- The National League of Cities (NLC) has announced eight new cities for its Leadership in Community Resilience program.
- The chosen cities are Anchorage, AK; Ann Arbor, MI; Denton, TX; Durham, NC; Evanston, IL; Jersey City, NJ; Park City, UT; and Roeland Park, KS. This is the third cohort to go through the program.
- Each city submitted a proposal with a challenge to its specific community's resilience and proposed ways to address it. The winners will receive $10,000 in direct financial support, technical assistance and professional development opportunities to meet their resiliency goals.
The cities in the new cohort have a variety of resiliency goals, such as Durham's desire to investigate solar power and energy storage at city facilities, and Roeland Park's hope to launch a summit where regional leaders would gather to engage on climate action topics. All eight cities' resiliency goals deal in some way with environmental sustainability or climate change.
More cities are making efforts to boost their environmental and climate resilience. This can come in the form of targeted programs, such as Honolulu's efforts to prevent sea level rise, or overarching climate action plans, such as what Seattle released last year. A recent survey by the U.S. Conference for Mayors showed that 57% of participating cities plan to undertake some sort of climate action in the next year.
A recent report shows that 73% of Americans believe that global warming is happening. But a Gallup poll showed that partisan gaps on the issue are widening. The number of respondents to that survey who believe climate change is caused by human activities decreased, as did the number of those who believe climate change already has begun. In addition, President Trump expressed his disagreement with last year's federal report on climate change that warned "all regions will be affected by climate change." Previously he has made similar comments and had pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement.
Such differing opinions on climate change and environmental issues can make it difficult for local leaders to drum up support — especially financially. That trickles over to challenges with boosting a city's resilience. But NLC's Leadership in Community Resilience program provides the public sector with support it might otherwise lack to launch resiliency initiatives.