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About this Report Resilient Louisville
This report summarizes the Resilient Louisville Agenda In May 2016, Louisville was selected as a member city
Setting Workshop, which took place in the Muhammad Ali within the 100 Resilient Cities network. With the assistance
Center on January 31, 2017. The event, hosted by the City of of 100RC, the City will receive technical expertise from
Louisville in partnership with 100 Resilient Cities, gathered Perkins+Will as a Strategy Partner. The Strategy Partner is
stakeholders from various sectors as a first step in the responsible for supporting Louisvilles Citys Chief
development of Louisvilles Resilience Strategy. Resilience Officer (CRO) and City staff throughout the
Strategy Development Process.
The Resilience Strategy will articulate Louisvilles resilience
priorities and specific initiatives for short-, medium-, and Next Steps
long-term implementation. These documents have helped The 100RC Strategy Development process lasts about a year.
cities across the 100 Resilient Cities network respond to The first phase of the process requires the CRO to prepare
three worldwide trends: a Preliminary Resilience Assessment (PRA). The PRA is an
Globalization: Cities are interconnected. A system inventory of existing efforts that contribute to Louisvilles
failure in one city can cause problems across the resilience, and a prioritization of new resilience-building
globe. opportunities.
Urbanization: Urban populations are growing rapidly:
of an estimated global population of 9 billion by mid- Following the PRA, the CRO will thoroughly explore
century, 70% will live in cities. Louisvilles resilience-building priorities, and culminate
Climate Change: Climate change places new social, this analysis in a Resilience Strategy. After the Resilience
fiscal and political pressures on urban systems. Strategy is released, the efforts of the CRO will focus on the
implementation of resilience-building initiatives.
About 100RC
Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, 100 Resilient
Cities (100RC) helps cities around the world become more
resilient to the growing social, economic, and physical
challenges of the 21st century. Cities in the 100RC network
are provided with resources in the following areas:
Strategy Development Process
Funding to hire a Chief Resilience Officer (CRO) to
guide the Citys resilience efforts.
Expert support to the CRO and the City to create a
Resilience Strategy. MORE
Access to a platform of solutions, service providers, and Agenda Setting Strategy Strategy Implementation
partners from the private, public and NGO sectors that Workshop Initiation Release Initiation
can help with the development and implementation of
the resilience strategy.
Membership in a global peer-to-peer network of CROs CRO Selection Strategy
who can learn from and help each other. PRA: Discovery Areas Adoption

2 Cover Image Credit: Louisville Metro Govenrment 3


01 City Profile 07
02 Resilience Narrative 33
03 Case Study 69
04 Moving Forward 73

Image Credit: Louisville Metro Govenrment

We wanted to join 100 Resilient
Cities because their approach aligns
with the work weve been doing
since the first day I was sworn in...
Mayor Greg Fischer


City Profile
Mayor Fischers platform included a focus on
environmental stewardship, equity, access to
services, and sustainability. That focus has evolved
into a broad base of green initiatives that engaged
and benefited communities across Louisville.
These initiatives, combined with the Citys focus
on long-term planning, create a strong foundation
for resilience planning in Louisville. This chapter
explores what Louisville brings to 100RC as it
begins its resilience journey.
Image Credit: NBC News, John Sommers II / Reuters
01 Louisville at a Glance

The area encompassed by Louisville has thousands of years Since it released its long-term comprehensive plan in 2000,
of human habitation. The areas geography and location Louisville has undertaken at least eight significant strategic
on the Ohio River attracted people from the earliest times. planning efforts in a variety of areas including sustainability,
The city is located at the Falls of the Ohio River. The rapids innovation, public health equity, transportation, and the
created a barrier to river travel, and settlements grew up at environment. In addition, a series of smaller plans focusing
this pausing point. on housing and neighborhood revitalization have also begun
to come to life. These documents, coupled with a new
Archeologists have found many sites in Louisville associated comprehensive plan update and a hands-on administration
with the Fort Ancient and Mississippian cultures, which were focused on creating economic development, promoting
active from 1,000 AD until about 1650. When European racial equity, and improving education, has set the stage for
explorers and settlers began entering Kentucky in the Louisville to transform.
mid-18th century, there were no documented permanent
settlements of indigenous people in the region. The country The city sees more grassroots civic involvement as a younger
was used as hunting grounds by Shawnees from the north generation engages with social issues and public spaces
and Cherokees from the south. through a combination of creativity and volunteerism. Urban
events such as the Mayors Give a Day program committed
The City of Louisville was founded by descendants of to citizens acts of Compassion and Service to the City and Below: Example of tactical /
colonial gentry two years after American independence. Collaboratives ReSurfaced initiative capture this spirit of pop-up urbanism by ReSurfaced
From the earliest days, Louisvilles history was intricately civic experimentation, giving Louisville a cultural dynamism Louisville. Image Credit:
woven with high ideals of liberty, while also exploiting and typically found in much larger cities.
trafficking enslaved people. During the nineteenth century,
the city grew into one of the United States major inland
ports and industrial centers. It was also a major point of
departure for enslaved people being sold down the river to
southern cotton and sugar plantations, while also maintaining
a significant free population of African Americans. German
and Irish immigrants also played a major role in supplying the
labor to propel Louisville forward towards a more industrial

Even as Louisville developed as a manufacturing city, its

primary raw materials were corn and tobaccofarm products
which underscored the citys growing dichotomy between
its urban and rural characteristics. This gave birth to one of
Louisvilles signature products of today, Bourbon Whiskey.
Today, Louisville is a dynamic American city that navigates
urban and rural characteristics, modern and traditional
economies, and traditional American Celebrations like the
Kentucky Derby as well as global businesses like UPS.
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01 Planning Context

Political Context and Dynamics

Louisville and Jefferson County have a unified system of

government run under a mayor-council structure. The Metro
Council has 26 seats, split by party affiliation roughly 2/3
(Democratic) to 1/3 (Republican). As such, Louisville is not
immune to the current polarized nature of American politics.
While Mayor Fischers background as an entrepreneur
and civic minded business person helps bridge political
differences, significant differences remain. These differences
have shaped the recent debate convening a move by
the Kentucky General Assemblys move to assert state
control over local issues such as incorporation governance,
taxation and environmental regulations. However, there is a
widespread sense that successful responses to issues facing
Louisville require a collaborative, non-partisan effort.

The citys geopolitical landscape is more complicated. The

Eastern neighborhoods near the city and West Louisville
trend Democratic whereas the more eastern and southern
areas Jefferson County trend Republican. The further from
the city, the more conservative the politics, much like the rest
of the nation. However, the citys land mass is almost evenly
divided into the western and central core areas (mostly old
urban neighborhoods and downtown) and eastern (primarily
affluent suburban) halves representing different cultural
backgrounds. This east-west split was a theme heard during
the Agenda Setting Workshop, with some people mentioning
the south end (suburban, but less affluent) as a third
division. Connecting these divisions will be an opportunity
in Louisvilles drive to become a stronger and more resilient

City of Louisville / Jefferson County Context Map

10 11

New Albany



West Louisville

Social Context and Dynamics

The most pressing social issue facing Louisvilles future is

Ohio R
the inequity concentrated in the West Louisville. Job loss
due to plant closures, combined with decades of systemic
and institutional racism, contributed to what is now
pervasive urban poverty in this part of the city. Like other
old manufacturing cities, urban poverty is not unique, and
in Louisvilles case, it has continued over decades with little
The Six Villages at the Falls of the Ohio. Image Credit: Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District

Fortunately, many individuals and organizations are resilience; and 85% said that the city is most lacking in
aware and working to address these issues. For 13 years, economic mobility / opportunity and healthy and livable
the Greater Louisville Project (GLP) has been supporting neighborhoods. Many tables discussed equity, and concepts
research and raising awareness on the relationship between such as economic opportunity and connectedness appeared
social stratification and economic competitiveness. Mayor more than once in the table notes. While this indicates major
Fischers Three Pillars jobs, education and civic compassion1 challenges the city must overcome regarding social dynamics,
parallel the GLPs Deep Drivers of Jobs, Education, it also indicates a great willingness to engage.
Health and Quality of Place2 and have put the force of
his administration behind tackling these problems. Even Cultural and Historical Context
residents of gentrifying neighborhoods feel a sense of shared
purpose, more young entrepreneurs are getting involved in The Louisville region was a product of competition between
social initiatives, encouraged by programs such as Lots of five portage points around the Falls of the Ohio: New
Possibilities3. Albany, Clarksville and Jeffersonville in Indiana, and Portland
and Louisville in Kentucky. Favored by still water and the
Stakeholders in the Agenda Setting Workshop were clear construction of the Louisville and Portland Canal, the town
about the need to focus on equity as the cornerstone of of Louisville soon surpassed its rivals and expanded into a
a resilience strategy. In live polling, 75% of respondents milling and warehousing center with radiating connections to
identified economic inequity as the greatest challenge to Bluegrass farms.
1 Initially the mayors three goals for the city, now an organizing structure for
city initiatives. The city evolved into a freight and passenger terminal with
or-fischers-three-pillars the founding of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad in 1850.
2 For more on the GLPs mission and public resources see http://greaterlou- Technically neutral during the Civil War, Louisville absorbed
3 A 2014 ideas competition sponsored by the city to redevelop vacant lots
immigrants seeking jobs in its cotton mills, brickyards and
into creative temporary and permanent uses. See slaughterhouses as its population tripled between 1860s and
government/vacant-public-property-administration/lots-possibility 1890s.

