Portal to Tampa

Mayor Jane Castor Releases Resilient Tampa -- the City’s First Resilience Roadmap 


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Resilient Tampa, a roadmap towards a stronger and more equitable future, created despite the COVID-19 pandemic, builds upon the city’s assets and strengths to address the most urgent shocks and stresses facing Tampa. 

Mayor Jane Castor and the City of Tampa today released Resilient Tampa, the city's first resilience roadmap. Led by Tampa's first Sustainability & Resilience Officer, Whit Remer, and with support from the non-profit Resilient Cities Catalyst, Resilient Tampa introduces 58 bold initiatives aimed at better preparing Tampa for the known and unknown shocks and stresses facing the city, including climate risks and economic and social inequities. 

A groundbreaking roadmap to make Tampa stronger in the face of current and future challenges, Resilient Tampa is the result of significant collaboration launched through Mayor Jane Castor's strategic vision, known as Transforming Tampa's Tomorrow. Built through a robust and inclusive community engagement process in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, including public surveys, workshops, and ideas and suggestions from Tampanians, Resilient Tampa focuses on four key areas: Opportunities for All Tampanians, Thriving Neighborhoods, Climate-Ready Infrastructure, and a Growing and Connected City. 

"The work of building a more resilient city has never been more urgent, as Tampa is being tested in a way it has never been tested before," said Mayor Jane Castor. "The spirit of partnership and coordination embedded in Resilient Tampa will be critical as we work to implement this Resilience Roadmap and ensure our city comes back stronger than before. This Roadmap, organized across four scales-from individual Tampanians, to neighborhoods, to our infrastructure, to City government - includes ambitious goals and tactical actions to which we can all collectively contribute."  

2020 vividly demonstrated the value and importance of resilience. Tampa-like cities across the United States and the globe-grappled with simultaneous resilience challenges head-on: the COVID-19 pandemic, a reckoning with racial justice, and climate impacts of increasing frequency and unprecedented strength. As Tampa looks to the future, the city, its residents, and its infrastructure are constantly being tested, often putting vulnerable communities disproportionately at risk. 

Resilience is an approach that helps cities leverage their strengths to tackle the known and unknown complex challenges of the 21st century. By building this capacity through Resilient Tampa, Tampa's families, businesses, neighborhoods, institutions, and systems will strengthen their ability to adapt and thrive in the face of both shocks and stresses. 

"The initiatives in this roadmap are not intended to be easy to accomplish. Nor can they be implemented by one department, one Mayor, or City of Tampa workforce," said Whit Remer, Sustainability and Resilience Officer, City of Tampa. "It is my hope that every Tampanian can find at least one initiative that resonates strongly and sparks an urge to get involved to lift up our community. It will take all of us, partnering together, to make this roadmap a reality and build a stronger, more equitable, and more resilient Tampa." 

An overview of the key areas and major initiatives of Resilient Tampa are highlighted below, including timeframes and implementation partners. Timeframes in the roadmap are indicated as short (within a year), medium (one to five years), or long (more than five years). 

1. Opportunity for All Tampanians: Now more than ever, we need to commit to ensuring that all Tampanians, especially Tampa's most vulnerable residents, are supported and have pathways to the opportunities necessary to support themselves, to provide for their families, and to contribute to Tampa's future. Example initiative: 

  • 1.2.1 Cultivate Partnerships for Economic Mobility Through One Tampa Advance innovative economic mobility, workforce development, and housing affordability solutions in partnership with philanthropy and the private sector. 
    • Timeframe: Medium 
    • Implementation Partners: The Mayor's Workforce Council 

2. Thriving Neighborhoods: We envision a Tampa that is built on the diversity and strength of every neighborhood. Understanding our city from the point of view of neighborhoods, its foundation, will allow us to promote safe, prepared, and economically accessible spaces for our residents. With the initiatives highlighted in this chapter, the City will leverage the assets of our vibrant communities to tackle resilience challenges, from affordability to climate to connectivity. Example initiative: 

