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St. Pete receives grant to help update climate action plan

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Petersburg has received a $20,000 grant from the Urban Land Institute to help refine the city’s climate action plan to help handle coastal vulnerabilities and the threat of sea level rise.

The grant comes from the ULI’s Urban Resilience Program, which enhances the long-term sustainability and livability of communities by helping them better withstand the detrimental impacts of climate change, including the ability to quickly and safely recover from severe weather-related events.

The Urban Resilience Program is part of ULI’s Center for Sustainability, dedicated to creating healthy, resilient, and high-performance communities around the world.

“Improving the resilience of communities to the impacts of climate change also makes them stronger from an economic and social standpoint,” said ULI Center for Sustainability Executive Director Sarene Marshall. “These grant winners are tackling this issue with innovative approaches that are tailored to the needs of their communities, but whose outcomes can inform new ideas and solutions for other communities with similar vulnerabilities.”

Under the grant program, district councils propose local activities such as workshops, research initiatives, advisory panels, or conferences aimed at improving community resilience.

Activities can be broad or more specific in scope, ranging from mitigating climate change risks to an overall community to improving the resilience of a specific site in an urban area.

Proposed projects must involve both ULI members in the communities and partner organizations or other stakeholders.

In the case of the St. Petersburg grant, a technical assistance panel will be formed to help update St. Petersburg’s current climate action plan, considering the city’s coastal vulnerabilities and the threat of sea level rise.

The project has been convened with the support of Mayor Rick Kriseman and will be carried out in partnership with city staff. The district council will also initiate a resilience working group to guide the project and plans to keep the working group in place to lead other resilience projects and raise awareness among the development community.

The St. Petersburg grant is the largest of five grants awarded by the ULI this month. The other grants went to Charleston, SC, ($6,500), Boston ($12,500), Detroit ($11,000) and Portland, OR, ($5,000).

The ULI is a nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide.

Established in 1936, the institute has nearly 40,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.

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