Resilience

The capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses and systems within a city to survive, adapt, and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience(Rockefeller Foundation, 100 Resilient Cities)

In 2018, the City of Durango was selected as one of seven cities across the nation to participate in the National League of Cities Leadership in Community Resilience Program.

The program provided the city with $10,000 in funding for resilience events as well as professional development opportunities and technical assistance throughout the year.

The City has been conducting climate resilience training with it's own staff and, on December 12th, 2018, hosted its first public Resilience workshop. The workshop was led by the Association of Climate Change Officers, and saw City staff, key local stakeholders and members of the public engage on climate change and resilience.

The workshop focused on the headline impacts for our region:



WarmingDrought & WildfireExtreme Events

Observed

(past 50 yrs)

2F warming in CO over the past century.
Minimum temperatures rising more than maximum temperatures.
Peak Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) has shifted 20 days earlier.
Tree density at tree line has increased and trees growing at higher elevations.
Mostly below average precipitation and snowpack since 2000.
Area burned 1984 - 2014 twice what it would have been without climate change
Increase in extreme events frequency and cost across the US.

Projected

All models predict warming. 2.5 - 6.5F increase by 2050. Summer temperatures warming slightly more than winter temperatures. More frequent and extreme heat events.
Uncertain total precipitation.
Increasing percentage of precipitation falling as rain, reduced snowpack.
Earlier peak snowmelt and run-off by 1-3 weeks by mid-century.
Reduced summer soil moisture and available water supply due to increased evapo-transpiration.
Increase in intense precipitation events.
Observed and projected impacts from: U.S. Fourth National Climate Assessment (Nov, 2018), U.S. Climate REsilience Toolkit Climate Explorer, Colorado Resiliency Framework (2015), Mountain Studies Institute San Juan Climate Initiative.

And impacts for the six sectors of resilience identified in the State Resiliency Framework. Click below to see a mind map of impacts for each sector:

Community
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Infrastructure
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Economy
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Housing
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Natural Resources and Watersheds
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Health and Society
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The workshop provoked conversation around the projected climate impacts for our region, and asked the questions:

What is already happening to build resilience in our community? What more needs to happen? 

Coming soon... event report and next steps!