Arlington is No. 2 most ‘climate resilient’ in nation, according to USA Today

Rosslyn at sunset (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Arlington is one of the most climate resilient places in the nation, according to a new set of rankings.

USA Today ranks Arlington No. 2 on its new-for-2024 “top-ranking cities for climate resiliency” list.

“Arlington, Virginia, has a low coastal and riverine flooding risk, and an even lower projected water stress score,” the newspaper wrote. “Arlington has made efforts to lower the risk of flooding… through stormwater management initiatives, including adding more capacity to stormwater processing facilities and increasing stormwater requirements to reduce pollution from new developments.”

Arlington also scored well for tree density and on a risk score published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“Out of a possible score of 100, Arlington has a FEMA risk score of 73.91, the third lowest of any city in our study,” a PR rep noted. “Arlington has a tree equity score of 88 out of 100. Greater tree density helps mitigate the effects of climate change by reducing energy demands for cooling and lowering overall greenhouse gas emissions.”

While climate change fuels rising oceans and more devastating natural disasters, Arlington is relatively insulated from the biggest risks. But that’s not to say we’re immune from some of the effects of climate change here.

Arlington has seen significant flooding events in recent years, with storms dropping large amounts of rain in a relatively short period of time. And that’s not to mention the occasional tornado.

But as USA Today points out, the county has been taking measures to mitigate the flooding risk, with increased investment in stormwater management infrastructure. Much of the newer investment was made in response to community concerns that arose after significant flooding throughout the county in July 2019.