Preparing for environmental threats

Preparing for a hurricane is more than just last-minute modifications and taking temporary measures to protect lives and property. It requires complex long-term planning that examines nearly every aspect of a community, from establishing proper building codes to determining where developers can build homes and businesses.

A new center at Carolina’s Institute for the Environment is helping communities better prepare and plan for hurricanes and future risks posed by climate change. It will be led by Phillip Berke, a research professor in Carolina’s Department of City and Regional Planning. The Center for Resilient Communities and Environment will work with North Carolina communities to understand their vulnerability to natural stressors and help them develop strategies to strengthen their resilience.

To lead the center in these efforts, Berke will draw on his Plan Integration for Resilience Scorecard project.

Berke and his students have worked with 14 cities around the world to break down the siloed plans from various community stakeholders and officials and work toward the singular goal of community resiliency. The project was developed with financial support from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Homeland Security’s Coastal Resilience Center, which is based at UNC-Chapel Hill.


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