The City of Orlando is working to develop a Resilience Plan to solve some of our toughest challenges and strengthen our ability to overcome the potential impacts of natural disasters or manmade threats. This includes hurricanes and extreme heat; homelessness; affordable housing; access to free internet for all, and more. The Resilience Plan will provide the Orlando community and city staff with a framework of policies, programs, and other actions to improve the city’s resilience to hazards, changing conditions, and socioeconomic stresses. Strategies will be evaluated to create a more equitable city and ensure that all persons have the resources and support to bounce back in the face of adversity. The creation of this plan is part of the city’s commitment to the Global Covenant of Mayors and the continuation of Orlando’s master plan for a future-ready city.
The development of the Resilience Plan includes several steps to gain internal and external feedback on what resilience strategies should be prioritized in the Plan. These steps include:
Baseline Assessment: A review of existing process, programs and policies to identify existing best practices that support resiliency, equity and/or adaptation needs was conducted. Actions from the City of Orlando’s Green Works Community Action Plan, Vision Zero Orlando, affordable housing programs, homelessness initiatives, and more, helped to showcase the work the City of Orlando is already doing to advance equitable resilience.
Updated Vulnerability Assessment: A part of the resilience planning process includes an update to the city’s 2017 Climate Vulnerability Assessment to broaden the conversation on vulnerability, including other concerns such as affordable housing, transportation safety, local food security, and more. This report will provide an evidence-based assessment of projected impacts and the likelihood of each event occurring, which provides important information to make the city more resilient.
Discussions with City Staff: Early in the planning process, representatives from 14 city departments discussed resilience planning efforts. In these conversations, city staff provided an overview of programs that support Orlando’s residents through their daily challenges, as well as shared thoughts on what new projects or programs might be implemented in the future.
External Stakeholder Workshops: Four workshops were held early in 2022 with a diverse group of community leaders to discuss their thoughts on Orlando’s top concerns and opportunities to help protect or recover from these challenges. The workshops were divided into four topic areas: economy and society, infrastructure and environment, health and well-being, and leadership and strategy.
Public Engagement: We will be hosting six workshops, one per commission district for the public to share thoughts and ideas on what the Resilience Plan might include to ensure our community is better prepared to face tough challenges. A public survey will also be open to broaden our reach and include as many people as possible in plan development.
Final Resilience Plan: All feedback collected will be used to create a Resilience Plan with near-term strategies to help the Orlando community prevent, adapt, recover and/or grow when presented with adversity. The anticipated timeframe for completion is late Fall 2022.
Join us at one of the upcoming Community Workshops.
Michael Hess, PE, LEED Fellow
Director of Future Ready Initiatives at the City of Orlando
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