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The city developed its unique blend of Eastern needed attention to the center city in the early 1980s. The
cosmopolitanism and Southern gentility from the 1890s emergence of the University of Louisville as a major urban
to World War II, fostered by the growth of downtown research center in the same period brought in younger people
skyscrapers, the Olmsted park system, the construction of from outside the city.
two airports, the rising popularity of the Kentucky Derby, and
war production. At times, its connection to fields and forests Louisvilles vibrant arts scene, established reputation as a
translated directly into American popular culture through the food town, and relatively affordable architecturally significant
creation of icons like the Louisville Slugger baseball bat and pre-war housing stock and current building boom, leave many
bourbon. feeling that Louisville is on the verge of great renaissance.

Like other American cities since the mid-1930s, the Economic Context
institutionalized policy of redlining has significantly impacted
Louisvilles neighborhoods. These redlining policies continue Louisville is a mid-America, mid-sized city enjoying
to impact the structure of the city today and contribute to the cultural confluence of Midwestern sensibilities and
many of the chronic stresses identified during the Agenda Southern hospitality. Louisville is the economic driver of
Setting Workshop. the Commonwealth of Kentucky with one-fifth (1/5) of the
states population, one-fourth (1/4) of her jobs, and over one-
Louisville since the 1960s has been a study in contrasts. third (1/3) of the States GDP. Louisvilles mid-20th century
Decimated by Urban Renewal and Interstate Highway economy enjoyed a rich history in manufacturing. Louisville
construction in the 1960s and 70s, its urban corelike most was home to the second Ford plant outside Detroit and once
other cities in the United Stateshemorrhaged residential
units, retail and jobs as the countrys interest and investment
was focused on sprawling greenfield development in the
suburbs. Well meaning, but ultimately unsuccessful attempts
to compete with the suburbs, especially with regards to
providing cheap surface parking lots at the expense of
urban fabric, exacerbated the perceived decline of the
urban core. However, many of Louisvilles original streetcar
suburbs remained vibrant, and have led the way for what
has become a slow moving renaissance and rediscovery of
the inner city. One of the greatest local leaders on this front
was Humana, whose international design competition for
their corporate headquarters downtown helped focus much

Opposite page: Bourbon barrels

storage. Image Credit: Louisville
Metro Government Archives
14 15
manufactured everything from cars and farm machinery to One of Louisvilles most unique economic strengths is its
cigarettes. Louisvilles central location and historic founding lifelong wellness and aging care cluster. Its roots are based
on the Ohio River contributes to the citys other historic in the founding of Fortune 100 Humana in Louisville in the
calling card logistics. Louisville knew how to make goods 1960s. Humana started as a nursing home company, grew
and ship them before logistics was a term. Louisville was into a hospital company, and ultimately transitioned into a
founded on the banks of the Ohio River at its only naturally national leader in health care. The young talent and spin
occurring obstruction the Falls of the Ohio. As river off companies of early Humana seeded dozens of other
travelers had to stop to port their boats around the falls, a companies which today form the largest concentration of
town developed. Today a region of over 1.5 million people wellness and aging care headquarters in the country. In
has a different focus on logistics due to the UPS WorldPort 2016, Louisville gained the distinction of an Age Friendly City.
hub and the citys access to over two-thirds (2/3) of the The citys largest business cluster is business services a
countrys population in less than a days drive. broad collection of business and financial services jobs
totaling over 100,000 in the region and predicted to hold the
Louisvilles manufacturing strength has now evolved into greatest opportunity for growth. The city has experienced
an advanced manufacturing cluster, drawing upon our a string of success with recent company relocations in back
rich maker heritage and support of two (2) Ford plants, office, IT and other business services companies such as
GE Appliance Park, over 400 small and medium sized Computershare, Hogan Lovells and EY. Louisville offers a
manufacturers, and multiple innovation and maker spaces, robust ecosystem of IT training programs from coding to
including the GE FirstBuild Microfactory at the University of boot camps to significant density in STEM and IT degrees,
Louisville. and the city is home to IT operations for several large
Oak scraps are burned inside the
The four (4) Rs of logistics river, rail, road and
finished barrels to char them.
runway provide multiple economic advantages for Louisville is rapidly making the transition from manufacturing
Noah Adams/NPR
the city. Louisvilles current logistics and e-commerce economy of the 20th century to knowledge economy of
strategy focuses on our differentiator end of runway. today. Economic development plans focus not just on
With WorldPorts global reach, Louisville is an attractive numbers of jobs, but jobs that pay above the national median
location for high value logistics products that need a quick wage, and the fact that everyone must have a positive path
turnaround and access to customers, often patients, across forward in a rapidly changing, global economy. In 2016, over
the world. The economic opportunity in logistics exists in 10,000 Louisvillians pulled themselves out of poverty and
small, sensitive packages, often in the personalized medical 7,000 households joined the ranks of the middle class.
or genetics sectors.
Spatial and Environmental Context
Louisvilles other historic economic cluster is food and
beverage. 95% of the worlds bourbon comes from Kentucky Louisvilles spatial layout is reflective of the Ohio River
and Louisville is the undisputed home to bourbon the only shoreline and the earliest wharves and warehouses that
spirit defined by Act of Congress. Bourbonism - bourbon set the template for the dominant east-west street system.
and local food tourism, is a 24/7 experience with Louisville Bounded by the Portland settlement to the west and
as the trailhead. Louisville is home to one-third (1/3) of the Beargrass Creek to the east, the pattern extended south for
countrys distilling jobs and several restaurant brand leaders, two miles until the topography began to change. Suburban
including Fortune 500 YUM! Brands, Papa Johns Pizza, and development on higher ground from the 1890s forward gave
Texas Roadhouse. the city its patchwork of neighborhoods, which aligned with
radial highways and railroads extending out from the core.
Many of these corridors have since become commercial and
industrial districts supporting the neighborhoods with jobs
and services.

16 17
The citys location on the river determined its form and its The recent Urban Heat Management Study has provided
fortune. While the Ohio River is responsible for Louisvilles an assessment of city warming and its impacts on livability,
location, development and economic success, the river health and sustainability.1 The document provides tools for
has also caused destruction from flooding. The floods of improving and cooling the city through material and planting
1937 and 1945 were so catastrophic that the city created strategies. In addition, two new organizations, Trees Louisville
the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) in 1946 to build and and Louisville Grows, are promoting tree planting to improve
maintain control projects. Some of this infrastructure is air and water quality, wildlife habitat, and positively impact
now posing obstacles to achieving greater environmental growing temperature concerns. Metro Parks Department has
resilience. contingency plans to open fifteen community centers as heat
relief stations during heat waves to help protect vulnerable
Because tributaries flood as easily as the Ohio River, MSD citizens.
built conduit and storage structures with the purpose of
channeling water away from flood-prone areas as quickly
as possible. This had the collateral effect of causing more Government Capacity
flooding downstream and carrying pollution with it such that
low-lying residential areas were exposed to contaminates The ability for Louisville Metro Government to pinpoint
and toxins. Similarly, the rebuilding of the city for automobile challenges in issues such as neighborhood blight and
use during this same period had the effect of increasing environmental distress, conduct research to identify possible
impervious surfaces, causing even more flooding in the Ohio solutions, and take action is evident in the various studies and
Rivers alluvial plain. Fortunately, there is now widespread programs listed in the following section.
awareness of the environmental consequences of stream
channelization and urban deforestation. MSD is working 1 Louisville Urban Heat Management Study. 2016. Urban
with groups such as the Beargrass Creek Alliance to explore Climate Lab of the Georgia Institute of Technology. See: https://louisvilleky.
Destruction from the 1937 Flood.
stream restoration in the citys watersheds. Image Credit: University of
Louisville Archives
Louisvilles air quality has greatly improved since the Air
Pollution Control District was established more than 70 years
ago. While significant challenges remain, such as continuing
to meet tighter national standards for pollutants like ozone,
the air is cleaner than it has been in any time since the
Clean Air Act was passed. But as smog has declined, focus
has shifted toward specific air toxics such as 1,3-butadiene
and other chemicals prevalent in the Rubbertown industrial
area on the citys southwest side. Established in the
early 20th century to take advantage of the Ohio Rivers
abundant water supply and low-cost shipping, Rubbertown
boomed during World War II, when the militarys demand
for synthetic rubber prompted a massive expansion of
the complex. Although city officials have imposed tighter
restrictions on emissions of industrial chemicals via the
groundbreaking, local Strategic Toxic Air Reduction Program
(STAR), challenges to the regulatory balance of community
concerns and economic development remain.

18 19
Social Historic Context
Louisville Redlining Map, 1930s: Redlining refers to the practice of denying loans in certain
neighborhoods based on the racial or ethnic composition of those areas rather than physical,
design, or structural characteristics. Image Source:

City Context Maps

Image Credit: Louisville Metro Govenrment

20 21
Environmental Context Economic Context
Louisville Urban Tree Canopy Unemployment Rate, Louisville. 2015.
Assessment, Hotspots. Image Source: Data Source: ESRI Thematic Mapping.
Urban Heat Management Study, 2016.

