Resilience in West Palm Beach, FL

Over the next few decades, sea level is projected to rise by up to 26 inches in and around West Palm Beach and the entire state of Florida faces a number of hazards including flooding, extreme precipitation, hurricanes, thunderstorms and extreme heat. As the regional temperature continues to increase, it will cause increasing stress public health, natural and built environments, energy, agriculture and forestry. In response to these threats, West Palm Beach has set a goal to be the most resilient city in the state for its residents and businesses.

Following Mayor Jerri Muoio's State of the City address in January 2017, NLC partnered with STAR communities to host a Sustainability Workshop with the city's community leaders, local business, civic institutions and city advisory board. The workshop evaluated results from the city's current STAR rating while communicating a strong commitment to become the most resilient city in Florida. 

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."

Themes

  • Renewable Energy
  • Climate Adaptation