Project Merit: Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience

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Four Twenty Seven for helping healthcare institutions understand and plan for climate change. While most work around climate adaptation and resilience has focused on infrastructure and the built environment, healthcare services will also have to respond to increasing health risks from heat waves, shifting insect populations and other impacts of climate changes.

In 2015, Four Twenty Seven executed two healthcare projects: A web-based Heat Vulnerability application that lets health professionals assess how climate change will increase health risks in their county and explore the heat vulnerability of U.S. counties; and the Resilient Hospital Dashboard that allows hospital administrators to assess the risks-to facilities and patients-posed by climate change in their region.

The Heat Vulnerability Index (arcg.is/1NVn9wa for the website; bit.ly/1OzAqhu for a video demo) ranks every U.S. county's heat risk and resilience based on heat & humidity, social vulnerability, medical access and physical environment. Four Twenty Seven developed the application as part of its commitment to the White House Climate Data Initiative.

For the Resilient Hospital Dashboard, Four Twenty Seven worked with a healthcare networks and the Healthcare Without Harm campaign for environmentally responsible health care. The private dashboard enables healthcare networks to identify hotspots, key drivers of risk and climate impacts faced by their hospitals. It combines local climate projections with analytics to help hospitals understand how climate change impacts will affect their populations.

Four Twenty Seven is a boutique climate change consultancy focused on adaptation and resilience.

AECOM for using the Disaster Resilience Scorecard it developed with IBM to lead an assessment of the disaster resilience planning process with Bandung, the capital city of Indonesia's West Java province. The city of over 2.5 million people faces environmental climate change risks from flooding and severe storms as well as fire and earthquakes.

AECOM facilitated a workshop with over 60 government representatives and used the scorecard to formulate and develop disaster risk reduction plans. The analysis revealed that major water and sanitation infrastructure systems were at risk and that a local disaster management agency is needed. Additionally, the resilience of surrounding farmland areas must be considered for food security in disasters.

The results of the scorecard and disaster planning were presented by Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamal at the 2015 Summit for Better Cities in New York. As a next step, the scorecard is now being adopted by six other cities in West Java to conduct disaster risk assessments.

Global planning, consulting, design and engineering firm AECOM had revenue of $18 billion in its fiscal year ending September 30, 2015.

Conoco Phillips and Tierra Resources for the success of a three-year pilot project to plant mangroves to protect against wetland erosion and hurricane surge in coastal Louisiana where the firm owns approximately 636,000 acres of wetlands. These wetlands, which face some of the fastest rates of wetland loss in the world, protect coastal communities as well as seafood, maritime trade and oil and gas industries.

Due to increasing temperatures, black mangroves had already started to expand northward over several decades into coastal salt marshes of Louisiana, where they are expected to decrease wetland erosion and provide better storm surge protection. However, the dispersal of mangrove seeds, referred to as propagules, has been limited to wetlands bordering coastal waters, leaving internal marshes largely unpopulated by mangroves.

The mangrove planting pilot project succeeded in using a crop-duster airplane to distribute propagules and establish mangroves on three one-acre sites in Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes. According to Tierra Resources, this is first successful test of air seeding mangroves, a method that is much more cost- and labor-efficient than manual planting and can be replicated in other areas of the world.

The world's largest independent exploration and production company, ConocoPhillips had $55.5 billion in 2014 revenues. Founded in 2007, Tierra Resources LLC (New Orleans) is a small firm focused on researching, developing and monetizing the "blue carbon" in coastal wetland ecosystems.