Very High
Medium <+4.4% >+24.1%
Very Low

The Time We Have

Life Expectancy
Qualified Census Tract Areas Qualified Census Tract Areas
Jefferson County Boundary Jefferson County Boundary

A s noted in the previous section, it is impo

understand the distribution of health stat
outcomes. One way to capture a snapshot of th
of a community is to examine the life expectan
different neighborhoods. For simplicity, life ex
Educational Context Health Context
an easy way to communicate the overall adjust
in a more readily understandable manner. By
life expectancy is the average number of year
College/Career Readiness, Louisville, 2015.
Life Expectancy Five-Year Average, 2014 - Louisville Metro can expect to live, if in the future they experie
Data Source: Jefferson County Public Schools. current age-specific mortality rates in the pop
Health Equity Report. Data Source: 2010-2016 Louisville example and by referring to the map on the left
Jefferson County Death Records.
Five-Year Life Expectancy Average born in Fairdale today experience exactly the s
rates at the same specific ages, they will likely
83.6, St. Matthews
<= 35% 83, Japan years old. However, this is based on current de
82.4 Northeast Jefferson The fact is that environmental and social chan
36% - 50% 82.0, J-town the next 74.8 years will likely occur and impac
51% - 70% 81.5, Floyd's Fork longevity of those infants. In this way, life expe
81, Canada the fate of the population, but rather a measur
>=71% 80.7, Fern Creek
the current environment offers as a whole and
80.3, Highlands
what the future would hold if we dont act to c
79.0, Southeast Louisville 79, United States
% of Graduates who are expectancy then becomes a measure of how an
77.8, Highview-Okolona supports or depresses our opportunities for he
77.6, Louisville
college/career ready 77.0, Pleasure Ridge Park as behaviors, choices, and exposures -- that de
76.4, Butchertown-Clifton-Crescent Hill longevity.
76.2 Valley Station
76.2, South Louisville
75.6, Buechel-Newburg-Indian Trail
T his map demonstrates the gradient of life
across Louisville Metro using 2006-2010 d
to produce average life expectancies by neighb
75, Vietnam
74.8, Fairdale
is obvious geographical clustering of lower life
74.5, Shively concentrated around the downtown and weste
73.4, Chickasaw-Shawnee of Louisville Metro. This map shows the five-y
73.2, Downtown-Old Louisville-University disparities in how long people live based on w
72.5, Germantown
73, Jamaica live. This difference results in an 15.9-year gap
71.5, Algonquin-Park Hill-Park Duvalle
highest- and lowest-ranked neighborhoods.

71.5, South Central Lousiville
lthough it may appear that just the downt
69.5, Russell needs improvement,
Qualified Census Tract Areas Qualified Census Tract this only tells part of
69.4, Phoenix Hill-Smoketown-Shelby Park 0 1.25 2.5 5 Miles Typical mapping analysis, such as that present
Jefferson County Boundary 69, Iraq Jefferson County Boundary
68.3, Portland visually bias results. The color divisions are rel
67.8, California-Parkland average for a specific area or group and should
22 out of context. In this particular
23 case, the map
Data Source: 2006-2010 Louisville/Jefferson County Death Records
Life Expectancy formula followed ONS guidelines using Chiang II methodology for small populations
differences in life expectancy of neighborhood
from light blue (high life expectancy) to dark b
01 Previous Work 01

Related to Resilience

Plans, Studies and Initiatives Related to Resilience HEALTHY LOUISVILLE 2020 (2014) is a local version of a
national initiative to build healthy communities by 2020. It is
Louisville demonstrates a commitment to planning through an action plan developed by the Louisville Metro Department
many different efforts undertaken by the Office of Advanced of Public Health and Wellness that tracks hundreds of
Planning, and other departments and partner agencies community health indicators across 8 topic areas and
including the Louisville Downtown Partnership, the Louisville provides programs and strategies for addressing community
Metro Housing Authority, MSD, and the Transit Authority of health challenges.
River City. The city is currently updating its comprehensive
plan, which will provide a roadmap to guide Louisvilles TREE CANOPY REPORT (2015) assesses the condition and
growth in the next two decades. The resilience issues that extent of Louisvilles urban forest, including an analysis of
the city faces will be a significant factor in how it chooses to canopy reduction and projected losses to 2052. The report
deploy its resources in the same time period. identifies the benefits of increased tree cover to reduce heat
island effect and flooding, and outlinesactions the city can
The following PLANS AND STUDIES capture a small portion take to expand tree coverage. The Tree Canopy Report is a
of the planning efforts focused on neighborhoods, corridors, precursor to the Urban Heat Management Study described
redevelopment areas, and special topics completed since below.
2000. They have been highlighted for their strategic
orientation or ties to resilience, or both. A timeline of plans HAZARD MITIGATION PLAN UPDATE (2016) addresses risks
and studies is presented on the following page. presented by 13 environmental hazards. The report includes
risk assessments, mitigation strategies, and potential disaster
VISION LOUISVILLE (2012) is a strategic plan that advances scenarios. The Hazard Mitigation Plan could be a foundational
seven goals with connections to resilience. The document is a document for Louisvilles resilience strategy.
policy statement on the citys position on growth, as well as a
window into the aspirations of city leaders and stakeholders. MOVE LOUISVILLE (2016) is the citys mobility plan, based
on the seven goals articulated in Vision Louisville. Move
SUSTAIN LOUISVILLE (2013) is the citys sustainability plan Louisville recommends 17 priority projects to diversify the
that builds on topics introduced in Vision Louisville. The plan citys mobility choices. It is a foundational document for
covers several issues related to resilience, including climate building the citys resilience strategy.
adaptation, health and equity, and urban heat island effect.
FAIR HOUSING ACTION PLAN (2013) relates to affordable comprehensive study of its kind in the U.S. The document
housing, including housing production, regulation and synthesizes issues and recommendations included in several
funding. prior plans. The study was referenced by many stakeholders
during the Agenda Setting Workshop, indicating its relevance
CENTER FOR HEALTH EQUITYs 2014 Health Equity Report to the citys resilience.
mapped out health inequities across Jefferson County. The
focus of the report was to identify health disparities tied to
poverty and inequity, much of which is related to race and
ethnicity in Louisville.
24 25

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017


26 27
01 Resilience Initiatives
In addition to the plans and studies listed on the previous
pages, a number of INITIATIVES spearheaded by Louisville
Metro Government (LMG) or its partners provide input for
resilience building through data gathering, community and
stakeholder conversations, and program implementation.



Greater Louisville Project (GLP) Independent civic initiative supported by LMG Air Louisville Initiative Smart inhalers mapping asthma hotspots,
a consortium of foundations. Collaborative connecting patients to services. (Since
initiatives in four focus areas: Education, 2012)
Jobs, Health, Quality of Place. (Since
2003) Mayors Healthy Hometown Changing the culture Louisville to one in
Movement which physical activity and healthy eating
Louisville Racial Equity Here Over a two-year period, Racial Equity Here are the norms by uniting community
initiative cities will develop a blueprint to begin center-health-equity/racial-equity-here partners and initiatives to improve health.
to understand how and where municipal
operations affect people of color, not only Louisville Health Advisory Board Part of Humana Bold Goals Project.
understanding their role in perpetuating Four committees: Social culture, diabetes,
these disparities, but will also begin to continuum of care, behavioral health.
address them in transformative ways.
Kentucky One Health Partners A multi-state healthcare consortium that
Daniel Rose Fellows participants The year-long Daniel Rose Fellowship ACO works with doctors to coordinate patient news/2016/01/29/kentuckyone-creates-
Classes of 2013 and 2018 provides participants with leadership centers-initiatives/daniel-rose-center- position-to-focus-on.html
care and population health initiatives.
training and professional development (Since 2012)
opportunities, and it benefits their
respective cities by offering technical
Metro United Way Initiatives focused on black male
assistance on a local land-use challenge.
achievement. eAndar.article/682/Our-Work

AARP Network of Age-Friendly 7-8 year process that creates long-terms
Communities plans around the environmental, economic communities/network-age-friendly-
and social factors that influence the health
and well-being of older adults. (Since HOUSING AND PRESERVATION
Bloomberg Philanthropies What Focuses on open data and citizen
Works Cities Grant Program engagement around data collection and works-city-feature-louisville-ky/ LMG Louisville CARES Affordable Addressing the need for affordable, multi-
Housing Program family housing for households making 80% housing-community-development/
analysis. (Since August 2015)
or less of the area median income.
LMG Office of Civic Innovation Efforts to bridge the digital divide in
Digital inclusion initiative order to provide technological access and performance-improvement-innovation National Historic Trust Green Lab Three year project funding sustainable
preservation work in Louisville. Built of-louisville/updates#.WBwfVforJM0
its related resources to all. (In program
planning phase) database on building conditions.

