Session #5 | Economic Development

31 Oct 2017
10:30 am-12:00 pm
Annapolis Waterfront Hotel, Chesapeake Ballroom

Session #5 | Economic Development

Showcase Speaker: Kate Gordon | Senior Advisor, The Paulson Institute

Presentation: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Case Study: City of Portsmouth Historic Resources Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaption Plan

Showcase Speaker: Kate Gordon | Senior Advisor, The Paulson Institute
From Risk to Return: Challenges and Opportunities for Maryland in Adapting to a Changing Climate

Evidence of a changing climate is all around us, from flooding in Houston and Florida to excessive heat and wildfires in the West.  These physical climate impacts have real economic costs to Maryland businesses and communities.  But there is also economic opportunity to be found in adapting to, and mitigating, these risks. This talk will focus on quantifying the risks to this region, and identifying the real growth and competitive opportunities facing this state as the rest of the world moves toward a carbon-constrained economy.

Presentation: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST): EDGeS
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed that EDGeS (Economic Decision Guide Software) Tool to facilitate benefit cost analyses of competing community resilience plans. EDGeS provides a standard economic methodology for evaluating investment decisions aimed to improve that ability of communities to adapt to, withstand, and quickly recover and rebuild from disruptive events. This approach is applicable to resilience decisions on the community level ranging from retrofitting historical buildings to assessing solutions to reduce losses in wildland-urban interface areas. The EDGeS approach also encourages assessment of the resilience dividend as a useful input for community resilience investment planning. The resilience dividend is defined as the net co-benefit (or co-cost) of investing in enhanced resilience, in the absence of a disruptive incident. Benefit-cost analyses (BCAs) of resilience enhancements against disruptive events traditionally include avoided losses. Yet, the co-benefits that resilience actions may yield to a community outside of those directly tied to loss avoidance, such as job creation and social cohesion, are not routinely implemented in resilience-related BCAs to date but they are of prime importance. For example, a community acquires properties in a floodplain to reduce flood risk and convert the land into green space, and to stimulate co-benefits ranging from increased home purchases in other areas of the community to increase sales to local restaurants. Other NIST research on the economics of community resilience and building sustainability will be overviewed.

  • Jennifer F. Helgeson | Research Economist, Applied Economics Office, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Case Study: City of Portsmouth Historic Resources Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaption Plan
The City of Portsmouth, population 23,500, is a thriving coastal community with a robust tourist economy based on its rich architectural history and its unique location along a scenic tidal river mouth. Also situated along the waterfront is the historic Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

Supported by funding from the National Park Service (NPS) under the Hurricane Sandy Pre-Disaster Mitigation grant program the State of New Hampshire Division of Historic Resources, the City of Portsmouth has recently embarked on a Historic Resources Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan. On the heels of a Coastal Resilience Initiative in which the City mapped areas most vulnerable to sea level rise and severe coastal storms, this study is incorporating results of the newly adopted 2016 Downtown Historic Register District with the City’s a 3-0 Massing Model and the City’s property valuation database to develop an economic and cultural valuation of its historic properties. The valuation methodology uses economic, historic, cultural and flood water vulnerability measurements to characterize, risk-assess and prioritize key historic assets in the City.

The project also focuses on four target areas to evaluate the economic impact of flooding and sea-level rise in a variety of land uses and settings. Strawbery Banke, a national historic monument representing early colonial settlement in northern New England, is being carefully evaluated for both sea-level change and rising groundwater or seepage impacts to the historic structures. An older section of the South End neighborhood is also being assessed and includes private, historically significant homes; a first-period cemetery: and the culturally significant Prescott Park. In the downtown, the study is evaluating impacts of sea-level rise for the working waterfront, where both commercial and industrial uses continue to operate and depend on land-side, support services.

The study includes a multidisciplinary team of local and regional practitioners who are integrating a wide variety of economic, environmental, cultural, historic (including archeological) and engineering factors. Using innovative visualization, valuation, and modeling tools the team has developed a method with broad-based applicability to other coastal communities to promote resiliency.

  • Nicolas Cracknell | Principal Planner, City of Portsmouth, NH; Planner, Historic District Commission
  • Peter Britz | Environmental Planner, City of Portsmouth, NH; Planner, Conservation Commission