About the Office of Resilience
What Does Resilience in Austin Mean?
Austin has taken strides to build a more resilient, sustainable, and equitable city. With the ongoing work of many City departments, Austin has differentiated itself and has become one of the most attractive cities in the nation to live in.
In Austin, we are proud of our city’s uniqueness, our culture, and the strength of our communities. We have come together in times of need and have bounced back stronger. But since 2008 alone, we have faced several abrupt shocks, such as the 2008 recession, droughts, wildfires, extreme heat, major flooding, the 2018 serial bombings, 2020 Winter Storm Uri, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with these major shocks, our communities are also burdened by economic inequality, gentrification pressures, and an intensifying housing crisis. Future climate projections indicate more intense and frequent climate-related events.
We recognize that not everyone is affected in the same way. Disasters compound shocks and stresses in the most vulnerable communities, which further exacerbate inequities and limit our opportunities to build resilient futures.
Resilience is not just about preparing and responding to withstand the next disaster. It’s not just about climate adaptation. It’s about how all these efforts come together to provide opportunities for individuals to thrive.
Learn more about Austin’s shocks and stresses here.
Urban Resilience is “The capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses, and systems within a city to survive, adapt, and grow, no matter what kinds of stresses and shocks they experience.”
Our Guiding Principles
|Community Relationships||Accountability & Transparency|
|Cultivating Trust||Equitable Systems|
Meet Our Team
The Resilience Office works across departments and external partners to address complexities, bring together a wide array of stakeholders, build support for individual initiatives, lead and support the resilience strategy development process, and implement actions and monitor progress of resilience efforts.
- Laura Patiño, Chief Resilience Officer
Laura joined the City of Austin in May of 2022 as the Chief Resilience Officer. As the CRO for Austin, Laura leads the development and implementation of a comprehensive resilience strategy, working across departments and external partners to address system complexities and building support for resilience initiatives that strengthen communities and address inequities in our city. Laura earned her Master’s Degree in Bioresources Engineering and Integrated Water Resources Management from McGill University in Montreal and Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Engineering from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She is a GreenBiz 30 under 30 honoree, 2017 GreenBiz Emerging Leader, and a contributing author to the Fifth National Climate Assessment.
- Marc Coudert, Climate Resilience and Adaptation Manager
Marc works with city departments to embed climate adaptation strategies into long term operation and asset management planning. In this role, he also supports community organizers to increase climate resilience in the Eastern Crescent. He currently leads the Austin Resilience Hub Network Program. Marc received a Certificate in Climate Change and Health from the Yale School of Public Health, a Master of Science in Sustainable Design from the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture and a Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning from Arizona State University Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. He is a member of the NACCHO Global Climate Change Workgroup.
- Oriana X. Lopez, Urban Resilience Coordinator
Oriana Lopez, is an Atlanta-born, Venezuelan-raised, Austin transplant. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Sustainability from Eckerd College and recently earned a dual Master's degree in Community and Regional Planning and a Master of Public Affairs from UT in May 2023. She serves as the Urban Resilience Coordinator, where she is actively involved in shaping the city's comprehensive resilience plan, advancing initiatives such as the Heat Playbook and Economic Development Lab, and spearheading community engagement efforts. Oriana's passion lies in environmental justice, and is thrilled to be part of a team working towards not only climate adaptation but also promoting racial equity in the vibrant Austin community.
- Morgan Kim, Resilience Creative Coordinator