28 29

Compassionate Schools Project Piloted at JCPS with curriculum built by LMG Green for Good A pilot project to evaluate the impact of
UVA researchers (2014-2021). See case program/ trees and landscape buffers in improving good-project-launches-st-margaret-
study on page 68. air quality of along major vehicular mary
corridors. (Since 2016)
JCPS Young Men of Color Collective commitment to help males of
Initiative color succeed academically and to better learning/young-men-color One Water Initiative Consolidation of the water and sewer
prepare them for college and careers. authorities to create operational money/companies/2015/08/18/msd-
efficiencies and slow rate increases for louisville-water-establish-one-water-
Harvard by All Means Multi-year initiative focused on equity in customers. (Since 2014) board/31917649/
educational attainment. news/16/02/education-redesign-lab-
Strategic Toxic Air Reduction The STAR Program of the Louisville Metro
Building Our Blocks Initiative Bringing teams of Louisville city workers (STAR) Program Air Pollution Control District is a regulatory pollution-control-district/strategic-toxic-
into neighborhoods for intensive buildingourblocks
program to reduce harmful contaminants air-reduction-program
community cleanup and build-up sessions. in the air, to better protect the health and
enhance the quality of life.
Metro United Way Kindergarten Boosting improved early educational
Readiness Partnership attainment with a goal that 77% of children eAndar.article/683/Kindergarten-
will be prepared for kindergarten by 2020.
Say Yes to Education Providing means for every public school
student to not only graduate high school INITIATIVE DESCRIPTION WEB ADDRESS
but also be able to afford and complete a
college education. LMG Community Services To be developed. See annual report
Strategy Plan and partner programs for a summary of community-services/plans-reports-and-
existing services.

West Louisville Strategies for Numerous programs /initiatives related

Success to the built environment, economic files/louisville_forward/west_louisville_
development, safety. health and
community services.

30 31
What does it take for Louisville
to have the worlds most
resilient communities?


Urban resilience is the capacity of individuals,
communities, institutions, businesses, and systems
within a city to survive, adapt, and grow no matter
what type of chronic stresses and acute shocks
they experience.

Image Credit: Louisville Metro Government

02 The Agenda Setting

City resilience is about The Agenda Setting Workshop gathered stakeholders from
various sectors and industries in the city to discuss the topic
making a city better, in both
of resilience and what it means to Louisville moving forward.
good times and bad, for the The purpose of the event was to familiarize stakeholders
with the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) initiative and to gain
benefit of all its citizens,
local knowledge regarding some of the major issues and
particularly the poor and opportunities related to resilience in Louisville.
The workshop results highlighted in this chapter will serve
Mayor Greg Fischer as the foundation for a Resilience Strategy that the City will
develop as a next step. In addition, the themes surfaced
during the Agenda Setting Workshop will provide additional
insights which helped the City identify Eric Friedlander as the
Chief Resilience Officer (CRO) for Louisville, who will lead the
Resilience Strategy process.

Mayor Greg Fischer, along with other City staff and leaders
who attended the workshop, expressed commitment to
supporting and continuing to spearhead resilience efforts
in Louisville. His opening and closing remarks, as well as his
attendance throughout the day, underscored the importance
of the 100RC initiative. Leaders from 100RC also were in
attendance and contributed to the workshops success.
Mayor Greg Fischer during
Agenda Setting Workshop Participants included more than two hundred stakeholders
opening remarks. including volunteer facilitators and notetakers. The workshop
was facilitated by City staff, 100RC leaders and Perkins+Will
with the support from 100RC platform partners.

Agenda Setting Workshop. Clockwise: Otis Rolley, 100RC and Mayor Greg Fischer - Welcoming of Louisville to
100RC; Stakeholders during exercise report out; Table discussion; Eric Wilson, 100RC and Chris Chandler, The Nature
Conservancy; Table discussion; Eric Wilson, 100RC addressing the audience. Image Credit: Perkins+Will.

34 35
The Agenda Setting Workshop included four modules:
three table exercises and a panel discussion on the topic
of equity and resilience. 16 tables of 8-10 stakeholders each
participated in the exercises. The panel was preceded by
a keynote address from Christine Morris, Chief Resilience
Officer for Norfolk, Virginia. The results of the exercises and
the takeaways from the panel are summarized below, and
highlighted throughout this chapter.

Module 1 (Exercise): What is Resilience?

The objective of Module 1 was to familiarize Stakeholders
with 100RCs definition of Resilience and to obtain a first

01 read on what resilience means to Louisville. Stakeholders at

each table were asked to write down their own definition of
resilience as it applied to the city and to the organizations
they represented. This was followed by a discussion in which
each table came to a consensus on their key points and
then reported to the larger group. The report out helped
set the tone for the day as it provided an overview of the
stakeholders understanding of resilience in Louisville.
Module 2 (Exercise): Shocks + Stresses 02
Module 2 aimed to gather information from stakeholders
regarding Louisvilles top shocks and stresses.

02 Shocks are one-time acute events such as earthquakes,

sandstorms, market crashes, etc. Stresses are chronic
conditions that weaken the fabric of a city over time
-- whether it is on a day-to-day or cyclical basis such as
poverty, unemployment, etc.

The exercise had two parts. In the first part, facilitators at

each table distributed a series of cards listing various shocks
and stresses among the Stakeholders. Stakeholders were
asked to rank each issue according to how likely they were
to occur (high - low) and what level or consequence each
event has/would have (high - low). In the second part, each
table was encouraged to build consensus around their top
three shocks and stresses that are highly likely and of high
consequence. A volunteer from each table reported the table
results back to the broader group.

Agenda Setting Workshop Stakeholders. Clockwise: Module 1: What is Resilience?; Module 2: Shocks and Stresses.
Image Credit: Perkins+Will.

36 37
Module 3 (Panel Discussion and Keynote Speaker): Equity
The purpose of module 3 was two-fold: engage the audience
in a panel discussion around equity and hear from Norfolks

03 Chief Resilience Officer about Norfolks Resilience Strategy.

This module provided Stakeholders with lessons learned and
considerations for Louisvilles Resilience Strategy moving

Module 4 (Exercise): City Resilience Framework (CRF)

Module 4 used the CRF tool, which is built on four essential
dimensions of urban resilience: Health & Wellbeing, Economy

04 & Society, Infrastructure & Environment, and Leadership &

Strategy. Each dimension contains three drivers (and a series
of sub-drivers) which reflect the actions or issues relevant
to resilience. For this exercise, each participant was given 12 03 04
color dots: 3 green (representing areas of strength); 3 yellow
(representing areas in which the city can do better); and 3 red
(representing areas in which they city can do much better).

Stakeholders were asked to place one dot per driver

ranking the degree to which the City was strong or needed
improvement in that area. Following the individual ratings,
each table had a discussion around each driver and worked
towards building consensus on their rating. Teams reported
highlights of their final results to the broader group.

The following pages outline the outcomes of each exercise


Module 4 / City Resilience Framework Drivers:

Infrastructure & Environment

Provides Reliable Communication & Mobility
Leadership & Strategy
Promotes Leadership & Effective Management
Ensures Continuity of Critical Services Empowers a Broad Range of Stakeholders
Provides & Enhances Natural & Man-made Assets Fosters Long-Term & Integrated Planning
Agenda Setting Workshop. Clockwise: Module 3: Panel Discussion (from left to right: Arnita Gadson, West Jefferson
Economy & Society Health & Wellbeing
County Community Task Force; John Marshall, Jefferson County Public Schools; Brian Warren, Louisville Metro
Fosters Economic Prosperity Meets Basic Needs
Ensures Social Stability, Security & Justice Supports Livelihoods and Employment Government; Otis Rolley, 100RC; Christine Morris, City of Norfolk); Module 3: City Resilience Framework. Image Credit:
Promotes Cohesive & Engaged Communities Ensures Public Health Services Perkins+Will.
38 39
02 Resilience Lens.
Agenda Setting Workshop Results.

You cannot achieve

The 55,000 Degrees initiative
urban resilience without seeks to increase educational
attainment in Louisville by 55,000
addressing equity. postsecondary degrees by 2020.
Resilience in Louisville begins with having the right lens Many other efforts such as the 55,000 Degrees initiative or
Equity is the elimination through which an approach and a strategy is developed. the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods are making
of disparities. This became clear during the Agenda Setting Workshop in strides in achieving a more equitable city.
which stakeholders worked through their own definition and
Otis Rolley, 100RC The Louisville Metro
diagnosis of resilience as it applied to Louisville. This lens Louisville is a city driven by compassion and tenacity. Hours Government Office for Safe and
must encompass a wide range of factors, including urban prior to the Agenda Setting Workshop, Mayor Fischer invited Healthy Neighborhoods Focuses
health issues, educational attainment, job stability and crime citizens to a rally at the Muhammad Ali Center in support of on ensuring that Louisville is
while also narrowing focus to achievable tasks. Louisvilles immigrants, migrants and refugees. His message a city of safe neighborhoods,
The Citys participation in the where all citizens feel secure,
was clear: Louisville is a welcoming and inclusive city that
Racial Equity Here initiative Among these factors, Equity became a reoccurring theme. supported and prepared for
is inspired by the worldwide legacy of Muhammad Ali. This
provides the most current lifelong success.
Initially identified during the citys application to be part demonstration of compassion is worth celebrating and will
context for the term Equity.
of the 100 Resilient Cities, the need to focus on equity was help catalyze the Citys resilience narrative.
Though not defined explicitly
during the Agenda Setting validated throughout the Agenda Setting Workshop. Placing safe-neighborhoods
Workshop, equity was often equity at the core of any future resilience strategy for the
mentioned along with race when city is, according to stakeholders, not only key to addressing
discussing resilience issues. other critical issues in Louisville, but also essential to celebrating and leveraging the citys DNA.
cial-equity-here Finding a balance as well as connections between Equity
and other key issues facing Louisville will be critical to the
success of Louisvilles Resilience Strategy. Building upon the
achievements the city is making in related areas will propel
the process and end goal. As highlighted by Mayor Fischers
The Center for Health Equity opening remarks at the Agenda Setting Workshop, this
equips, trains and advocates for sentiment is already evident in some of the Citys current
equitable policies and prac-
efforts; especially as it relates to racial and health equity.
tices across Louisville Metro
Government departments, and Louisville is the countrys home of the first city government
with community groups, orga- chartered Center for Health Equity; and one of the first cities
nizations and corporations to in the country to eliminate homelessness among veterans.
advance equity across Louisville. Last year, it earned the Culture of Health Prize from the
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for its work focusing on
overall health and engaging the community in the broadest
possible terms on well-being.

