoring in smart surface installation and operational costs.

Smart surfaces would reduce the urban heat island effect, making cities cooler and reducing health threats such as heat stroke and smog during heat waves…

 

More than 12 years after Hurricane Katrina, scientists are learning what makes some survivors more resilient than others

A muggy quiet has settled over New Orleans, Louisiana’s Gentilly neighborhood as it soaks up a late-September rainstorm. Deep puddles hide dips in the street. And in a soggy patch of grass, a wooden kiosk tells a story of catastrophe.

“This place is a memorial to the trauma of the Flood,” reads the text, written by a local nonprofit, Levees.org. Near here, a section of concrete levee gave way one August morning in 2005, sending the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina crashing into the neighborhood. Yet the monument is not only a reminder of suffering, but also, the text insists, “a symbol of the residents’ resilience and determination to return home.”

Resilience and rebuilding—those two appealing themes bring hope after a natural disaster. The reality is more complicated. Many who fled Katrina’s destruction never did return home. More than 12 years later, tidy brick houses in Gentilly are interspersed with empty lots while post-Katrina lives play out elsewhere…

 

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