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Calling all planners! March 27 workshop to focus on improving local resiliency

By: Stephen Deal / Published: Mar 12,  2015

Join the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program, and a number of other speakers, to discuss how cities and towns can best plan for coastal environmental concerns, at a March 27th workshop being held at the Biloxi Visitors Center. The goals of the workshop are to share tools and techniques for improving coastal resiliency, along with highlighting local projects aimed at creating a stronger Mississippi Gulf Coast. We have a diverse array of speakers lined up for the workshop.

After I briefly introduce some of the concepts to be touched upon in the workshop, Marian Hanisko will highlight several tools available through NOAA’s Digital Coast website. Afterward, Rick Stickler, floodplain manager for the city of Biloxi, will discuss steps the city has taken to combat climate change. Later in the afternoon, Niki Pace of the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program will discuss recent trends in land use law and how they may apply to a city’s coastal management process. The final presentation will be from the Gulf Coast Design Studio and will highlight some lessons Mississippi communities can learn from Georgia’s stormwater management approach.  

Planners who participate in the workshop will receive AICP continuing education credits and a great opportunity for collaboration across various disciplines, as the audience will potentially include floodplain managers and municipal attorneys. Collaboration will also be the dominant theme for our resiliency roundtable. This final portion of the workshop will bring together local officials with different backgrounds to discuss potential next steps. The roundtable will also help us better understand the resources cities and towns need to fully address the threats posed by climate change.

The concept of resiliency is one that has profound implications on the way that planners begin to address municipal policy. Great places grow and evolve over time to meet the unique challenges of climate and geography, and it is a process we must constantly engage with if our cities are to prosper and thrive. The upcoming workshop is one step in this larger process of place-based engagement, and it is one that I hope you can be a part of.

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