Protesters gathered around Muhammad Ali Center for a pro-immigrant rally hosted by Mayor Fischer on
January 29th, 2016. Image Credit: Mayor Greg Fischer.

40 41
02 What is Resilience?
Our Take on Resilience.
Agenda Setting Workshop Results: Module 1
Isolation works against Stakeholders at the ASW strongly believed that a resilient
resilience. Louisville should foster equity, inclusion and accessibility. It
should focus on the breaking of silos and the strengthening of
Mayor Greg Fischer
connections across geographies, demographics, ages, socio-
economics, races, sectors, industries, and neighborhoods, to
name a few.
We have more than two While Louisville has great foundation to start with, much
Strategies should
work is needed enable
to reach aanewnew kind offuture.
resilient socialAccording
to This is why empowering informal networks that are already Adaptability isnt enough when
Louisvilles; it is divided. that focuses on the individual and the family first and makes its
stakeholders, special attention should be paid to eliminating in possession of local knowledge is as important to resilience
way into robust and thriving systems that are flexible and agile policies are inequitable.
There is no racial tension; disparities between what they referred to as multiple as building capacity among organized enterprises. Such
at the same time. Resilience in Louisville means going beyond Stakeholder
and divided Louisvilles. They believed that a resilient empowerment begins with building trust in communities
there is racism. the ability to adapt as a system; it means empowering its small-
Louisville should foster equity, inclusion, and accessibility. where institutions in power have overshadowed individual
Stakeholder est organism to prepare, bounce back, learn and move forward,
It should break silos and strengthen connections between voices.
while keeping the next generation at the forefront.
neighborhoods, sectors, and industries, and people with
different empowering informal networks, those already in
backgrounds. Innovative processes and policies play major roles in
ISLAND EFFECT ARTICLE / FAITH possession of local knowledge, is as important to resilience as addressing mistrust, as well as providing information. Resilience is about
In a city, everything and building capacity
A resilience among
strategy shouldorganized enterprises.
enable social Such empower-
connectedness Vulnerable populations need to know what resources are
ment begins with building trust inand
communities where institu-
between individuals, their families, their communities, as available to them and how to best use them. Access to
everyone is connected. tions in power (whether government or the private sector) have responsiveness and
these connections are central to robust and thriving systems. information also helps with the reduction of redundancies and
Isolation works against shadowed peoples voices.
Resilience in Louisville will require going beyond the ability resource managementtwo key elements highlighted at the proactive measures. If we
resilience. to adapt systems. Since isolation works against resilience, Agenda Setting Workshop.
stay ready, we dont have to
this will require empowering all Louisvillians to prepare, learn
Mayor Greg Fischer and bounce back for generations to come. Lastly, stakeholders emphasized the need to frame resilience get ready.
Adaptability isnt not only in response to negative events and conditions, but
enough when policies also in the context of harnessing opportunities for innovation
are inequitable and creative initiatives.

Flip the mindset from Its about

responding to an issue How do having robust
we build a
Information is key: Do resilient Louisville
and thriving in-
to thinking of how to
use it as an opportunity people know what is Fix institutional biases!
it a
is resilient
also abouthalf
and build proactively available to them? and a struggling half?
around it. being agile and flexible.

How do we build a
Build systems; go beyond
responding to crisis. resilient Louisville in- Resilience means Seniors and immi-
stead of a resilient half proactive not reactive. grants are isolated.
Be flexible.
and a struggling half?

Refugees are the defini- Its about our ability

tion of resilience. Kids Green Infrastructure toAdaptability
bounce back isnt
as an
Its about thriving. are immediately resilient. is a necessity, not an enough when policies
enterprise and a system,
What can we learn from amenity are inequitable
them? but also as individuals.

Stakeholder responses from Module 1: What is Resilience? Images showing stakeholder responses from Module 1: What is Resilience? Image Credit: Perkins+Will.

42 43
02 Stresses and Shocks.
Agenda Setting Workshop Results: Module 2

Understanding Interdependencies: industrial and transportation facilities can have negative The areas with the smallest
Shocks are time-bound acute events externalities such as diminished air quality, increased noise
that can significantly impact a city.
share of canopy coverand
The shocks and stresses exercise reinforced the need for and dust, and the threat of hazardous material spills that raise
Stresses are chronic conditions a holistic approach to resilience that was first raised by environmental justice concerns. the hardest-hit by urban
that weaken the fabric of a city stakeholders during Module 1. Stakeholders demonstrated
heat islandoften have a lot
over time -- whether its on a an intuitive understanding of interdependencies between Louisvilles low-income and minority neighborhoods are
day-to-day or cyclical basis. shocks and stresses, and provided a window into the citys often adjacent to industrial centers and lack tree canopy and other problems to contend
complex resilience challenges related to income disparities. green infrastructure, including parks. This has led to urban with: racial and economic
heat islands, neighborhoods where ambient temperatures
Although stakeholders noted that Louisville has many are up to ten degrees higher than in other parts of the city. disparities, plus years of
The Greater Louisville Projects high-priority stresses that affect the city as a whole Another problem exacerbated by the lack of trees and limited chronic neglect by the city.1
most recent report links (such as increasingly erratic weather patterns and aging infrastructure capacity is rapid stormwater rise, which causes
the citys history of racial infrastructure) they felt that its most pressing problems floods during heavy rains. 1 CityLab Magazine Online.
discrimination to socioeconomic will have the greatest impact on its most vulnerable
problems it faces today -
populations. From 2012-2013, Louisville jumped from 32nd to fixer/2017/02/louisville-is-beat-
problems like low income, lack
of health insurance, and poor 23rd on an income inequality ranking of the 50 largest cities ing-the-heat-with-spirituali-
in the U.S.1 From pollution and environmental justice issues ty/515880/
education that stakeholders felt
would impact their ability to to lagging infrastructure investments, the myriad stresses
deal with environmental shocks faced by disadvantaged populations from their surroundings have wide-ranging impacts like poor health, social isolation
wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Fi- and diminished economic opportunities. Stakeholders
nal-PDF_GLP-2015-Poverty-Report. overwhelmingly acknowledged that inequalities are driven
by poverty, racism and decades of bad development policy.

Poor air quality, for example, is a health threat faced across

the city. However, some types of air pollution are more
localized than others and have disproportionate impacts on
residents. In Louisville, this includes heavily industrialized
areas like Rubbertown with its conglomeration of chemical
and related industries; or heavy transportation infrastructure
like rail switchyards and associated manufacturing plants.
Louisville is home to 58 facilities reporting air emissions
to EPAs Toxic Release Inventory2, four interstates, three
significant rail lines, and a healthy logistics / trucking
industry. While major drivers of Louisvilles economy, these Agenda Setting Workshop stakeholders discussing Louisvilles shocks and stresses. Image Credit: Perkins+Will
1 100 Resilient Cities Challenge, Louisville Application, 2015.
2 Ibid.

44 45
We are only as resilient as Like air pollution, these incidents can disproportionately Stakeholders during the Agenda Setting Workshop identified the following as top
affect low-income populations, further endangering health shocks and stresses in the city. A brief description of each is provided in the next pages.
the least resilient of us.
and economic wellbeing. One needs only to turn to New
Mayor Greg Fischer Orleans to see the struggles low-income residents have
faced when confronted with calamitous flooding. Because of
limited resources or difficulties with insurance claims, costly 75% Severe Weather
repairs often took months; exacerbating other problems such
as mold and wood decay. 75% Economic Crisis / Industry Collapse / Market Crash

In sum, stakeholders tied income disparities to increased 43% Infrastructure Failure

vulnerability to shocks and stresses. While an economic
18% Riot / Civil Unrest
crisis, such as market crash or industry collapse may affect
residents across the board, other shocks like severe weather
or infrastructure failure were identified as a greater threat to
underserved and vulnerable populations.

Neighborhoods that have historically and intentionally

experienced the most disinvestment are often the ones
that are least equipped to deal with environmental issues. 87% Poverty / Inequity / Lack of Inclusiveness
Because of these locational drivers, populations in poverty
have fewer opportunities to access supportive infrastructure. 56% Poor Population Health / Wellbeing
In addition, dependence on transit systems that are
37% Low Performing Education Systems
incomplete or underfunded limit individuals access to
critical support in the event of an extreme weather event or 25% Aging Infrastructure
infrastructure failure.

By using the resilience lens to examine Louisvilles persistent *Percentages based on total number of tables.
challenges of inequity, poverty and lack of inclusion, the city
will be better equipped to respond, adapt and thrive in the
face of unforeseen events.
Shocks are often harder to
overcome by imbalanced or
disjointed systems; which is why the
understanding of interdependencies
becomes pivotal to Louisvilles
resilience narrative.

