Recent severe weather events have caused considerable damage to the Houston region.
The Community Adaptation and Resilience Alliance (CARA)
The Community Adaptation and Resilience Alliance (CARA) is an innovative approach to develop a resilience collaboration framework on the Upper Texas Gulf Coast. With extreme weather events increasing in intensity and frequency in the region, HARC finds it vital to create a collaborative framework to help build regional capacity to adapt to climate change impacts. CARA is a regional multi‐stakeholder and multi-project resilience initiative employing community engagement, sustainable and adaptive planning techniques that monitor and adapt to short and long‐ term climate and weather‐related risks and hazards.
The goal of CARA is to increase coordination and capacity for long‐term community resilience and reduce regional vulnerabilities to extreme events and climate change. HARC is doing this by creating a network of private and public sector organizations and by:
- Conducting a baseline assessment of community resilience along the Upper Texas Gulf Coast;
- Creating a resilience science information network to provide common data and information for regional extreme weather and climate risk models, assessments and planning;
- Developing a regional resilience and adaptation policy and strategy toolkit to support coordinated decision‐making by identifying regional goals for adaptation as well as policies and best practices for achieving them;
- Building a regional community of practice that shares technical expertise, leverages resources, and advances comprehensive and coordinated strategies to increase regional capacity for community adaptation and
CARA Phase 1:
In partnership with the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) and a generous grant from the JPB Foundation, HARC recently launched a regional resilience baseline assessment known as the Upper Texas Gulf Coast Regional Resilience Initiative . This is a multi‐stakeholder community engagement effort employing one-on-one interviews and focus groups to discover the challenges and opportunities for building community resilience by hearing directly from leaders across the nine counties and all walks of life. Building on the engagement and assessment process, community-based organizations will be identified to receive small grants and technical assistance to support their planning efforts and build local capacity in neighborhood-scale resilience.
Community Adaptation and Resilience Alliance (CARA): Structure and Management
As seen below in Figure 2, we ultimately envision that CARA will be managed by a steering committee and a nonprofit research management organization. CARA will also include sector‐specific stakeholder groups called Resilience Circles and science, engineering, economic and policy research teams. The CARA Steering Committee members will be comprised of the resilience circle leaders and will help to synthesize information and develop best practices and strategies devised by the resilience circles. A key component of CARA will be its ability to collect and analyze resilience data shared with all CARA stakeholders. Science, Engineering, Economic and Policy Research Teams, the RESIN teams discussed above, will be comprised of organizations recognized as experts in key resiliency topics. Click here to learn more about CARA’s structure and operational strategy.