Houston’s First Resilience Hub Launches in Kashmere Gardens
Today, Mayor Sylvester Turner joined northeast Houston residents and community partners to officially launch Houston's first Resilience Hub at the Kashmere Gardens Multi-Service Center – a first step in implementing the City's Resilience Hub Network Master Plan. The Resilience Hub will support residents before, during, or after a disruption and in their daily lives.
The City of Houston's Resilience Hub Master Plan supports the retrofit of existing City of Houston community centers and multi-service centers and the construction of new facilities to maximize Resilience Hub operations. Together, these facilities and the organizations they host create a safety net of resilience in Houston's neighborhoods to meet the needs of residents – particularly those in areas that face a high level of everyday community stressors such as food insecurity and disaster shocks such as flooding or loss of power.
"This year, the City of Houston published its Resilience Hub Network Master Plan and implementation is underway," said Mayor Sylvester Turner. "Every city has taken a unique approach to defining what a Resilience Hub is in the context of its needs and opportunities. The Hubs are trusted community-servicing facilities that are augmented to support residents as they face everyday stressors and occasional shocks."
At the Grand Opening of the Kashmere Gardens Resilience Hub, community members toured the facility's improved infrastructure and services, including a solar carport for energy resilience, a vegetated swale for flood resilience, and community gardens and refrigerators to expand the community center's food pantry with fresh food and vegetables.
Once a resilience hub pilot, the Kashmere Gardens Multi-Service Center has become a stellar example of retrofitting existing City-owned facilities. Through the partnership of Resilient Cities Catalyst and the Northeast Houston Redevelopment Council, community members identified potential programming services needed to build community resilience and cohesion.
Shell USA, Inc. donated $500,000 for the solar carport, one of the major retrofits on-site, and the City of Houston's General Services Department (GSD) is undertaking the design and construction, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.
"In the process of implementation of the resilience hubs, the themes of coordination, collaboration, and partnership have underlined this work – city departments, external partners, and community coming together to find creative solutions for implementation," said Priya Zachariah, the Chief Resilience and Sustainability Officer for the City of Houston.
Completed earlier this month, the Houston Resilience Hub Network Master Plan is attracting national and international interest, with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) looking to designate the City of Houston as the first US Resilience Hub of the UNDRR's Making Cities Resilient 2030 initiative.
Components of the Resilience Hub Network Master Plan
While some cities view hubs as places where community members go during disasters, others focus primarily on community preparedness and seek to serve communities primarily during steady-state functions.
Hubs across the nation also differ in the strength of emergency management roles.
The Houston Resilience Hub Network will strike a balance between all of these differing hub criteria to provide a collaborative and transformative suite of facilities that maximize impact across a large geographic region.
Hubs - Hubs are city-owned facilities in the most vulnerable communities that serve a multitude of services tailored to specific community threats/stressors. A Hub is a primary Resilience Hub Network facility and contains an overlay of special Resilience Hub programs.
Super Spots - Super Spots serve similar functions as hubs, but are non-city-owned community centers such as county-owned facilities, non-profit facilities, and large capacity spot locations. They are programmed with roles similar to Resilience Hubs but are not managed by the City of Houston.
Spots - Spots are trusted neighborhood services providing additional community resilience opportunities, such as churches, libraries, schools, and health clinics. They provide additional information, programming, and services to Hubs to compensate for services that cannot be met by the Hub alone, support resources in disaster states, and promote community cohesion.
Spokes - Spokes are compensatory networks of operational leadership, physical networks, non-profit groups, supply sharing, and telecommunications that connect Hubs, Super Spots, and Spots within a community and city-wide. Spokes keep Hubs operational, functional, and accessible.
The Houston Resilience Hub Network Development Resources
The Master Plan is a place-based roadmap for a consistent city-wide approach to Resilient Hub candidate selection and implementation. The master plan deals with the city-owned facilities but also outlines its relationship to non-city-owned sites and infrastructure that contributes to the holistic resilience of the neighborhood networks. A Toolkit for Communities is a guide for owners, operators, funders, and partners outside the City of Houston who are interested in supporting the implementation of the Resilience Hubs program in the private sector. The Pilot Case Study is a conceptual facility study for a specific site that tests the engagement, design, and funding approaches in the context of an actual neighborhood. The plan and development resources can be found on houstonresiliencehubs.org.
ABOUT THE MAYOR'S OFFICE OF RESILIENCE AND SUSTAINABILITY
The Mayor's Office of Resilience and Sustainability is responsible for implementing Resilient Houston and the Houston Climate Action Plan (CAP). Together, these documents provide a clear framework to foster the growth of a Houston that is a healthy place to live and an equitable, inclusive, and affordable city that leads in climate mitigation and adaptation and offers a transformative economy that builds forward. To learn more about the CAP or Resilient Houston, visit www.greenhoustontx.gov.