Resilience in Providence, RI

Rhode Island School of Design Shellfish habitat project with Providence skyline in background
Rhode Island School of Design Shellfish habitat project with Providence skyline in background

The city of Providence leveraged their Leadership in Community Resilience grant to align with and support an existing Partners for Places Equity Pilot Initiative, an intensive nine-month community-building process. Working with Groundworks Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Environmental Justice League, this resilient and collaborative initiative had one clear goal: to work directly with the environmental justice community to build relationships with low-income populations who are most susceptible to incurring impacts from climate change.

Spearheaded by members of the Racial and Environmental Justice Committee (REJC), a set of 10 Principles and Values for a Racially Equitable and Just Providence were adopted by Mayor Jorge Elorza's Environmental Sustainability Task Force in September 2017. To learn more about the process and outcome of this initiative, please read NLC's interview with a member of REJC and the city's Sustainability Director. 

Threats and Hazards

State of Rhode Island natural hazards include severe storms, winter storms and extreme cold, flash floods, coastal flooding, and occasional tropical storms. Rhode Island is a high risk location for future natural disasters and is ranked second in the nation after Florida, according to CoreLogic's Natural Hazard Risk score. Social hazards include low to median income and concentrated poverty in neighborhoods with greater flood risk. According to the National Climate Assessment, sea level increased 1.2 feet over 100 years (1901-2012). "Sea level rise of two feet, without any changes in storms, would more than triple the frequency of dangerous coastal flooding throughout most of the Northeast."

Themes

  • Environmental Justice