Agenda Setting Workshop stakeholders discussing Louisvilles shocks and stresses. Image Credit: Perkins+Will

46 47
Top Shocks
Tornadoes, storms and flooding were also identified as
Severe Weather
having major impacts in the community. The increase in
warm and cold front collisions within the Ohio Valley has
FACT: IN 2012, 53 75% of the tables indicated that severe weather is one of
meant more extreme weather events for cities like Louisville,
PEOPLE IN THE the top shocks facing the city. Some tables grouped specific
with more risk of severe rain and ice storms, and sometimes
LOUISVILLE AREA weather events under this overarching category. Of the spe-
tornadoes. The citys lack of green infrastructure and large
DIED FROM CAUSES cific events identified, heat wave and tornadoes appeared
expanses of impervious surfaces increase risk of flooding that
LIKELY RELATED TO several times followed by storms and flooding.
can claim lives and damage property.
TEMPERATURES.1 Louisville is at high risk for negative impacts from a heat
wave because of the citys significant urban heat island2. Economic Crisis: Market Crash; Business Closure
1 Louisville Urban Heat Management Louisville is the nations fastest warming urban heat island
Study, 2016.
sites/default/files/sustainability/ since the 1960s3 and the effect is amplified by the impact
75% of table responses considered an economic crash,
pdf_files/louisville_heat_mgt_re- of increased global temperatures. A major heat wave is
port_final_web.pdf industry collapse or business closure to be of high likelihood
estimated to cause dozens of deaths, increase medical costs
and/or high consequence in Louisville. Potential impacts on
for vulnerable populations, and increase utility expenses for
a large employers like UPS were referenced as examples.
all citizens. The toll on human health continues to rise when
Though UPS operations are not currently threatened in any
vehicles idling with air conditioning contribute to increased
way, a minor shock triggered by market failure elsewhere in
nitrogen oxide discharge into the air during these extreme
the world might be felt in Louisville; and the prospect of this
events. This burdens the local health care system with
led many workshop participants to reflect on how closely the
hundreds of additional residents suffering respiratory and
citys economy was tied to factors outside of local control.
cardiovascular events.
The fear of failure of landmark companies such as Ford, GE,
A 2015 report by the Risky Business Project4 shows that
and Humana, however unlikely, was on participants minds
Kentucky faces the greatest global change health risk from
as they debated how incidents such as hazardous material
rising heat. The report finds that by mid-century, extreme
accidents or shifts in consumer preferences might seriously
heat events may directly claim up to 300 additional lives
affect Louisvilles industries. Participants were also quite
annually in Kentucky and significantly more may suffer from
sensitive to business closures in West Louisville, including
secondary health impacts. These downstream impacts arise
grocery store closings that have severe impacts on the health
from broader environmental issues caused by relience on
and well-being of communities.
fossil fuels, worsened by increased cooling demand.


48 49
Infrastructure Failure Riot / Civil Unrest

43% of table responses identified infrastructure vulnerability Out of all the shocks and stresses associated with social
and failure as a top shock in the city, with the four-month conditions, riot / civil unrest had some of the most
shutdown of the Sherman Minton Bridge in 2011 as a recent urgent appeals and unvarnished sentiments as recorded
example. This key river crossing is used by 80,000 vehicles in the notes. Most comments suggest the presence of a
daily to cross between Louisville and Southern Indiana. widespread, latent sense of grievance that, given the right
Cracks found in the steel structure forced an emergency circumstance, could trigger social upheaval. This is not
closure and expensive repair, which exposed additional surprising considering the current national conversation
cracks. around the fractured relationship between law enforcement
and communities of color, and the divisive rhetoric that
The Citys water distribution and collection infrastructure is resurfaced during the 2016 presidential race.
also aging and in some cases failing, causing environmental
damage. Recent coverage in the Courier-Journal described At least two tables spoke frankly about the presence of
the chronic flooding and wastewater issues faced by the racism as the motivating factor in the threat of civil unrest
Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) as they attempted to and stated that racism was linked intimately with poverty
correct overflow problems identified in a 2005 consent and inequity. They referred to the Civil Rights Era where
decree. Among other issues, century-old sewers are prone decades of disaffection among African-Americans boiled
to collapse; leaving dangerous sinkholes and exposure to over into protests and sometimes riots, triggered by the
contaminated water should flooding occur. MSDs long-term assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.
plan identifies solutions but the $4.3 billion cost is difficult
to generate through tax increases in an unfavorable political One table discussed the multiple factors of poverty that
climate. The funding roadblocks surrounding these issues could be flashpoints for civil unrest: racial tension, crime
will be decided by the beginning of summer, 2017, which will and gang activity, substance abuse, poor mental health, and
have immediate implications for the citys resilience strategy. inadequate childcare. This table ultimately did not choose
civil unrest as a top shock. Subsequent group discussion
examined the relationship between civil unrest and systemic
racial and socioeconomic stresses.

50 51
Top Stresses

FACT: A PERSON Poverty / Inequity and policies); a shortage of healthcare professionals; lack of
LIVING IN POVERTY IN health insurance; and lack of fresh and healthy food options.
LOUISVILLE IS NEARLY A comparison of Louisville to 16 of its peers reveals that the
Participants identified poverty and inequity as the citys
9 TIMES LESS LIKELY city ranks 15 in health behavior, 16 in adult obesity, 15 in
top stress. Recent studies support this conclusion. A 2015
TO HAVE A HIGH tobacco use and 14 in diet and exercise.1
study by the Greater Louisville Project2 ranked Louisville 15th
SCHOOL DEGREE, IS out of 17 comparable cities for the highest concentrations
ALMOST FIVE TIMES Participants also identified mental health issues (Kentucky
of people living in poverty (a total of 84,000 residents).
MORE LIKELY TO BE has a higher rate of suicide than the national average2) and
Two census tracts including the Portland and Russell
UNEMPLOYED AND drug addiction as major causes of Poor Population Health.
neighborhoods ranked amongst the poorest tracts out of
IS LIKELY TO HAVE 3,228 in 17 peer cities.3 The report noted that residents in
1 Greater Louisville Project.
A SHORTER LIFE these areas are more likely to be uninsured, unemployed, and 2
EXPECTANCY BY undereducated. er-than-national-average/
Low Performing Education Systems
In addition, as of 2015, 10% of Jefferson County seniors live
1 below the poverty line, with the highest concentrations
for-poverty-rates/8377261 among Black or African American and Hispanic or Latino. A third of participants considered Low-Performing Education
But perhaps the most sobering figure is that 24% of children Systems to be a top stress. According to the Greater
Half of homeless families in in Jefferson County live below the poverty line (higher Louisville Project, kindergarten readiness is currently only 51%
than national average), with 47% of these children being (with a goal of 77% by 2020) and K-12 student preparedness
Louisville have jobs. is 61% (with a goal of 100% by 2020)1. Participants were
Black or African American.4 Getting concentrated pockets
Stakeholder of poverty in Louisville to a city average level could bring careful to emphasize the linkage between poverty and poor
5,200 children out of poverty and add up to a decade of life education performance, even noting that food insecurity was
expectancy to its residents.5 a contributing factor.

Others voiced their support for the education system and

2 Greater Louisville Project.
3 noted that poor performance was not an organizational
study-louisville-neighborhoods-among-poorest/94541828/ problem, but dependent on socio-economic status. This
4 dialogue underscored that poverty is central to the challenges
5 Greater Louisville Project.
faced by children in failing schools, much like other American
Poor Population Health cities.

Participants identified poor population health as a second

top stress. Some of their concerns included poor air quality
and pollution (though air quality has greatly improved over
the years due to the efforts of the Air Pollution Control 1 Greater Louisville Project.
District and the communitys support of clean air initiatives

52 53
Agenda Setting Workshop Results: Top Shocks and Stresses in Louisville

Table Shocks Table Stresses

Count Count

(12) Economic Crisis: Market (14) Poverty / Inequity / Lack of

Crash; Business Closure; inclusiveness
Industry Collapse
Aging Infrastructure (09) Poor Wellbeing / Poor
(12) Severe Weather: Tornado; population health
A majority of participants recognized the stress of Rainfall Flooding; Extreme
aging infrastructure and its relationship to the shock of Temperatures (06) Inadequate / Under-
infrastructure failure. Aging infrastructure is a persistent prepared / Low performing
problem that drains local resources as systems that need
renewal are patched for the short-term. The findings of the
(07) Infrastructure vulnerability or education systems
Move Louisville plan illustrate this point.
(04) Aging infrastructure
According to Move Louisville, a 2012 assessment done (03) Riot civil unrest
by Transmap rated 30% of Louisville Metro roadways
(02) Racial tension / Lack of
as deficient. The cost to rehabilitate these roadways is
estimated at $112 million. This amount does not account
(02) Hazardous materials social cohesion

for the additional $86 million needed to repair a portion

of the 2,200 miles of sidewalks or the $27 million needed (02) Degradation of built and
for bridges and culverts. In total, Louisville Metro has a (01) Diseases related to addiction natural environment
maintenance backlog of $288 million for local streets
only. The Interstate system and other major roadways are
operated by the state.1 (01) Reduction in federal and (02) Climate change
state resources
According to stakeholders, the City often has to compete (01) State Policies
for funds for infrastructure improvements with other (01) Habitat loss
municipalities in the State. This makes maintenance of aging
infrastructure a major challenge.
(01) Crime and violence
(01) Cyber sttack
In addition, tax issues and tax reform create financing (01) Lack of affordable housing
challenges. While the state is examining tax reform issues,
Louisville only receives half of every dollar sent to Frankfort (01) High unemployment
in taxes.

