The City of New Haven experiences frequent flooding due to heavy rainfall and increasingly severe storms, which will be compounded in the future with higher sea level rise. Flooding events negatively impact and can cause closures in New Haven’s commercial downtown area. In response to more frequent flooding, City officials organized the Program for Public Information in 2014. A committee was comprised of individuals from both inside and outside local government and was charged with making recommendations to help address the City’s flooding issues. One recommendation of the committee was to create and implement a New Haven Commercial Industrial Toolbox (CIT) with the goal to enhance resilience of the city’s commercial infrastructure by creating a manual to assist commercial property owners before flooding events occur. By identifying a set of best practices to educate commercial property owners about ways to face severe weather-related flooding events, the city’s infrastructure and economy are becoming more resilient. This Municipal Resilience Grant award was for the amount of $20,000.
Final Report: New Haven_Commercial_Industrial_Toolbox Final Report.pdf
March 2017 Product: New Haven Poster-CIRCA
The CIT serves as a guide to promote resilient construction and renovation techniques applicable to commercial and industrial properties within flood-prone areas and is a means to implement some of the goals of the New Haven Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP). The HMP frames the City’s priorities and recommendations in the context of a changing climate and related increasingly intense storm events. It also focuses on raising public awareness about flood-related risks, reducing or preventing damages from future flood and storm surge events, and restoring economic losses as quickly as possible. Strategies aim to protect life and property and minimize temporary loss of business operations due to flooding. The CIT furthers the mission of the PPI by educating commercial and industrial stakeholders on how to prepare, adapt and quickly recover from major flooding events.
This CIRCA Municipal Grant project enabled the City to do the following:
- Evaluate the needs of commercial industrial businesses in coastal hazardous areas,
- Develop best practices in renovation, construction, and federal insurance to build the resiliency of infrastructure in commercial industry,
- Distribute critical information and resources to local commercial industrial stakeholders,
- Further serve the mission of the Program for Public Information, and
- Avoid loss of property and life in future instances of severe storms and flooding.
By improving the infrastructure of commercial and industrial properties, the City and local businesses will likely save money and avoid lawsuits in the aftermath of floods. Although content provided in the New Haven CIT is specific to and for the City’s commercial businesses, the template of CIT is transferable to many Connecticut municipalities. Other Connecticut locations will be able to apply the framework of CIT to their unique and individual circumstances and challenges to enhance the resilience of their human-built infrastructure.
Completion date: September 2017
Project Team Members
- Susmitha Attota- Former Assistant Director of Comprehensive Planning
- Mendi Blue- Director of Development and Policy
- Dan O’Neill- Deputy Building Inspector
- Mike Piscitelli- Deputy Economic Development Administrator
- Helen Rosenberg- Economic Development Officer
- Hernandez Stroud- Fellow