The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, in partnership with Resilient Cities Catalyst, launched the Southern California Resilience Initiative (SCRI) in 2019 to surface and pilot the world’s most innovative solutions to fire and urban heat in the Los Angeles region. As Southern California rebuilds in the wake of the 2018 Woolsey Fire, SCRI aims to strengthen the region’s preparedness for wildfire and extreme heat as well as other climate threats—which are projected to become more extreme, frequent, and costly—helping to minimize their impact and ensuring the region can “bounce back” more quickly from future shocks. Because the impacts of wildfires and other climate threats are not confined to municipal boundaries, we are working to foster greater resilience to these events through coordinated efforts at the regional scale.

Woolsey Fire over Malibu, California

Over the course of 2019, local governments and nonprofit partners—including Ventura County, Los Angeles County, TreePeople, and Climate Resolvek are piloting three replicable projects through the SCRI partnership that share a common vision for a more resilient region that is more capable of absorbing, adapting, and even transforming in the face of current and future challenges.

Through SCRI, we are testing and piloting these projects to prime them for replication and for state, federal, and philanthropic funding opportunities. All projects are receiving pro bono technical assistance and leveraging connections to best practices across the globe through this effort. In addition, SCRI has brought the cohort of participants together at key moments to enhance connections across projects and further encourage collaborations that will foster a more resilient region. These convenings have included a local workshop organized by Climate Resolve in June 2019 where partners began to develop their pilot projects, as well as the Urban Resilience Summit in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in July 2019 where project leaders connected with global experts and gained tactical skills as resilience practitioners. In November 2019, SCRI will bring all three teams together again to advance their projects through a multi-day intensive workshop that will leverage local knowledge, technical expertise, and international best practices to deliver for each project a refined design and a tactical work plan for implementation. We will also use the time together to understand how the different projects and their corresponding activities will contribute to the region’s broader resilience capacity.

The Pilot Projects:

All three projects are piloting innovative mechanisms that foster a regional approach, across municipalities and multi-sector partners, to planning for and responding to climate threats. While these projects tackle different challenges through varied tactics, they all share common features that will help to build a more resilient region, including:

Email afriedman@rcc.city for more information about SCRI.