(01) Lack of long-term planning

(01) Vacant and unoccupied

1 Move Louisville, 2035 Transportation Plan, 2016.
*Based on 16 tables

54 55

Areas of strength Can do better Can do much better

gy He
02 Louisvilles Strengths and rate Long
-Term Mee
Ba s i c N t s
s t e r s te g r a t e d
F & In ee d
Areas For Improvement
n i ng
Pl a n
& oa

Br L iv S up

Agenda Setting Workshop Results: Module 4 a Em e li h p
s o f rs


e lde pl

St R a n e r

or s & t


oo m en

ak g



The Citys approach to resilience and equity was illuminated

during the Citys Resilience Framework (CRF) exercise.

& Effec dershi

E n s S e r v i ce s
The CRF helps cities identify Though participants agreed that Louisville meets some of

Manag tive
s Lea

e me

areas of strength and areas of its residents basic needs, the benefits were not deemed to

improvements based on 4 main

be distributed across the board. The Meets Basic Needs
dimensions, 12 drivers and 52
driver was therefore ranked as an area in need of significant
improvement; especially as it relates to providing affordable, LOUISVILLES
quality and safe housing options, access to healthy food, and RESILIENCE
health services for all.

& En s Cohesive

t i es
Com gaged
& M ob

s R e l i on
Infr a

m ot
il it y

i ab l



c ie
En f Cr

& ity, ial

s u itic

il oc

re a



st i
l S nt i n


su tab

er ui n
E S it y
v ic t y r

& es

En N at v i d e s &
o mi
c y
u ra l En
& Ma hances E co n
vir As s e n - m a d e
Fosters erity
on ts
o n
nt Ec
Fosters Long-Term & Integrated Planning Ensures Social Stability, Security and Justice
Sub-Drivers: City monitoring and data manage- Sub-Drivers: Deterrents to crime; Corruption re-
ment; Strategies and plans; Land-use and develop- duction; Policing to promote safety and security;
ment; Building codes, standards & enforcement. Law enforcement.

Promotes Leadership and Effective Mgmt. Meets Basic Needs

Sub-Drivers: Multi-stakeholder alignment; Govern- Sub-Drivers: Housing; Energy; Water; Food.
ment alignment; Decision making and leadership;
Emergency capacity and coordination.

Promotes Cohesive and Engaged Communities Empowers Broad Range of Stakeholders

Sub-Drivers: Education; Public risk Awareness; Sub-Drivers: Education; Public risk Awareness;
Agenda Setting Workshop stakeholders during Module 4: City Resilience Framework. Image Credit: Perkins+Will.
Risk monitoring and alerts; Communication be- Risk monitoring and alerts; Communication be-
tween government and public; Knowledge trans- tween government and public; Knowledge trans-
56 fer and best practices. fer and best practices.
Insights on the Citys Resilience Framework.

FACT: MORE THAN 1 Health & Wellbeing Economy and Society

CHILDREN LACK Meets basic needs Promotes cohesive and engaged communities
CONSISTENT ACCESS Supports livelihoods and employment Ensures social stability, security and justice
TO ENOUGH FOOD Ensures public health services Fosters economic prosperity
Areas to improve: Areas to improve:
Quality and affordable housing options. Access to small business loans.
Access to healthy foods (especially for kids). There are Reentry programs and services.
1 Kentuchy Association of Food many food deserts in the city. Employment opportunities for ex-convicts and workforce
Banks. Public health issues; for example, drug abuse, obesity, etc. development.
Response to ongoing opiate crisis. Equal access to financial opportunities; there is racial bias.
Equal access to healthcare and health services. Support of local business more than of national
Areas of strength: Continued economic growth and opportunity that is
Supply of basic needs such as water and energy. mindful of air and environmental quality and equity issues.
Healthcare facilities in good condition. There shouldnt have to be a trade-off.
Land use and development that addresses vacant
Implementation of planning studies.

Areas of strength:
$411 million of the City budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal
year is dedicated to public safety agencies. This accounts
for 58% of its total and includes hiring 40 firefighters and
122 LMPD officers and replacing police cars, fire trucks,
ambulances, snow plows and garbage/recycling vehicles.1

Table Results (Based on 16 tables) Table Results (Based on 16 tables)

Meets basic needs Supports livelihoods and Ensures public Promotes leadership and Ensures social stability, Promotes cohesive and
employment health services effective management security and justice engaged communities

43% 37% 43% 43% 50% 43%

Can do much better Can do better Can do better Can do better Can do much better Doing well


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Infrastructure and Environment Leadership and Strategy

Enhances and provides protective natural and manmade Promotes leadership and effective management
assets Empowers a broad range of stakeholders
Ensures continuity of critical services Fosters long-term and integrated planning
Provides reliable communication and mobility

Areas to improve: Areas to improve:

Connectivity between residential area and job centers. Broader representation of stakeholders in leadership.
Connectivity of the park system. Transfer of knowledge is important.
Improvement of TARCs system, including extension of Implementation of taskforces, especially for housing.
service as well as a more reliable schedule. Empowering of people who are already doing work.
Public transportation options to complement TARC such Implementation of existing plans.
as additional bus lines, shuttles, etc.
City policies that support multimodal infrastructure and Areas of strength:
pedestrian-oriented improvements. Robust local government, leadership and management.
Implementation of green infrastructure to help reduce the Promotion of cohesive social systems.
impact of flooding. Extensive long-term planning.
Equal access to communication infrastructure such as Strong local, neighborhood and community identity.

Areas of strength:
Good parks system and good air quality.
Good communication technology and information
distribution during emergencies.

Table Results (Based on 16 tables) Table Results (Based on 16 tables)

Enhances and provides Ensures continuity of Provides reliable Promotes leadership and Empowers a broad range of Fosters long-term and
protective natural and critical services communication and mobility effective management stakeholders integrated planning
manmade assets

50% 37% 37% 62% 62% 56%

Can do much better Can do better Can do much better Doing well Can do much better Doing well

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02 Looking Ahead.
Agenda Setting Workshop Results: Module 3

The Agenda Setting Workshop featured a keynote address Connect and Build Upon: Organizations tend to be silos. It is
from Christine Morris, Chief Resilience Officer (CRO) from the important to connect multiple resources and think broadly.
City of Norfolk, Virginia. Morris shared Norfolks Resilience Honoring previous work is critical; especially to eliminate
Strategy and a summary of current implementation efforts. the re-creation of data and information. Understanding
After her address, Morris participated in a panel discussion and building upon previous and existing initiatives is very
regarding social equity, which included local panelists important.
representing different sectors.
Challenges are Assets: Issues that cities deal with are
The panel offered insights on a variety of topics related to often seen as challenges more than assets. In the City of
equity and resilience. The panel themes were intended to Norfolk, increased flooding due to water level elevations
provide insights for Louisvilles CRO to lead the development in coastal areas is a challenge. This challenge was used
of a resilience strategy. Below are highlights from these as an opportunity to create innovative approaches to
discussions. neighborhood planning that included green and blue
infrastructure. It also was seen as an economic opportunity
Lessons Learned to be leveraged.
Christine Morris, City of Norfolk Chief Resilience Officer
Individuals First: Resilience should focus on individuals; they
Adapt and Reconfigure: Is the city changing in a way that create communities and systems every day.
makes it thrive or is it looking at its past? It is important to
have a mindset that is focused on the future and that might Resilience is a Continuum: Resilience is constantly in motion
mean changing everything. Resilience is also about risk and systems should be constantly tested, even when they
reduction: How can Louisville be here in the future? work. Focus on defining your agenda and listen to the next
generation. Eliminate other agendas that are distracting and
A System of Systems: Think of resilience as a system of evaluate as you go.
systems. At times, a change in one system may have a
significant impact in another system. For example, improving
CHRISTINE MORRIS the communication network and providing commuters
Chief Resilience Office, with the right information on where crashes and delays are
City of Norfolk, VA happening at any given point may improve transportation.

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Regional Director, City and Practice
Management, Africa and North America,

Panel Highlights
Questions and Answers

What happens after the Resilience Strategy? As Louisville thinks about its Comp Plan 2020, how does the
Having a Chief Resilience Officer and a Resilience Strategy for City design for equity?
the city is significant, but the true contribution is the platform Place and space matters; land use drives peoples experience.
JEANA DUNLAP (moderator)
Director, Office of Redevelopment and the network contributions by 100RC. Think about the experience. Is there a quintessential
Strategies, Louisville Metro Govt.
Louisville experience? Is it diverse? Is it familiar? Is it
How do you build capacity? quiet? The experience has to be unique, from Louisville.
It is critical to use 100RC partners to help the Louisville build Stakeholders already decided it will be compassionate and
capacity from within. The City should consider using non- equitable, but how does that translate into the physical
traditional community outreach methods, like holding open environment?
houses in community centers, recreation rooms or peoples
houses. What are some of the issues you are addressing?
Trust. Building a strong level of trust is important.
Empower communities by engaging their localized leaders It is important to be unapologetic in a district that is not
those already working in the groundbecause they can white. We need to provide access to our students. Speak the
Executive Director, West Jefferson
County Community Task Force act as doors. Foster cross-sector, cross-cultural and cross- truth. Challenge and address some of the gaps. Put race at
generational collaboration and eliminate redundancies by the center. Be louder and grumpier.
respecting previous work.
What is the difference between environmental protection
What are some basic dos and donts? and environmental justice?
Determine early if the City wants to work with an existing Environmental protection has an overall approach while
portfolio of initiatives or not. Identify pros and cons. The City environmental justice is about ensuring that nobody is
of Norfolk chose to work with no portfolio, but it is dependent disproportionately affected by issues. We need to distinguish
on resource availability. Regardless, always honor everyones between what is equity and what is fairness.
Chief Equity Officer, Jefferson County
Public Schools

Image Credit: Perkins+Will.

