BOSTON, Massachusetts - Director of Planning and Community Development for the Town of Arlington and APA Legislative and Policy Committee member, Jennifer Raitt, spoke to the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) about the importance of planning and strategic investment, and how federal-local partnerships and competitive grant programs are key to supporting municipalities’ ability to increase resiliency efforts and create stronger and safer communities.
Jennifer pointed to the Climate Change Preparedness Task Force, which is made up of 15 municipalities, state and federal agencies, as a successful regional partnership that is focused on addressing the impacts of climate change. As part of the partnership, the Town of Arlington (Arlington) is helping to address and assess vulnerabilities throughout Massachusetts, bolster coordination, enhance awareness of critical infrastructure resilience, and ensure data for flooding and extreme heat is consistent and shared. Kleinfelder has played a key role in supporting several of the municipalities that participate in the task force.
Jennifer also discussed how Arlington has been a leader in working to address climate change and increase resiliency in its own community. Through the state of Massachusetts’ Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) planning grant program, Arlington was able to examine their strengths and vulnerabilities and develop priority actions that will increase their resiliency to present and future climate-related hazards.
Serving as Arlington’s Certified MVP Provider, Kleinfelder helped plan and facilitate a two day workshop that involved approximately 30 stakeholders, including elected officials, department staff, residents, and representatives from non-profit organizations and local businesses. The workshop defined top local natural and climate-related hazards of concern; identified existing and future strengths and vulnerabilities; developed prioritized actions for the community; and identified immediate opportunities to collaboratively advance actions to increase resilience.
Jennifer used Arlington’s climate change and resiliency planning efforts as an example of the critical role planning and actions grants play in local municipalities’ ability to address and mitigate the effects of new conditions (flooding, extreme heat, etc.) and to tailor future land use policy and development to protect future critical infrastructure.
Kleinfelder is excited to continue to support Massachusetts municipalities like the Town of Arlington as they proactively plan for the challenges of climate change-driven threats. We’re proud to see our work and Arlington’s successes recognized by the U.S. House of Appropriations and look forward to seeing future policy and funding that acknowledge the importance of encouraging resilience and strengthening our local communities.
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