Wired quotes Dr. John Renne

An article that was published on September 14, 2018 in Wired, “WHEN IT’S TIME TO EVACUATE, CITIES STRUGGLE TO HELP THOSE WHO CAN’T DRIVE,” features Dr. John L. Renne’s research on evacuating vulnerable populations and provides a link to a recent paper he published.

This work, which compares evacuation planning for vulnerable populations in the UK and US was made possible through support and affiliation from the Transport Studies Unit (TSU) in the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. Last spring we had TSU Director and Professor Tim Schwanen speak at FAU and I visited Oxford again in May to conduct interviews for a book I’m writing. Tim and I are also working on an MOU between Oxford and FAU to continue our collaborations.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

“When you’re trying to plan for vulnerable populations, it’s really a local sort of activity,” says John Renne, who studies urban planning and disaster management at Florida Atlantic University. “It’s really hard to do that from a federal or state level. It’s not something you can do on a moment’s notice. These sorts of things take time.”

The issue, he says, is that many local governments feel ill-equipped to do that work. In one recent paper, published in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, Renne interviewed emergency managers in the UK and in five major American cities, and found even those in big metros like Miami, New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans were “realistic about the shortcomings of their plans.”

While national agencies like the Federal Emergency Management Agency provide technical assistance and funding, and state governments often invest resources into robust emergency planning, Renne has found that many local governments don’t know to take advantage. Meanwhile, scientists project that storms are only getting worse, with climate change creating slower-moving monstrosities that will dump more rain. And the carless population is only set to grow in the coming years, as more than 70 million baby boomers age out of driving.”

Read the full article

FAU Incubator for Sustainable & Resilient Communities

On April 25-26, the cities of Hollywood and West Palm Beach participated in the inaugural FAU Incubator for Sustainable & Resilient Communities to address concerns about flooding and aging infrastructure, connectivity and economic development. The FAU Incubator offers leadership and expertise based on best practices and provides guidance on developing implementable plans and policies. Watch the 2-minute video above.

2017 FAU Incubator Participants

"The 2017 Florida Atlantic University Incubator for Sustainable and Resilient Communities allowed us to focus in on one neighborhood on the front lines of sea level rise and develop ideas that do so much more than simply solve a problem. The suggestions resulting from the incubator not only will help alleviate the burden of flooding but they do so while at the same time addressing other areas that are important for a sustainable and resilient community. The solutions enhance the natural environment and environmental quality, incorporate mobility, increase economic opportunity, and create value that will benefit the entire City, not just the neighborhood in question." -- Read the full text: Mayor Levy's letter to FAUMayor Josh Levy
"Florida Atlantic University’s 2017 Incubator for Sustainable and Resilient Communities addressed two examples of the new normal facing cities in South Florida. First, a city must grow all segments of its community in new ways that create equitable opportunities for not only existing industries but also residents. An Innovation Hub is one way to address that need. Second is Climate Change...Communities, specifically those on the coast, are considering all strategies for handling sea level rise and other climate related challenges. Cities are leading the way in to a sustainable and resilient future."-- Read the full text: Mayor Muoio's letter to FAUMayor Jeri Muoio

The FAU Incubator for Sustainable & Resilient Communities is a program that provides mayors and municipal leaders in South Florida the opportunity to draw upon experts for creative and attainable solutions to local problems. The process allows community leaders a safe space to hash out ideas with input from our team of experts, who assist with visioning creative solutions and identifying next steps in resolving issues.

At the end of the process, the mayor and key leaders depart with the group’s short and long-term recommended actions, strategies for accomplishing those actions, and a renewed sense of optimism for implementation in their community. FAU delivers a final report and can meet with the mayor and city leaders to discuss next steps towards implementation.

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