Imagine a space in which the decision makers from city government, a city’s largest economic asset and a key federal agency all come together to discuss resilience.
That’s what happened in Norfolk, Virginia last week. Norfolk’s City Manager, the Commander of Naval Mid-Atlantic Facilities Engineering Command and the Norfolk District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Commander (USACE) and their senior staffs participated in a two-day workshop on resilience value realization.
This novel workshop was designed to identify the resilience values that can be realized as the three organization refine plans to address flooding in Norfolk. The Resilience Opportunity Framing Workshop, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and facilitated by a team from BusinessMinds BV, used a model that maps objectives and processes from the City’s Resilience Strategy (RS), a Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) on the impact of flooding on naval operations, and a citywide Flood Risk Management Study (FRM) by the USACE to a
framework to align goals and identify decision points where resilience values can be captured.
The mapping model uses common project management milestones as the foundation:
- Identify and Assess Alternatives
- Select Measures
- Execute the project
- Operate and Maintain
Mapped against these project milestones are milestones and objectives from the RS, JLUS and FRMS. The result is a visual representation and timeline showing where resilience value can be gained or lost and strategies to capture the desired values.
The first step is to identify the WHY
we are undertaking these projects. In short, what is the resilience values or aspirations for increased or enhanced resilience in the system we hope to capture as a result of our work? For Norfolk those values included reduced flood damage, cooperative action, improved perception about Norfolk’s future, increased economic activity, and improved community amenities.
The next step was to understand HOW
—the resilience value drivers or changes to the system that will produce those values. For each value we identified changes to existing systems or processes that could result in increasing the desired values. For example, what role can alternative transportation network play in ensuring economic resilience in the face of increased flooding?
Participants collectively constructed a Resilience Opportunity Statement that included a desire to work collaboratively to develop an adaptive systems for reducing flood damage that increased Norfolk’s social, economic and environmental resilience in the short, medium and long-term. We committed to a strategy that includes non-structural investments in education, communication, planning and zoning as well as structural investments in natural, nature-based and hard infrastructure that lower the risk of flooding.
Finally we identified the stakeholders that we need to engage as we move forward together. In the end we committed to continuing our collective action to solve problems and seize opportunities that make Norfolk a coastal community that can continue to serve as host to the city’s and region’s key economic drivers, Naval Station Norfolk and the Port of Virginia, and provide a high quality of life for all of our residents well into the future.