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From Alleys to Coastlines: Community-Based Resilience at the Sustainable City Commission

Release Date: 2018-03-29

The Aquarium of the Pacific and The Trust for Public Land joined the March Sustainability City Commission Meeting to present on their recent work towards community resilience.  Presenting for the Aquarium was Science Interpretation Supervisor, Emily Yam, who explained that “a Climate Resilient City is a city able to continue to function in the face of challenging circumstances due to climate change, and to recover quickly from disruptions.”

The Aquarium has several Climate Resilience Programs to do community outreach and connect with community leaders. Through quarterly Climate Resilience Workshops, community leaders are given space to consider the potential impacts of climate change on their own communities. They in turn collaborate to develop adaptation strategies and encourage those in their circle of influence to act. Grant funding from the National Science Foundation also supports the Aquarium in community partnerships to collectively contemplate how Long Beach communities support each other in the shared effort to make Long Beach more resilient.

To further their outreach efforts, the Aquarium tours their #ResilientLB Outreach Booth at a community events throughout Long Beach. This booth allows the Long Beach community to join the resilience conversation. If you are interested in including the booth at your event, email Resilient@lbaop.org. The Aquarium also developed several Climate Resiliency Guides for community education. Read more about these guides in the Sustainability Spotlight article.

The second presentation came from Melissa Guerrero, Project Manager for The Trust for Public Land who presented to the Commission on the Avalon Green Alley Network. The mission of the Trust for Public Land is to “create parks and protect land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come” and green alleys are a part of that initiative.

Green Alleys are alleyways previously used only for vehicles and garbage disposal that were transformed into community assets and resources for environmental, economic, and social benefits. Through low-impact development and community involvement, the alleys encourage social and environmental vibrancy by creating open space and community connections, cleaning water, preventing flooding, and reducing the urban heat island effect. These benefits are important steps to take in build the resilience of a community in the face of climate change.  The green alley project completed in the South Park LA neighborhood aims to provide communities like Long Beach ideas and lessons for green alley design, funding, partnership development, community engagement, and more.

Both presentations are available to watch online. Join us at the next Sustainable City Commission Meeting on May 24th.