Resilience in West Palm Beach, FL

The city has set a goal to be the most resilient city for its residents and businesses. As part of this effort they have pursued STAR rating and will receive their certification in December, 2016. The STAR metrics will then be used as a benchmark and guide for continued improvement.

Following the STAR certification and Mayor Muoio's State of the City address in January 2017, the Leadership in Community Resilience program will help West Palm Beach convene a Leadership Workshop for leaders in the city, local business, civic institutions and city advisory board. The workshop will highlight the mayors' focus on sustainability, celebrating the progress that has been made so far and focusing on specific areas of improvement within the STAR framework. The city has also joined the Compact of Mayors, committing to benchmark and reduce local greenhouse gas emissions.

Threats and Hazards

State of Florida hazards include flooding, extreme precipitation, hurricanes, thunderstorms, sea level rise and extreme heat making it second (behind California) on a list of locales most at risk of natural disasters. According to the National Climate Assessment, projected regional average increases are in the range of 4°F to 8°F resulting in extreme heat that "will affect public health, natural and built environments, energy, agriculture, and forestry."  

Southeast Florida Regional Compact Climate Change states, "in the short term, sea level rise is projected to be 6 to 10 inches by 2030 and 14 to 26 inches by 2060 (above the 1992 mean sea level). In the long term, sea level rise is projected to be 31 to 61 inches by 2100. Projected sea level rise, especially by 2060 and beyond, has a significant range of variation as a result of uncertainty in future greenhouse gas emissions and their geophysical effects, the incomplete quantitative understanding of all geophysical processes that might affect the rate of sea level rise in climate models and the limitations of current climate models to predict the future."