Virginia Beach Releases 2030 Vision for Resort Area, but does it take a stand on Sea Level Rise and Resiliency?
I was very excited to see that Virginia Beach just released their 2030 Vision for their designated Resort Area. Given the extent of waterfront property that they have, and the fact that tourism is one of the key industries for Virginia Beach, I was eager to see how they would be protecting these vital waterfront assets and the inland community.
I expected that resiliency might be an overarching theme that would play into many of their recommendations – but boy was I wrong.
I was disappointed to see that mitigating impacts of sea-level rise and resiliency were almost an afterthought, with only 2 pages out of 96 devoted to it.
While it was listed as one of the items under the Steering Committees ‘visions’ for the update, it unfortunately didn’t come to fruition in any of the Priority Action Plans described.
The primary takeaways from this document are a focus on Circulation and Mobility, Streetscape Improvements, Placemaking, Gateway, and Green/Open Space – which are all great things – and great things that could all have resiliency measures built into them! But unfortunately, this document doesn’t focus on that at all – in fact, it barely mentions it.
This would have been a perfect opportunity for the leaders of Virginia Beach to identify some key resiliency measures and goals that could/should be implemented within this critical waterfront resort area as well as some critical projects that would mitigate the impact of sea-level rise and inland flooding on this great area.
I would loved to have seen some resiliency measures or goals identified for new development projects within this area as well as public mitigation efforts that could be larger scale.
Take a read through and let me know what you think! The 2030 Vision for the Resort Area can be found at this link.