Topic: City and Regional Planning


Premio Lincoln al periodismo sobre políticas urbanas, desarrollo sostenible y cambio climático 2024

Submission Deadline: August 9, 2024 at 11:59 PM

El Lincoln Institute of Land Policy convoca a periodistas de toda América Latina a participar del concurso “Premio Lincoln al periodismo sobre políticas urbanas, desarrollo sostenible y cambio climático”, dirigido a estimular trabajos periodísticos de investigación y divulgación que cubran temas relacionados con políticas de suelo y desarrollo urbano sostenible. El premio está dedicado a la memoria de Tim Lopes, periodista brasileño asesinado mientras hacía investigación para un reportaje sobre las favelas de Rio de Janeiro.  

Convocamos a periodistas de toda América Latina a participar de este concurso. Recibimos postulaciones para el premio hasta el 9 de agosto de 2024. Para ver detalles sobre la convocatoria vea el botón “Guía/Guidelines” o el archivo a continuación titulado “Guía/Guidelines“. 


Submission Deadline
August 9, 2024 at 11:59 PM
Related Links


Climate Mitigation, Housing, Planning, Poverty, Water

A man looks at a flooded area from a helicopter

Recovery and Resilience: New Research on Exploratory Scenario Planning for Disasters

By Jon Gorey, May 9, 2024

When heavy rains unload on Beaumont, Texas—which is to say, pretty often, in this small Gulf Coast city 80 miles east of Houston—flash flooding can turn the underpasses beneath train tracks and bridges into unpassable, sewage-laden lakes, as pump systems get overwhelmed.

It’s a citywide issue, but it’s especially problematic in Beaumont’s historic South End. Ringed on three sides by heavy industrial facilities—including a 2,400-acre ExxonMobil refinery and chemical plant, the 100-acre Port of Beaumont, and a facility that holds thousands of rail cars—such inundation can essentially leave residents and workers stranded in the neighborhood, with no way out.

“We’ve always had an issue where our underpasses flood, and so we’re trapped without access to emergency medical facilities,” says Christopher Jones, founder and director of the South End Charlton-Pollard Greater Historic Community Association. “During events like Harvey or Imelda, we’re trapped within that industrial horseshoe.”

The prospect of getting stranded by an everyday downpour creates anxiety for residents, as well as tangible health hazards. “Our streets fill up with sewer and rainwater, and there’s no cleanup that happens afterward, whether it’s from the city or the state of Texas,” Jones says. “Then that sewage matter dries up and becomes an airborne pathogen that we breathe,” along with other pollutants, such as limestone dust, sulfur, and petrochemical byproducts produced or transported nearby. Indeed, between the dangerous chemicals in nearby rail cars and refineries, its hurricane-prone location, and the increasing frequency of extreme heat waves, flooded roadways are hardly the only disaster-related risk facing the Charlton-Pollard neighborhood.

So when Jones heard about a request for proposals issued by the Lincoln Institute’s Consortium for Scenario Planning (CSP), he proposed a series of exploratory scenario planning workshops that would gather ideas and input from community members, city officials, emergency agencies, and local businesses, to formulate and prioritize resilience strategies.

The review committee found the Beaumont proposal unique and compelling for a couple of different reasons, says Heather Hannon, associate director of planning practice and scenario planning at the Lincoln Institute. “It’s the first community organization awarded through this process,” Hannon says, as opposed to a municipal department, planning agency, or research team. What’s more, the proposal specifically focuses on the “dual-threat landscape” of both natural and man-made disasters.

The neighborhood is well aware of the “escalating risks posed by climate change, industrial accidents, and other man-made hazards,” Jones explained in his proposal. “Our community’s proximity to a dense concentration of industrial operations elevates the risk of chemical spills, industrial explosions, and air quality emergencies, in addition to natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and severe weather events.”

