Resilience in Riverside, CA

Food systems, primarily agriculture has a long history in southern California. After decades of population growth and urban sprawl, the city of Riverside is developing a coordinated regional effort to support local farmers and bring forth innovate strategies for residents to have greater access to food systems. Upon entering the Leadership in Community Resilience (LCR) program, Riverside chose to focus on sustainable agriculture and food resilience as an initiative that was central to their local history and current economic vitality.

To support their efforts, the program applied a resilience lens to local and regional food planning by sponsoring the 4th annual GrowRIVERSIDE conference. The regional convening, hosted by the Riverside Office of Economic Development, provided opportunities for local farmers to meet and exchange best practices and drew public attention to local agricultural issues.

Threats and Hazards

State of California natural hazards include drought and wildfires, coastal floods, landslides and mudslides, extreme heat, and wildfires making it ranking highest on a list of locales most at risk of natural disasters. According to the National Climate Assessment, there are significant increases in the number of consecutive frost-free days per year and as a result is projected to lead to further heat stress on plants and increased water demands for crops. Additional changes to the climate "Reduced (high-value specialty crop) yields from increasing temperatures and increasing competition for scarce water supplies will displace jobs in some rural communities."  

Themes

  • Land Use
  • Food Systems
  • Disaster Management