At a workshop on climate change impacts attended by leaders of the Providence business community, city officials and planners on Wednesday, speakers pointed to what happened to
When businesses fail to bounce back, "the entire area goes down with you,"
The two-day event, which continues Thursday, was organized by the
The idea behind the workshop is to identify potential vulnerable areas in Providence, including transportation networks or commercial areas, and rate their preparedness.
"It creates a base-level understanding and walks us through the risk-assessment process," said
The risks are real for Providence, Mayor
"We simply can't afford to kick the can down the road," Elorza said. "By planning ahead we can make wiser investments ... to minimize our risk and enhance resilience."
He and others emphasized that the planning effort must include a wide range of stakeholders. It's not enough for a single business to install flood barriers or invest in other protective measures. Roads must be passable after a natural disaster so that its employees can still get to work. Other businesses that it works with must also get back up and running.
"If the supply chain is interrupted, you're in deep trouble," said
There are areas of particular concern for Providence. They include the downtown, which covers swathes of filled marshland, and the
It's impossible to pick up and move buildings and other infrastructure in those at-risk areas.
"The reality is that most of what's here is here," said
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