  • 2.3.2 Develop and Deploy an Urban Heat Pilot Program That Targets Vulnerable Neighborhoods  
    The City of Tampa will undertake a comprehensive review of policy solutions and programmatic approaches that can be deployed to address the well-documented impacts of urban heat. 
    • Timeframe: Medium 
    • Implementation Partner: City of Tampa Office of Sustainability and Resilience 

3. Climate-Ready Infrastructure: Our City is committed to bold action that will address both the causes and effects of climate change. The initiatives highlighted in this chapter will reduce our climate impacts while strengthening our city's existing and future infrastructure so that regardless of what climate-driven shocks and stresses come our way, we will be ready to bounce back. Example initiative:  

  • 3.1.4 Ensure All Municipal Operations Are Powered by 100 Percent Renewable Energy 
    The City of Tampa is committed to leading by example and will transition all municipal operations to renewable energy. The path to achieve this goal, and to ensure that community operations follow, will be addressed in the forthcoming Climate Action & Equity Plan. 
    • Timeframe: Long 
    • Implementation Partner: City of Tampa Office of Sustainability and Resilience 

4. Growing and Connected City: We envision a city that grows in inclusivity and effectiveness, as well as one that works for all Tampanians regardless of their race, age, ethnicity, or background. To make resilience-building a permanent capacity within our governing systems, we will take an innovative and systematic approach. The initiatives in this chapter will harness growth to ensure that our government can work fairly and efficiently by embedding resilient systems and addressing historic racial disparities. Example initiative: 

  • 4.1.5 Explore Mechanisms to Make Access to Broadband More Equitable 
    The City will explore mechanisms to minimize Tampa's digital divide by finding ways to invest in our low-income communities and leverage existing partnerships with the private sector to expand the city's access to broadband and 5G. 
    • Timeframe: Medium 
    • Implementation Partners: City of Tampa Infrastructure and Mobility Administration and City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department 

"Under Mayor Jane Castor's leadership, the City of Tampa takes its place with other world-class cities who have developed comprehensive climate resilience action plans," said CJ Reynolds, Director of Resiliency and Engagement, Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council. "This new plan is crucial because flooding from storms, sea level rise, increasing heat and droughts have the potential to substantially impact all aspects of our communities - from our health, homes and neighborhoods to the business districts, jobs and the economy. Tampa is an active member of the Tampa Bay Regional Resilience Coalition and we look forward to their continued collaboration on housing affordability, resilient development and other priorities." 

"Resilient Tampa contains dozens of opportunities to lift-up the most vulnerable people in our community," said Walter Smith, Co-Chair of the Tampa Bay Disaster Resiliency Initiative and a member of Mayor Jane Castor's S&R Advisory Team. "Diversity of people is one of our greatest strengths, and we must come together as a city to ensure these initiatives bring meaningful change to those that need it most." 

"Resilient Cities Catalyst was proud to partner with Mayor Jane Castor and the City of Tampa to develop and release this groundbreaking new roadmap," said Corinne LeTourneau, Founding Principal, Resilient Cities Catalyst. "Resilient Tampa builds on our experience developing and implementing Resilience Strategies throughout the U.S., helping cities survive and thrive in the face of disaster." 

About Resilient Cities Catalyst 

Resilient Cities Catalyst (RCC) is a nonprofit comprised of urban practitioners and resilience experts with deep experience working in cities and regions around the world. RCC joins with cities and regions worldwide to help them better leverage the experience, resources, and energies of their leaders, managers, communities, companies, and urbanists to realize their collective visions. Founded by executives from 100 Resilient Cities, RCC's work is anchored in the knowledge gained in the development of the resilience movement. For more info, please visit: www.rcc.city.  

To view the Resilient Tampa roadmap, please visit tampa.gov/resilience 

To download the full report and one-pager, please visit tampa.gov/MediaToolkit  

Media Contact: 

Whit Remer, Sustainability & Resilience Officer 

(O) 813-274-3290 (C) 813-417-9963