Resilience in Nashua, NH


In the City of Nashua, the residents, community, and government share a vision of managing and mitigating risks with the goal to build a more resilient City, focusing on a number of challenges.

Nashua has a significant risk of riverine flooding with the most devastating effects of flooding seen during the 1936 and 1938 flood events causing parts of the city to flood nearly 17 feet. Nashua also experiences urban flooding regularly due to overwhelmed stormwater infrastructure and high levels of impervious cover.

Mayor Donchess has committed to build community resilience and environmental sustainability into the City’s operations by signing on to Mayors National Climate Action Agenda and developing the City’s first Environment & Energy Committee. Relevant city initiatives include a municipal energy-use reduction plan, Downtown Riverfront Development Plan, Climate and Health Adaptation Plan, and Hazard Mitigation Plan. Nashua also hired its first Community Resilience Coordinator in 2017 to lead development of its first Resilience Plan.

The City has increasingly added more resilience and adaptation initiatives to its portfolio each year but more must be done to coordinate these efforts internally with economic and social priorities while connecting with Regional and State resources.

With assistance and grant support from the Sustainable Cities Institute, the Mayor and City leadership propose to partner with state agencies, regional planning organizations, academia, and neighboring communities to host a Resilience Integration Workshop with three goals:

·       Catalogue plans and initiatives to identify inconsistencies and conflicts using DHS Coastal Resilience Center’s Plan Integration for Resilience Scorecard process.

·       Prioritize resilience and climate adaptation actions that emphasize use of green infrastructure, resilient building design, climate adaptation, and disaster mitigation strategies to prevent adverse effects on diverse populations.

·       Identify community partnerships that should be quickly established to gain further representation and engagement from the City.

Becoming a more resilient city will require the city to act more strategically and to seize upon capital improvement projects that can deliver multiple benefits. This capacity building effort develops a path forward for municipal divisions to collaborate with stakeholders, identify and address needed services, and unify community support networks.