Director, Office of Globalization,
Louisville Metro Government 65
The fight is won or lost far away
from witnessesbehind the
lines, in the gym, and out there
on the road, long before I dance
under those lights.
Muhammad Ali

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Case Study

Image Credit: Perkins+Will

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03 The Compassionate
Schools Project.
Resilient Louisville In Action.

Based on the Agenda Setting Workshop findings, building The three CSP pilot schools received positive feedback from
resilience in Louisville will start with individuals in their principals and teachers. Results included improvements in
neighborhoods and their interactions with the citys students ability to self-regulate and self-monitor behavior
broader systems. The Compassionate Schools Project (CSP) in the classroom. Additional outcomes include reduced test
exemplifies such a program. CSP is an elementary school anxiety and increased focus in the classroom.
curriculum that integrates development of mind and body.
The program interweaves support in academic achievement, By the 2017-2018 school year, there will be 25 schools in
mental fitness, and physical health. CSP is building Louisville receiving the CSP curriculum and 25 control
Louisvilles resilience by empowering children to manage the comparison schools.
shocks and stresses of their daily lives and equips them with
tools to build lifelong health and wellness.
CSP Testimonials
Mindfulness-based instruction, social-emotional skills training The curriculum in the Compassionate Schools
and attentive movement are being used increasingly in Project is unlike any curriculum I have ever taught.
individual schools across the United States. CSP is the We are literally teaching our students how to focus,
first to implement and study these skills across a sample be resilient and have self-management. I believe
representative of an entire school district. It is also the first every teacher can agree that these are components
curriculum to integrate these with skills shown to aid child our students desperately need. Many of our
physical health. students are living lives that encounter emotional
trauma on a daily basis, this curriculum is teaching
Starting with three pilot schools, the curriculum was our students to process their emotions in a healthy
implemented for all K-5 students twice each week. The way. I have never felt more passionate about my
classes served more than 1,300 students and were evaluated role as an educator as I have this year teaching in
and adjusted for optimal teacher and student engagement, the Compassionate Schools Project.
schedule integration, age appropriateness and compatibility
with the data measurement plan. Meghann Clem, CSP Teacher, Cane Run Elementary

From top to bottom:

Mayor Fischer with CSP students. Image credit: Courtesy of LMG.
Students in the classroom. Image credit: WDRB News
Students practice calming breaths in the schools gym.
Image Credit: Wendi C. Thomas,

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Image Credit: Shopify

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04 Key Resilience

Mayor Fischer concluded the Resilient Louisville Agenda Funding Sources

Setting Workshop with an explanation of how he intends Explore public/private programs and partnerships with
to use the days discussions to guide the citys resilience local industry (i.e., UPS for extreme snow/weather events)
strategy, together with Louisvilles Chief Resilience Officer in exchange for possible emergency support.
(CRO). The workshop affirmed that Poverty/Inequity, Poor
Population Health, and Low-Performing Education Systems Food Security
are Louisvilles top stresses. Severe Weather, Economic Examine ways to expand fresh food options in
Crisis, and Infrastructure Failure surfaced as top shocks. neighborhoods with limited or a complete lack of access.
Build upon Louisvilles burgeoning reputation as a local
Louisvilles new CRO will use this guide for further culinary destination to encourage urban food production.
exploration, engagement, and validation of the citys
resilience challenges. The CRO will also work with Role of the Commonwealth
stakeholders to better define key drivers like equity and their Identify opportunities to pursue resilience through the
relationship to the citys resilience. state legislature.

The following points are Strategy Partner and workshop Water/Stormwater Management
participant recommendations as Louisville embarks on its Develop a comprehensive plan to address stormwater,
resilience building efforts: water supply and sanitary sewer that identifies the
benefits of an integrated approach.
Education Develop infrastructure design criteria that addresses
Help residents understand the full breadth of shocks and projected climate change.
stresses facing the city . Empower property owners to proactively manage storm
Explore partnerships with local schools, colleges and water together with the city.
Develop an effective outreach plan to communicate Economic Development
resilience issues and to generate buy-in. Strengthen programs designed to grow and support local
Facilitate greater communication between municipalities small businesses.
in the region. Explore the impact of improved education systems on the
local economy.
Identify opportunities for further economic diversification.

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Building Capacity 04

for Resilience.

Housing Louisvilles resilience challenges extend beyond its

Survey national precedents for affordable housing geographic and political boundaries; the city government
programs that could be applicable to the region. alone cannot build a successful Resilience Strategy. Building
Evaluate Louisvilles existing services for homeless resilience requires collaboration between Louisville Metro
individuals and identify opportunities to boost education government, residents, local businesses, non-profits,
and health programs. institutions, foundations, surrounding communities, and
regional and federal government agencies. Stakeholders
Community Engagement identified to date include the following organizations that
Expand conversations beyond traditional stakeholder were represented at the Agenda Setting Workshop:
groups to generate new and deeper perspectives.
Review potential partnerships with representative
nonprofit organizations in an effort to help broaden the Key stakeholders identified to date include the following list
message of Resilience. of organizations that were represented at the Agenda Setting
Continue to develop programs to overcome community GOVERNMENT
mistrust of police. Center for Health Equity
Jefferson County Public Schools
Livability and Place-Making Louisville Free Public Library
Identify strategies to attract new residents to Louisville Louisville Metro Council
and retain existing ones. Louisville Metro Government
Enhance the public realm and underlying infrastructure to Advanced Planning MetroSAFE911
improve urban environmental quality. Air Pollution Control District Parks
Strengthen building and development policies to reduce Community Services Performance Improvement and
carbon emissions and increase utilization of clean energy Criminal Justice Commission Innovation
sources. Develop Louisville Police Department
Health and Wellness Public Works
Income Disparity Globalization Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods
Develop strategies to address income disparity and foster Management and Budget Sustainability
economic mobility, including education opportunities and Louisville Metro Housing Authority
business incentives. Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District
Transit Authority of River City

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INSTITUTIONAL NON-PROFIT, continued The following organizations were invited, but unable to attend the Agenda Setting Workshop.
KentuckyOne Health Kentucky Solar Energy Society They will be engaged in future phases of the Resilience Strategy:
Norton Healthcare Kentucky Waterways Alliance
University of Louisville Legal Aid Society of Louisville
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Louisville Branch Kentucky Governors School for the Arts
Lift a Life Foundation
Louisville Water Company Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center
NON-PROFIT Louisville Grows
Kentucky Youth Advocates
55,000 Degrees Louisville Sustainability Council
Americana Community Center Louisville Urban League
Bellarmine University Louisville Independent Business Alliance
American Institute of Architects Metro United Way
Indiana University Olmsted Parks
Breckenridge Counseling Center Neighborhood House
Jefferson Community and Technical College Partnership for a Green City
Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville Norton Foundation
Lindsey Wilson College Passport Health Plan
CE&S Foundation Restorative Justice Louisville
Louisville Zoo Reach of Louisville Foster Care Program
Center for Neighborhoods Smoketown Family Wellness Center
Spalding University REACT
Centerstone Solar Over Louisville
South Louisville Business Association
Childcare Advocates of KY The Nature Conservancy
Choose-Well Trees Louisville Inc.
100 Black Men of Louisville West Louisville Business Association
Coalition for the Homeless YouthBuild Louisville
American Printing House for the Blind YMCA Louisville
Family and Childrens Place West Jefferson Community Task Force
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Family Health Centers
California Block Club Federation, Inc. PRIVATE SECTOR
Family Scholar House PRIVATE SECTOR
Catholic Charities Better Together Strategies
Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky AEG Facilities
Center for Interfaith Relations Frost Brown Todd
Greater Louisville Inc Argo Networks
Coalition for the Homeless GE Appliances
Greater Louisville Sierra Club EY
Coalition Serving Young Adults IDEASxLab
Greater Louisville Project Ford Motor Company
Community Coordinated Child Care LG&E and KU
Home of the Innocents Intermedix Corporation
EVolve KY Solar Energy Solutions
Humana Foundation Lazarus LLC
Habitat for Humanity Spatial Data Integrations Inc.
Institute for Healthy Air, Water and Soil Property Developers
Harambee Health Center WHAS
Interdenominational Ministerial Coalition Stantec
Kentuckiana Works
James Graham Brown Foundation UPS
Kentuckians for the Commonwealth
Jewish Heritage Fund Walsh Construction
Kentucky Refugee Ministry Yum! Brands
Future phases of the Resilience Strategy will provide opportunities to engage an even broader
network of stakeholders across the City and region.

Image Credit: Louisville Metro Govenrment

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