Home   |   About   |   Best Practices   |   Steps 1-5   |   Recognition   |   All Cities   |   Ordinances   |  City log-in   |   Contact           Stay Connected
GreenStep City Best Practices Resilient Economic & Community Development

Climate Adaptation and Community Resilience
no. 29

Plan and prepare for extreme weather, adapt to changing climatic conditions, and foster stronger community connectedness and social and economic vitality.
  Best Practice Action 5      [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ]       [all actions]

Protect public buildings and natural/constructed infrastructure to reduce physical damage and sustain their function during extreme weather events.

  • The Storm Events Database can be searched by county for incidents of flash flooding, heavy rain, excessive heat, drought, and more from 1950 to the present. Provides detailed descriptions of each specific incident and locations (cities) affected, number of resulting deaths and injuries, and property damage estimates. [Applicable to 1, 2 and 3 Star implementation.]
  • The Localized Flood Map Screening Tool from the Metropolitan Council allows users to identify potential surface flooding locations throughout the entire Twin Cities metro area. Toggle on/off the potential localized flood hazards known as Bluespots, the 2ft contour data, and regulatory floodplains. Clicking on the map displays the flood depth range of specific locations. Impacts of localized flooding may include disruptions in transportation and business operations, property damage, and resident health & safety concerns. Learn how Copenhagen, Denmark has undertaken comprehensive planning and investment to avert flooding from cloudbursts and their partnership with U.S. cities. [Applicable to 2 and 3 Star Implementation]
  • Green Building and Climate Resilience provides a series of "no-regrets" and "resilient" strategies divided into six categories (envelope; siting and landscape; heating, cooling and lighting; water and waste; equipment; process and operation) with priority status by geographic region. [Applicable to 2 Star implementation.]
  • FORTIFIED for Safer BusinessTM is a code-plus new construction program that offers a package of improvements that greatly increase a new light commercial building’s durability and resilience to natural hazards. [Applicable to 2 Star implementation.]
  • Funding for Climate Resilient Mitigation Activities is available under FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance programs to support communities in reducing the risks associated with climate change. Eligible activities are: Aquifer Storage and Recovery, Floodplain and Stream Restoration, Flood Diversion and Storage, and Green Infrastructure Methods focused on mitigating the impacts of flood and drought conditions. [Applicable to 3 Star implementation.]
  • Green Infrastructure Toolkit from the Georgetown Climate Center addresses Getting Started, Scaling Up, Funding and Financing, Communication Strategies, and Equity and Environmental Justice. [Applicable to 3 Star implementation.]
  • Manage Flood Risk webpage from EPA provides How To, Resources, and References for green infrastructure practices to manage both localized and riverine floods. [Applicable to 3 Star implementation.]
  • Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) has added the Climate Adjustment Tool enabling users to add climate projections based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s climate change scenarios to existing simulations. SWMM 5 has recently been extended to model the hydrologic performance of seven specific types of green infrastructure practices for improved storm water management. [Applicable to 3 Star implementation.]
  • Green Infrastructure and Climate Change: Collaborating to Improve Community Resiliency from EPA (Aug 2016) highlights the issues and recommendations developed through intensive planning sessions in four cities, including a Grand Rapids, MI significant flooding event from heavy precipitation. [Applicable to 3 Star implementation.]
  • The Case for Green Infrastructure concludes that both green and gray infrastructure resist shocks, but in different ways. Hybrid approaches may provide an optimum solution to improve overall resilience. [Applicable to 3 Star implementation.]
Inventory and/or map your sanitary sewer system, gray and green stormwater infrastructure, city roads and bridges, and municipal power lines. For MS4 cities, use an asset management system to monitor and maintain this infrastructure. (Report tree inventories under best practice 16.)
Assess city-owned buildings and sites for vulnerabilities to extreme weather, and make investments to reduce or prevent damage and sustain function. (Report water and wastewater facilities under Action 7.)
Make investments in green and gray infrastructure that are strategically designed to fix specific intersections, underpasses, culverts or other areas prone to flash flooding, to resolve recent occurrences of combined sewer overflow, and/or to add meaningful system capacity for extreme rainfall events.

Golden Valley

Date action report first entered:   10/25/2016
Date of last report update:   12/20/2016
Year action initially completed:   2015

