RCE Greater Atlanta - 2020

Spatial Analysis of Sustainability and Climate Vulnerabilities in Savannah, GA Using SDGs
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Spatial Analysis of Sustainability and Climate Vulnerabilities in Savannah, GA Using SDGs
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Greater Atlanta
Contributing organization(s) : 
Georgia Insitute of Technology
Partnership for Southern Equity
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Name: 
Jairo Garcia
Organizational Affiliation: 
Georgia Tech
Format of project: 
PowerPoint
Language of project: 
English
Date of submission:
Thursday, October 15, 2020
All SDGs, specifically SDG13
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Local
Geographical & Education Information
Region: 
Americas
Country: 
United States
Location(s): 
Savannah, GA
Address of focal point institution for project: 
3200 Lenox Rd NE
E113
Atlanta, GA,30324
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
The city of Savannah is majority-minority, with 55% of the population being Black as of the 2010 census. The median household income was $40,000 and 24% of the population lives at or below the poverty line. Savannah is governed by the mayor and eight aldermen. Over a hundred unique neighborhoods make up the city, which is famous for its historic character.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
Due to the disproportionate impact environmental disasters such as flooding have on marginalized communities, our environmental spatial analysis focused on the relation between projected flooding areas with impoverished and Black communities. The analysis showed a strong correlation between marginalized communities that live along the two rivers that border the city of Savannah, the Savannah river to the north and Ogeechee River to the south, and their proximity to areas likely to experience high levels of flooding in the coming decades.The Social Team identified that Black and low-income communities were the most at-risk for negative climate effects in housing affordability, unemployment, groundwater contamination, and racial equity.
Contents
Status: 
Completed
Period: 
June, 2020 to August, 2020
Rationale: 
Rising sea levels is a global issue that the city of Savannah cannot solve itself, but there are a number of measures that we propose Savannah take to limit the impact of rising sea levels on its vulnerable population. Savannah’s first priority should be properly educating their impoverished citizens through outreach programs on the effects of flooding, how to recognize the signs and early warnings of incoming floods, and how climate change and global warming will increase the severity and frequency of floods. These education measures would be focused on closing the environmental knowledge gap in its communities, who can then do their part to offer environmental solutions that would have the greatest impact on their own communities. As Dr. McClain pointed out, many people in the community do not even know the sound of the flood-warning sirens
Objectives: 
Sustainable Cities Studio is the capstone course for the Sustainable Cities Minor at Georgia Institute of Technology. This year’s studio was tasked with producing a Climate Vulnerability Assessment for the city of Savannah. By applying the three dimensions of sustainability (environment, social equity, and economic development) and approaching each vulnerability through the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, we were able to identify, spatially analyze, and recommend solutions toward addressing policy areas most pertinent to at-risk communities in Savannah.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
Application of the three pillars of sustainability and approaching each vulnerability through the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, we were able to identify, analyze, and recommend solutions toward addressing policy areas most pertinent to at-risk communities in Savannah.
Size of academic audience: 
14,000
Results: 
A larger number of students participated in the Sustainable Cities Minor Open House this semester and we expect an increase in the number of enrollments
Lessons learned: 
COVID imposed multitude limitations to this project. The class had to be delivered virtually due to the social distancing required. The class had to be asynchronous as well, as such, we experienced many days in which we didn’t have the full participation of the teams. Our class was not able to visit Savannah either, and had to learn about its details and nuances through extraneous sources.
Key messages: 
Our research project’s aim was to analyze climate and social vulnerabilities in the City of Savannah, and to then recommend sustainable solutions for those vulnerabilities using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Pictures:

File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon Savannah-Climate.jpg (265.13 KB) Savannah Climate Vulnerability Assessment
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 
Direct
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
Direct
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
Direct
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
Direct
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
Indirect
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
Direct
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
Indirect
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
Direct
SDG 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 
Direct
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
Direct
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
Direct
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
Indirect
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
Direct
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
Direct
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
Direct
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
Indirect
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Direct
Theme
Disaster Risk Reduction 
Direct
Traditional Knowledge  
Direct
Agriculture 
Indirect
Arts 
Indirect
Curriculum Development 
Indirect
Ecotourism 
Indirect
Forests/Trees 
Indirect
Plants & Animals 
Indirect
Waste 
Indirect
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
state: 
Direct
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
state: 
Direct
Priority Action Area 3 - Developing capacities of educators and trainers 
state: 
Direct
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level 
state: 
Direct