100 Resilient Cities

El Paso

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El Paso represents one half of the largest binational metroplex in the Western Hemisphere.

Our regional population is expected to exceed 3 million by 2030. But more than just numbers, El Paso represents an opportunity to define the paradigm for the modern urban border environment. Within the fabric of our community there are an abundance of challenges to be met. However, exceeding those challenges are the number of opportunities in front of us. The ability to move beyond simple survival by intelligently adapting to the changing world around us is what presents our biggest barrier to a thriving future.

As our community begins to better understand the shocks and stresses affecting our city, we also begin to understand the opportunities presented by those challenges. Over the last three years, the City of El Paso has identified a variety of areas where substantial action is needed to build long term resilience for our community. Pulling together solutions that cut across categories, address multiple challenges and create co-benefits for the entire community become the backbone of the this strategy.

The resilience strategy is a roadmap toward building strength, adaptability and prosperity into our community now and well into the future.


01 El Paso is a Vibrant Desert City

02 El Paso Has a Thriving Binational Economy

03 El Pasoans are Empowered, Healthy, and Engaged

04 El Paso has a Collaborative, Reflective, and Globally-Connected Government

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El Paso is a city made up of a series of complex physical systems that serve a diverse, international population. It is the hub from which these systems have supported daily life across the region for centuries. Critical components of city systems include housing, public facilities, commercial development and the infrastructure that connects them all together. Each has significant impacts on the health, wellbeing and prosperity of our community and our environment.

Equal to the need to be careful stewards of our city for future generations is our responsibility to recognize the importance of our heritage and the commitment to the growth and prosperity of our community by the generations of El Pasoans who have come before us.

The City of El Paso will lead a comprehensive approach to sustainable development and smart city systems that have the capacity to provide long-term resilience in the context of an arid environment that has thrived for 300 years.

Key goals include:

  • Create healthy, affordable, high quality housing options for all El Pasoans, especially those that are most vulnerable.
  • Institutionalize responsible stewardship of city assets through sustainable design and land development practices for all city-owned and operated property.
  • Establish a support mechanism for resilient development practices for private sector projects across El Paso.
  • Design and implement infrastructure projects that maximize co-benefits, simultaneously addressing climatic and social stressors such as flooding, heat, energy and citizen mobility.
Photo: Flickr: Steve Martin


El Paso is the largest metro area along the Texas-Mexico border boasting a best-in-class, business friendly operating environment as well as an authentic, deeply rich culture and unique urban desert experience. El Paso is also home to an emerging culture of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship with the potential to rival the most robust global economies.

El Paso is focused on optimizing the use of environmental assets in the face of global climate change, activating the creative capacity of the largest bilingual, bicultural workforce in the western hemisphere and leveraging our geography as an international hub for commerce and trade toward the goal of pursuing growth opportunities for 21st century industries.

To guide that growth, a core set of values can be utilized to triangulate opportunity for the bi-national metroplex. Those values are defined by the promise of a clean technology future, an emphasis on the creativity and innovation capacity of local culture and a clear definition of El Paso’s robust international identity.

Key goals include:

  • Develop support vehicles for innovative industry development supportive of established core values.
  • Define workforce needs, activate key networks and develop support vehicles in support of small business development, leveraging El Paso’s innovation ecosystem, community resources and local talent.
  • Catalyze the nature of the binational metroplex, leveraging El Paso’s creative culture, authentic heritage and unique urban desert identity toward the attraction of visitors, residents and businesses.
Photo: Flickr: Jasperdo


The goal of creating an empowered populace is to affect a high level of transparency and accountability as well as achieve meaningful change reflective of community need across El Paso.

Service, volunteerism, and impact volunteering are the vehicles through which city government can build community trust, increase citizen understanding of government and ultimately engage El Pasoans in framing the city’s path toward a resilient future. Leveraging public engagement via a shared leadership model will help the city identify & solve community challenges now and well into the future.

Key goals include:

  • Activate non-traditional tools to build productive dialog among community groups and public agencies.
  • Connect people to citywide assets and programs that address community challenges, promote community vitality and improve quality of life.
  • Improve conditions and enhance preparedness for low income residents by providing access to resources that address community resilience challenges.

Flickr: Kenneth Garcia


El Paso is a key piece of the largest bi-national metroplex in the western hemisphere. We are a vibrant, innovative culture-rich with opportunity waiting to be catalyzed. The path toward resilience for our community has to begin with collaboration among a diverse set of partners, regionally, nationally and globally.

The path is paved by exploration of expanded networks, international best practices and cutting edge local experimentation. New ideas will be constantly tested and lessons learned embedded in city policies and practices.

Key goals include:

  • Continue to enhance the practice of resilience within the organizational structure and operations of the City of El Paso.
  • Cultivate local, regional and global relationships supportive of cooperative resilience building efforts.
  • Connect people and initiatives across the region, activating the bi-national community.
Photo: Christopher Rose

Read El Paso's Resilience Strategy