Norfolk’s resilience strategy contains actionable recommendations to face and respond to our current and future challenges and capitalize on our strengths and opportunities. The actions that support the strategy are diverse, but all of them are a commitment to a new way of doing business—collective and coordinated action to build resilience. Below, you can learn about the initiatives that are already underway.
Elizabeth Riverfront & Harbor Park Brownfields – Preliminary Constructability Plan
The City of Norfolk commissioned this report using funds from a Virginia Brownfields Restoration and Economic Redevelopment Fund Commonwealth Planning grant. The report provides a design development strategy for improving infrastructure and ecological restoration that reflects the City’s resilience lens of living with water, economic diversification and community connectivity. Read more...
The Royal Netherlands Embassy, Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, and the cities of Norfolk, Newport News, and Hampton jointly hosted the Virginia Dutch Dialogues in June 2015 to generate innovative ideas for living with water. For Norfolk, these innovations included using water management as a way to protect and revitalize neighborhoods.
The City of Norfolk has begun a planning process called Vision 2100, a citizen-led discussion to identify what principles the city should use to guide future land use decisions.
Retain Your Rain
Norfolk residents learn how they can be part of building a more resilient Norfolk through a citywide, systemic approach to water management.
In collaboration with the Norfolk Master Gardeners, Bayview Civic League, Bay View Elementary, and Norfolk Master Naturalists, the City of Norfolk hosted its second Retain Your Rain workshop at Bay View Elementary School in Spring 2017! The green infrastructure installed by volunteers will capture 600 gallons of rainwater. Read more.
The City of Norfolk launched a Retain Your Rain Mini Grant Pilot last fall that offered up to $2,000 to a neighborhood organization to install green infrastructure. Northside Civic League's proposal for a 'rain retention food forest' was selected for the Pilot. In December, Northside Civic League planted the food forest at Mary Calcott Elementary School. The food forest will absorb over 3,000 gallons of stormwater in addition to providing fresh food and vegetables to the neighborhood. Read more. Watch a video.
City of Norfolk Zoning Ordinance Rewrite
The City of Norfolk is conducting a comprehensive rewrite of its Zoning Ordinance to position the city as the resilient coastal community of the future. In collaboration with 100 Resilient Cities, the Office of Resilience, Planning Department, and local stakeholders, participated in a collaborative workshop and interviewed other coastal cities to explore how resilience can best be infused into a new zoning ordinance for the city. To stay updated, click here.
Investing in resilience is complicated. The City of Norfolk organized a workshop to discuss how to capture potential insurance benefits generated by specific coastal protection projects.
The City of Norfolk, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore and the local IT firm Concursive, have partnered to fight food insecurity in the city.
Citywide Affordable Housing Study
In early 2017, the City of Norfolk concluded a Citywide Affordable Housing Study conducted by HR&A Advisors to provide a market analysis of Norfolk neighborhoods, assess the City’s housing needs, and offer realistic solutions to fulfill those needs. Based on the results of the study, two main goals were identified that form the basis of the City’s Affordable Housing Strategy: Strengthen neighborhoods and deconcentrate poverty. To achieve these goals, a comprehensive toolbox was created with various strategies and tools that will be geographically deployed in order to strengthen the housing market in targeted neighborhoods. These collaborative efforts are driving the implementation of our third resilience goal. Learn more.
Strengthening Neighborhoods Pilot
The final phase of the Citywide Affordable Housing Study conducted in 2016-2017 included recommendations for strengthening neighborhoods. Beginning this year, the City will launch a pilot in targeted neighborhoods where the housing market is showing strength, but could tip toward weakness without proper investment. In these “tipping point neighborhoods” the city will deploy a series of tools designed to increase home ownership, promote small rental revitalization, and create new rental housing. Existing city programs such as Renovate Norfolk, will be paired with new programs, such as Small Rental Rehabilitation, with the goal of moving the housing market in a positive direction.
Bank On Norfolk has been essential in advancing our resilience goals by building economic resilience throughout Norfolk, resident by resident. Bank On Norfolk was established in January 2016, when the City partnered with Bank On Hampton Roads to bring free financial education classes to Norfolk citizens, a collaboration that also aligns with the Norfolk Plan to Reduce Poverty. So far, we've held two graduations, and current classes will graduate July 2017. Learn more.
In July 2017, Bank On Hampton Roads held its first regional graduation with all three participating cities (Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth). Norfolk had 12 participants graduate from the program. In addition, Bank On Norfolk received awards for the Greatest Average Credit Score Improvement and having the most graduates among the participating cities. Over the ten month period of the program, these 12 participants increased their savings by nearly $6,000. The successes of Bank On are building financial resilience in Norfolk one resident at a time.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
The City of Norfolk is building community-level resilience through a collaborative initiative, Neighbors Helping Neighbors. Under the program, Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority (NRHA) Midrise apartment residents learn about disaster readiness, neighborhood safety, fire safety, and first aid. Click here to learn more. Watch a video on the initiative here.