The Resilient Vermont Project

resilient vermont
Photo Credit: Lee Krohn Photography/Manchester Volunteer Fire Department

The Resilient Vermont Project

Stronger Communities, Ecosystems and Economies

In partnership with the State of Vermont and working closely with key stakeholders from the local government, business and environmental communities, ISC has launched the Resilient Vermont Project to help make Vermont a model of community, economic, and environmental resilience. In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, state agencies, community organizations and neighbors sprang into action to help those affected and rebuilt roads, bridges and homes as quickly as possible. The challenge now is to sustain this momentum and spirit of collaboration and camaraderie, and to develop a shared vision and an integrated, long-term strategy for a resilient Vermont – one that weaves together related but still-fragmented state, regional and local initiatives, and better equips the state to prepare for, respond to and bounce back from future natural disasters that we know will come.

Turning the corner from near-term disaster recovery to long-term resilience demands that we ask and answer key questions, including: How can the state be more prepared for "future Irenes," and better-equipped to minimize and manage the disruption to its communities, ecosystems and economy? What new and sustained lines of communication and coordination are necessary across state government agencies, between state and local governments, and across Vermont's public, private and nonprofit sectors? What state and local policy changes would help reduce or eliminate risks? Which strategic infrastructure investments are needed?

Due in large part to resource constraints, many state, regional and local agencies lack bandwidth to plan, coordinate and do other work necessary to develop and implement a truly integrated resilience strategy. Vermont is well-poised to create a breakthrough model for integrated resilience at the state-wide scale. Governor Peter Shumlin and his department directors are committed to moving beyond recovery toward resilience, and collaborating across agencies and sectors to achieve integrated solutions.

Through the Resilient Vermont Project, ISC will act as a bridge for communities and leaders in Vermont to a wider nexus of experts and practitioners nationally and internationally with whom we partner on other work. As a trusted facilitator, ISC will help to find solutions and build the capacity of Vermont organizations and agencies to carry on the work well beyond ISC's involvement.

Funding for ISC to implement the Resilient Vermont Project is made possible through the generosity of private foundations, including the High Meadows Fund, the WaterWheel Foundation and Jane's Trust.

Download the full press release here.

The Sustainable Communities Leadership Academy

Over 1,600 local climate and energy practitioners and senior government officials from more than 450 communities have attended ISC's Sustainable Communities Leadership Academy. The Academy addresses some of the primary sectors for achieving meaningful climate action, and each workshop tackles key, topic-specific challenges based on what city and regional practitioners identify as being among the greatest barriers to effective climate solutions.


Regional Governance Offers Solutions for Global Problems

Over the past two years, four counties in Southeast Florida have come together to pioneer a regional climate governance model designed to enable local governments to set the agenda for climate change solutions while providing an efficient means to coordinate the engagement of state and federal agency engagement.


Rebuilding Sustainably on the Gulf Coast

Local advocates and organizations are transforming New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward into a model for Gulf Coast communities looking to make themselves stronger than they were before Hurricane Katrina. ISC's Gulf Coast Sustainable Communities Network gathered there for its third meeting in October 2009.