An Improved Community Streetscape Improves Coastal Resilience

Officials in the Town of Fairfield, Connecticut, received a state grant to fund downtown streetscape improvements, including a rain garden, tree plantings, additional green space, and other features. These improvements were designed to not only to foster a more attractive downtown atmosphere, but also to help the town decrease flooding and stormwater runoff, thereby increasing the community’s resilience to sea level rise.

The town’s engineering department created illustrations of the improvements, but city officials still had a difficult time visualizing the effect. That’s when the NOAA visualization tool, CanVis , was applied. This easy-to-use software allowed the city to use a picture of their existing streets as a background scene, and then pick form the library of over 700 images (brick pavers, trees, rain gardens, etc.) to create a realistic image of the future. The project has been a success by all accounts.

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Partners: NOAA Office for Coastal Management, Town of Fairfield, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agroforestry Center