South Chattanooga is one of four Tennessee and Georgia communities Thrive Regional Partnership has selected to participate in the pilot of its new Resilient Communities program, an initiative designed to help communities plan for and address environmental challenges, including the increasing effects of climate change.
Under the pilot program, residents of southern Chattanooga, as well as the communities of Spring City, South Pittsburg, and Dalton, Georgia, will work with Thrive and the Open Space Institute to understand and address local environmental challenges.
Thrive and OSI aim to equip communities with natural solutions that can protect against fast-moving floodwaters, reduce urban heat island effects and control erosion to prevent landslides.
As floods, hurricanes and other severe weather increase under a changing climate, these events can disproportionately affect under-resourced neighborhoods, which are more vulnerable and find it more difficult and costly to recover, especially as inflation and the price of construction materials continues to increase, says Thrive Regional Partnership President and CEO Bridgett Massengill.
“Communities facing these challenges understand the need for resilience – or the ability to bounce back from disruptions – to empower the municipalities and the neighborhoods, schools and businesses within them as they anticipate the impacts of climate change.”
Communities participating in the Resilient Communities initiative will develop a pathway toward a custom resilience plan. Along the way, experts in civic engagement and the natural environment will provide support. Structured in a cohort model, the program will encourage communities to learn from each other, as well as share knowledge and resources.
To enhance the multidisciplinary approach of the Resilient Communities program, Thrive has partnered with Artists At Work, a workforce resilience program. Local artist and professional dancer Monica Ellison participated in the planning of the pilot and will support community engagement.
Learn more at www.thriveregionalpartnership.org/projects/resilient-communities-program.