Jones says the old housing stock in his neighborhood isn’t very suitable for sheltering in place, whether it’s during a storm or a chemical spill. “My neighborhood dates back to the 1800s, and many of the homes here are, if not the same age as ExxonMobil, a little bit older.” Many of those homes lack the kind of weatherization upgrades—insulation, storm windows, air sealing—that would better protect them from storms and air quality issues.

“I definitely want my neighbors to have the opportunity to not only weatherize their homes, but to be able to seek safety and shelter inside of their homes if there’s anything like an explosion from ExxonMobil,” Jones says. When a series of chemical explosions rocked a TPC plant in nearby Port Neches in 2019, “We felt it—we smelled it,” Jones says.

“So if we were to experience something like, God forbid, a big waste of benzene, everybody here is [in serious trouble], because they don’t have the knowledge or adequate facilities to shelter in place,” he adds. “And that includes schools that are in our area, businesses in our neighborhood, elders . . . that, to me, is our starting point for our resilience.”

Smoke from an explosion at a chemical refinery in Texas
Aftermath of a series of explosions at a TPC Group chemical plant in Port Neches, Texas, in 2019. The initial blast was felt up to 30 miles away, and the explosions caused $153 million in offsite property damage. Credit: US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board.

The South End Charlton-Pollard project is one of five that the Consortium for Scenario Planning has chosen to support in response to the RFP. From Colombia to Canada, each project will design exploratory scenario planning workshops focused on disaster recovery and resilience. The awardees will have the opportunity to present and describe their work in early 2025 at the annual Consortium for Scenario Planning conference.

Awardees are tasked with designing workshops that use exploratory scenario planning (XSP) to help members of their community—which could be a neighborhood, city, or entire region—explore disaster recovery and resilience strategies. Applicants were encouraged to address both one-off disasters as well as those that are part of a larger cycle of “cascading hazards, where the effects of one disaster bleed into or cause another”—such as droughts that contribute to wildfires or landslides, or floods that destroy homes and then trigger sanitation crises.

In addition to the XSP workshops that the South End Charlton-Pollard Greater Historic Community Association will design and conduct in Beaumont, CSP selected four other proposals to support:

  • Building off its recent completion of a participatory climate risk assessment, the Rural Municipality of Piney in Manitoba, Canada, will use a seven-step XSP framework to develop workshops and educational resources to help the region better prepare for a spectrum of disasters, particularly wildfires.
  • Casa del Sur/Encuentro in Santa Fe, Argentina, will focus on building resiliency awareness among vulnerable citizens, who have been affected by both record floods and record lows of the Paraná River, urban heat, and fires in the past two decades.
  • A team from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, will develop a framework for rural communities to plan for and adapt to sea level rise flooding and increased storm flooding impacts, using rural Virginia as the target audience and a special emphasis on nature-based features.
  • A team from the Urban Mapping Agency, BuroDAP, and Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá, Colombia, will conduct XSP workshops with a special focus on vulnerable communities and informal settlements facing flood risk in the urban peripheries of two major cities—Policarpa in Cartagena, and the Tunjuelo River floodplain in Bogotá.

All five projects, scheduled to be completed by May 2025, were selected as part of an annual RFP process managed by the Consortium for Scenario Planning. Past projects have focused on housing affordability (2023), changing food systems (2022), climate strategies (2021), and equity and low-growth scenarios (2020).

To learn more about all Lincoln Institute RFPs, fellowships, and research opportunities, visit the research and data section of our website.

Jon Gorey is staff writer at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

Lead image: A member of the Coast Guard inspects flooding in Beaumont, Texas, as part of a search and rescue mission after Hurricane Harvey. Credit: Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Giles/US Coast Guard/US Department of Defense.

A Conversation with Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey

May 14, 2024

By Anthony Flint, May 14, 2024


Consider Minnesota, a place that has pioneered many things: Scotch tape, the first toaster, the Mall of America. Add to that one more: taking the lead in zoning reform for more affordable housing.

