Washington DC: A Member of 100 Resilient Cities (2018 WAE Q1)

- Collin Smith, AEG Fellow               

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the city of the 21st century must have a resiliency plan in place for its critical infrastructure. The hurricanes that created severe flooding and other destruction in places like Puerto Rico, Houston, and Florida this year – collectively causing $265 billion in damages – have demonstrated the harm that can come from severe weather events. Climate change is also expected to increase the magnitude of these events, with some models predicting up to an 87% increase in the frequency of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes in the continental U.S. In this context, city leaders are recognizing the need to put preparations in place now so that the infrastructure that keeps their cities running can recover quickly from future damage.

In 2016, Washington, D.C. took a step forward in this direction when it became a member of 100 Resilient Cities, joining a network of over 1,000 metropolises around the world dedicated to improving the resiliency of their systems and infrastructure. As a member of this network, D.C. is currently developing a Resilience Strategy to prepare the District for future natural and man-made threats. This strategy is being developed through a collaborative effort that will incorporate input from a wide range of stakeholders, including community leaders, government authorities, and the private sector. The resulting Resilience Strategy aims to be comprehensive and capable of addressing the entire spectrum of threats that DC and other cities face. Certain initiatives like Sustainable D.C. 2.0 have been incorporated into the plan and are already underway.


Advanced Energy Group (AEG) will employ a similar approach to explore the potential synergies between cutting-edge energy technologies and the resiliency needs of cities like DC. The upcoming Q1 2018 Stakeholder Breakfast on February 22nd will bring together experts from the District’s Executive Office and the U.S. Army with representatives from government research labs and the private sector to discuss how innovations in the way we use and transport energy can improve our power system’s resiliency to exogenous shocks. This will include not just traditional hardening measures to grid infrastructure that can prevent damage in the case of a severe weather event, but also new technologies like distributed generation and microgrids that can keep the lights on even when the grid is damaged. In this way, AEG aims to add to the ongoing discussion looking at how DC can best serve its residents through improving urban resiliency.


Recap video: Washington Advanced Energy Stakeholder Breakfast - Q4 2017 - Mobility & Transportation

Advanced Energy Group is a stakeholder member-supported organization committed to developing and delivering advanced energy policies and solutions in key cities.  Stakeholder sessions are by invitation only.  For details of our programming please visit:

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