Loomio
Wed 14 Oct 2015

Submission 6: Urban-Climate Adaptation Tool

SR
Shadrock Roberts Public Seen by 261

An estimated 19,200 weather-related disasters worldwide from 1980–2014 caused 850,000 fatalities and $3.3 trillion in damage – amongst these, Boulder’s 2013 flood. The Engineering for Climate Extremes Partnership (ECEP) aims to address a growing need by cities and policy makers by developing tools that provide insights on anticipating and preparing for extreme weather impacts in current and future climates. The ECEP executive is based at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and has an ongoing relationship with the City of Boulder.

An ECEP partner, Oak Ridge National Lab, has been developing the Urban-Climate Adaptation Tool (Urban-CAT) in collaboration with the City of Knoxville, Tennessee. Urban-CAT collates and manages publicly accessible data to support storm-water management decisions. This web-based tool allows urban planners to evaluate how different deployments of green infrastructure (e.g., retention basins, porous pavements, etc.) can improve the city’s resilience to costly urban flooding and storm water management for a range of future climate, urban growth, and infrastructure scenarios. Urban-CAT will help communicate how climate change will impact urban infrastructure vulnerability, and allow decision makers to explore the priority and benefits of different adaptation options.

Urban-CAT has the potential to support hazard planning and climate adaptation around the world, but is currently only available to the City of Knoxville. This tool is particularly important for mid-sized cities, which typically have fewer resources or expertise to incorporate climate change into their planning. UR Boulder funding would help evolve the Urban-CAT prototype for application by the City of Boulder, prior to a wider global application. The tool will provide a platform that facilitates communication among Boulder’s policy decision makers and the public, promote science-driven policies and regulations for updating urban infrastructure, help assess and respond to emerging environmental problems, and provide guidance for planning judicious urban development.

SR

Shadrock Roberts started a proposal Wed 14 Oct 2015

Will this idea improve resilience in Boulder or strengthen citizen engagement? Closed Sat 17 Oct 2015

Results
Agree - 11
Abstain - 11
Disagree - 11
Block - 11
15 people have voted (33%)
PW

Page Weil
Disagree
Wed 14 Oct 2015

While this tool is good in concept, the design and selection process for green infrastructure has too many factors to be built into such a small web application

VA

Violet Alexandre
Abstain
Wed 14 Oct 2015

GH

Greg Holland Wed 14 Oct 2015

In response to Wiel, the system is already in operation at Knoxville, and is quite comprehensive in what it can provide. What is proposed here is to adapt it to Boulder and ultimately other medium-sized cities.

GH

Greg Holland
Agree
Wed 14 Oct 2015

An opportunity to apply a proven system to Boulder planning needs.

AT

Aaron Titus
Abstain
Wed 14 Oct 2015

MT

Mari Tye
Agree
Wed 14 Oct 2015

This is a critical tool that will help Boulder make decisions that keep it resilient in the face of extreme rain and heat e.g. September 2013.

MT

Mari Tye Wed 14 Oct 2015

Responding to Page Weil: a lot of the heavy costs for design and computation have already taken place in developing the prototype tool for Knoxville making it a viable project to adapt the tool for Boulder.

DP

Debasish PaiMazumder
Agree
Wed 14 Oct 2015

Urban-CAT is critical tool that will make Boulder’s communities more resilient to climate change.

RH

Rachel Hauser
Agree
Wed 14 Oct 2015

JF

Jack Fellows
Agree
Thu 15 Oct 2015

Interesting for someone to take such a strong negative position based on a short description. The city of Knoxville has been an enthusiastic partner in the development of this tool.

JZ

Jennifer Zawacki Thu 15 Oct 2015

This sounds worth exploring, and it would be interesting to see some data/results from Knoxville in the final presentation.

JZ

Jennifer Zawacki
Agree
Thu 15 Oct 2015

MB

Melissa Bica
Agree
Thu 15 Oct 2015

JD

James Done
Agree
Thu 15 Oct 2015

It would be great for Boulder and Knoxville to be role models of adaptation for the rest of the nation.

SR

Shadrock Roberts Thu 15 Oct 2015

This sounds like a solid idea, but it would be good to know how this differs from a traditional GIS database. It's also not clear to me that a) it's open-source and b) that it requires funding if it's already fully operational in another city. A little more detail about results from Knoxville and how it would be adapted to Boulder would be helpful. Because the tool seems aimed more at government than citizens, having a dedicated office in the City of Boulder with which to partner would greatly strengthen this idea.

SR

Shadrock Roberts
Abstain
Thu 15 Oct 2015

JF

Jack Fellows Thu 15 Oct 2015

Shadrock, could you tell me what your role is in this process so I can understand how best to respond to your two questions. Jack

Dr. Jack D. Fellows, Director
Climate Change Science Institute
Oak Ridge National Lab

fellowsjd@ornl.gov 865-574-5767

http://climatechangescience.ornl.gov

SR

Shadrock Roberts Thu 15 Oct 2015

@jackfellows I'm the one who initiated the challenge and am funding it through my work with the Rockefeller Foundation: you can see my bio on the UR Boulder web site. I am not one of the final judges, but I will act as emcee for the pitch sessions.

My role right now is to provide critical feedback to all applicants: I'm suggesting things that I think would make for a stronger pitch, but that's it. You shouldn't feel obligated to respond to me personally. If the commentary in the public feedback section is helpful in refining your pitch, great. If you don't think it's valuable or applicable, don't worry about it.

CB

Cindy Bruyere
Agree
Thu 15 Oct 2015

The proof of concept was well demonstrated for Knoxville, making it an ideal tool to adopt in other cities.

BK

Brett KenCairn Fri 16 Oct 2015

The city is very excited about this approach. The creation of a platform that enables the different city departments to use a common set of criteria and tools to evaluate impacts would be immensely useful, particularly at a time in which the recognition of climate change impacts is growing but there isn't a clear sense of how to integrate this into planning within departments.

BK

Brett KenCairn
Agree
Fri 16 Oct 2015

RH

Rachel Hauser Fri 16 Oct 2015

Hi Shadrock, thank you for your comments on the Urban-CAT proposal. We have discussed this idea with the City of Boulder's Water Resources and Climate and Sustainability Teams. Both groups are interested in working with us to determine how this app might be developed to address Boulder-specific resilience needs related to extreme local weather and climate events.

SR

Shadrock Roberts Fri 16 Oct 2015

@rachelhauser Great to hear! But, once again, I'm not on the jury. However, I would recommend that if you have a confirmed local partner, that you include that in your pitch.

GM

Geri Mitchell-Brown
Agree
Sun 18 Oct 2015