Minneapolis was the first city in the country to abolish single-family-only zoning, which means a duplex or a triplex or any kind of greater density is allowed now on residential parcels. The idea is to increase supply with more affordable varieties of housing, rather than just the single-family home, which of course tends to be more expensive.

Dozens of cities across the country followed suit, in a quest for more density and multifamily housing in places where the single-family home has been dominant.

Is it working? For this episode of the Land Matters podcast, we sat down with the mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, to talk about that and more, including bike and bus lanes, regional governance, value capture for urban infill redevelopment, return to work, and the city’s infamous skyways system.

The City of Lakes was the site of the American Planning Association’s National Planning Conference this year, and a delegation from the Lincoln Institute was there.

Frey is an unabashed transplant. He grew up in northern Virginia and went to the College of William and Mary on a track scholarship, and after graduating with a degree in government, he started running professionally while attending law school at Villanova in Philadelphia. That’s when he came to Minneapolis to run the Twin Cities Marathon and, as he tells it, fell in love with the city. The day after graduating, he drove the 1,200 miles west to Minneapolis, his chosen home.

He started as an employment and civil rights attorney, became an active community organizer, served on the City Council and was elected mayor in 2017. He saw the single-family-only zoning ban through in 2019, then was promptly faced with COVID and the police murder of George Floyd in 2020. He was reelected in 2021 and has continued to address police and race relations, and indeed race and equity became a bigger part of the story of the lack of affordable housing, as he talked about how exclusive zoning has driven segregation.

“For years, we were operating under these fairly prescriptive zoning ordinances, that explicitly said, we’re going to keep the Blacks and the Jews over in one portion of the city,” Frey said. “During the Civil Rights Act, that became illegal to do explicitly. We then started to do the same stuff implicitly through the zoning code, making it so that unless you could own a huge home on a huge parcel, you couldn’t live in huge swaths of the city. We wanted to push back on that.”

At APA, Jacob Fry joined two other “Mayor’s Desk” interviewees—Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval and Paige Cognetti, mayor of Scranton, Pennsylvania—for a standing-room-only panel discussion of what’s working and what’s not in legacy cities trying to make a comeback from population loss and disinvestment.

A lightly edited version of this interview will be available online and ultimately in print in Land Lines magazine as the latest installment of Mayor’s Desk, the series of Q&As with mayors from around the world—now also available as a book compilation, Mayor’s Desk: 20 Conversations with Local Leaders Solving Global Problems.



Anthony Flint is a senior fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, host of the Land Matters podcast, and a contributing editor of Land Lines.

Lead image: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey speaks with members of the press. Credit: Office of Mayor Frey.

Further Reading

House passes legislation to halt 2040 Plan lawsuit (Minneapolis Reformer)

Zoning Reform Is Working in Minneapolis (Planetizen)

Minneapolis Land Use Reforms Offer a Blueprint for Housing Affordability (Pew Charitable Trusts)

Influential Minneapolis Housing Shift Links Affordability, Equity (Land Lines)

Minneapolis’ Lake Street Kmart is gone. Here’s what could come next (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Opinion: Direct elections the best way for the Metropolitan Council to live up to its nation-leading potential (Minneapolis Post)

The Twin Cities Skyways Face an Uncertain Future (Governing)

Webinar and Event Recordings

Scenario Planning for Housing Affordability: Peer Exchange with evolveEA

June 4, 2024 | 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. (EDT, UTC-4)

Offered in English

Watch the Recording

This peer exchange will focus on evolveEA’s work on scenario planning and housing affordability for the Consortium’s 2023 RFP cycle. We’ll be discussing their process as well as their experience using scenario planning to create future-based plans in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area.

This event is eligible for 1 CM credit from AICP.

All times are in Eastern Time.


June 4, 2024
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. (EDT, UTC-4)
Registration Period
April 18, 2024 - June 4, 2024


Housing, Planning, Scenario Planning