Implementation details:
The Physical Development Department implements an on-call system with an emergency “red book” which provides staff with critical maps (including sanitary sewer system, gray/green stormwater infrastructure and water supply mains), procedural information, and contacts during emergency events and disasters. Information in the book is updated on a continuous basis. The City conducted a comprehensive facility analysis in 2006 to identify the investments that would be necessary to sustain the structure and function of public buildings in the future. This assessment is incorporated into the Capital Improvement Plan each year for building improvements. Public buildings are continually assessed for vulnerability to flooding and other structural deficiencies. Additional assessment of public buildings will be performed as part of the City’s Resilience and Sustainability planning effort. The City is cooperating with the Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission to develop a hydrologic and hydraulic model of the watershed. Once completed, this model will be used to identify areas of the City that are at risk of flood damage to assist in planning and preparedness efforts. In partnership with the watershed, the City is engaged in an ongoing effort to stabilize streambanks for erosion control, water quality protection and flood mitigation. As of 2015 the City had 120 miles of street, most of which had been reconstructed under the Pavement Management Plan (PMP) including subgrade correction, installation of curb and gutter, and in some cases, repair and replacement of sanitary sewer and water mains. The PMP emphasizes preservation to maximize the useful life of the street (maintenance measures result in an anticipated pavement lifespan of 50 to 60 years). Golden Valley maintains 113 miles of sanitary sewer (consisting of gravity mains, lift stations, and force mains), 75% of which is over 50 years old. The City also maintains 136 miles of water mains serving the community, 69% of which is over 50 years old. The City has 83 miles of storm sewer pipe, 33 miles of drain tile, 3,083 catch basins, and manages 54 ponds and wetlands, 29 constructed sedimentation basins, and 4 bioretention basins/rain gardens. The City has no municipal power lines

Outcome measures/metrics:
Several sections of streets within the City have been identified as being at risk of becoming inundated during the 1% annual chance flood event (100-year flood). One utility accessory building has been identified as being at risk of flooding during the 1% annual chance flood event. The City has a flood preparation checklist that lists creek crossings, bridges, culverts and streets for City staff to monitor during large precipitation events. The 2016 FEMA Flood Insurance Study indicates that all bridges/culverts in Golden Valley have the capacity to contain discharge during the 1% annual chance flood event and all but 3 have the capacity to contain discharge during the 0.2% annual chance flood event (500 year flood). As of 2016 the City has restored and stabilized 5.2 miles along shoreline of streams and drainageways. As of 2016, the City has made investments to repair several roofs on public buildings and park shelters and install a fire suppression system in one building. The City has also made investments to ensure new buildings are built to be durable and resilient to natural hazards. Fourteen (14) of the City’s buildings are considered critical facilities. Of these, only 3 do not have back-up generated power.

For more information contact:
Eric Eckman (City staff)   |   eeckman@goldenvalleymn.gov   |   763-593-8084

Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission, Joint Water Commission (Crystal, Golden Valley, New Hope)

View All Golden Valley Actions


Date action report first entered:   03/24/2016
Date of last report update:   03/24/2016

Implementation details:
The city recently completed a multi-year project of burying all power lines located brining electricity and similar services to those within the City. This greatly increases the Community’s resilience to extreme weather events by ensuring that the power lines are not susceptible to frequent disruptions from falling trees or other disasters associate with such events. Not only does this mean increased safety during extreme weather, it also means that communication and power lines are more likely to be maintained in an emergency when they are most needed. Additionally, the City is realizing significant savings in maintenance costs from the buried power lines. Other benefits include improving the aesthetics of the City, facilitating easier maintenance of boulevard trees, and decreasing risk of injury from downed power line or pole falls from weather, vehicle, and other accidents.

For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff)   |   jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us   |   320-234-5682

View All Hutchinson Actions

Inver Grove Heights

Date action report first entered:   07/07/2017
Date of last report update:   07/07/2017
Year action initially completed:   1990
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
The City of Inver Grove Heights has an inventory and/or map for the sanitary sewer system, roads, and bridges.

For more information contact:
Ally Hillstrom (City staff)   |   ahillstrom@invergroveheights.org   |   651-604-8511

View All Inver Grove Heights Actions


Date action report first entered:   03/07/2017
Date of last report update:   03/07/2017
Year action initially completed:   2017
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   Yes

Implementation details:
All stormwater assets (basins, outlets, treatment devices, culverts, lift stations, inlets, pipes, manholes) are mapped and assigned a condition and value in the Cartegraph system. When creating new assets or updating existing assets (location or attributes) all changes get auto-updated to GIS map. Program tracks asset issues and tasks (integrated into daily operations and inspection forms on I-Pads for example). An issue can be reported internally or externally from citizens (example - citizen takes a photo of flooding on smart phone app and the correct staff person is alerted and prioritizes the task).

Outcome measures/metrics:
Knowing the value and condition of our infrastructure assets, including stormwater assets, allows the city to make prudent financial decisions based on a holistic data driven approach. Why cities should implement asset management system: 1) Implement an asset management system that shows the location, condition, value, and other pertinent information of the city’s infrastructure assets across all departments in one user friendly system (also contains a work flow component). 2) Provides real-time reflection of citywide asset conditions and value. Accurate tracking will better inform maintenance, preservation, and replacement (life cycle) decisions. 3) Implement a system that also provides residents and business owners a mechanism to report deficient infrastructure (potholes, broken playground equipment, etc.) and receive real-time updates on progress.

Descriptive links: http://maplewoodmn.gov/453/Stormwater-Management             view file

For more information contact:
Steve Love (City staff)   |   steve.love@maplewoodmn.gov   |   651-249-2404

View All Maplewood Actions

pending means a star rating has not yet been assigned to this city

greenstep advisor
Laura Millberg, MBA, LEED AP BD+C, Sustainable Development and Climate Resilience Principal Planner, MN Pollution Control Agency: 651/757-2568, Laura.Millberg@state.mn.us, https://www.pca.state.mn.us/quick-links/community-resilience