Innovation is found in Virginia’s holistic regional resiliency approach that extends beyond infrastructure to encompass community and economic development. That is, the development of infrastructure and water management approaches are informed by, and work in concert with, enhancing the health and wellbeing of citizens and stimulating economic growth. The Commonwealth's approach will build resilience in its population and leverage these changes as an economic accelerator. This innovative living with water approach, called “THRIVE: Resilience In Virginia,” aligns with HUD’s National Objective to directly benefit low- and moderate-income persons and households by focusing on unmet recovery needs, as well as build regional resilience capacity to manage extreme weather events and adapt to sea level rise .
THRIVE: Resilience In Virginia has five major goals:
(i) Unite the Region,
(ii) Create Coastal Resilience,
(iii) Build Water Management Solutions,
(iv) Improve Economic Vitality, and
(v) Strengthen Vulnerable Neighborhoods.
This comprehensive approach capitalizes on the region’s strengths and converts risks and vulnerabilities into opportunities: Hampton Roads will reduce risk to its most vulnerable communities and thrive with water by developing a model maritime region that derives its economic vitality from its position on the water.
A major goal of the Commonwealth’s proposed THRIVE: Resilience In Virginia approach is to transform how Virginians live with water. The Commonwealth and its community partners will develop a model for redesign in coastal communities, concentrating on Hampton Roads’ most vulnerable citizens and neighborhoods, where this approach can integrate new water management principles, and mixed-use and mixed-income development practices. These new practices will accelerate the creation of businesses that enhance the Hampton Roads region’s ability to manage water and improve water quality, while providing new employment opportunities that will decrease the vulnerability of low-to-mid level income residents.
The THRIVE strategy will be carried out in three phases. In the near term, the strategy will focus on incorporating resilient water management strategies into ongoing projects, revisiting redevelopment plans and applying a resilience lens to them, selecting demonstration projects, conducting community outreach, educational initiatives, and advocacy for recommended policies and funding. This will also include replication and scaling of a neighbor-to-neighbor community-building pilot around disaster preparedness that is currently underway. In the mid-term, THRIVE pilot/demonstration projects will be implemented, while continuing all of the above. In the long term, the Commonwealth will look for opportunities to scale and replicate successful projects across Virginia while sustaining them in Hampton Roads.