Climate Community Social Hour: Building Resilient & Adaptive Future Urban Coastlines


Seaworthy Collective co-hosted a panel with Northeastern University Miami discussing coastal resilience across perspectives spanning academia, public sector, and government.

Learn more about our speakers below:

Joan Fitzgerald is a Professor of Urban And Public Policy @ Northeastern University. She focuses on urban climate action and strategies for linking it to equity, economic development and innovation. In her fourth book, Greenovation: Urban Leadership on Climate Change (Oxford Univ. Press, 2020), she argues that the climate strategies of most cities represent random acts of greenness rather than integrated and aggressive action. She points to leading cities in North America and Europe and offers strategies for cities to accelerate their action. Recently, she led a team in conducting an assessment of Boston’s climate action for the Boston Foundation. She is co-authoring a new book, Cities and the Struggle for Climate Justice. Fitzgerald blogs on urban climate action on Planetizen, writes op-eds for the Boston Globe, and longer articles on the green economy in The American Prospect.

Patrice Gillespie Smith is the Chief Operating Officer of Friends of The Underline, a 10-mile linear park running beneath the Miami Metrorail. She has worked as an urban planner across the nation to create walkable, safe and resilient communities. Prior to working with Friends of The Underline, she served as the Sr. Manager of Planning, Transportation, and Resilience for the Miami DDA; and led Neat Streets Miami and Million Trees Miami. She has been bolstering Miami’s resilience through innovative investments and green infrastructure.

Michael J. Penfield is the Principal of a multidisciplinary management consulting firm based in Miami, FL. With more than 15 years of experience as a global enterprise development and solutions consulting professional, he has developed expertise in project management, planning, implementation, business intelligence, advisory services, relationship-based engagement, and brand strategy. His work has taken him across various industries in business such as: Building science, GovTech, foreign policy, critical infrastructure, private and public sector disaster and emergency management, sustainability, blue tech/economy, life science, climatology, climate tech, risks, and more. Michael is also on the board at Seaworthy Collective and brings his unique expertise/perspective to startup development and educational programming to encourage radical collaboration in the ocean innovation and preservation space.


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