Robin Leichenko: Planning for Climate Change: Building Equity into Resilient Urban Futures

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Climate change raises many profound questions about the future of cities. How will cities adapt and build resilience to more frequent and severe extreme weather events? How will they change their infrastructure and energy systems to move toward a zero-carbon future? As researchers, planners, and policymakers grapple with these questions, an emerging, cross-cutting theme is the issue of equity: what will climate adaptation and mitigation mean for less advantaged residents and communities? who will have a voice in climate-related decisions and actions? where are the leverage points for building a resilient and equitable urban future? This emphasis on equity is not only front and center for urban communities but is also foundational for federal efforts such as the Justice 40 Initiative, as well as the environmental and climate justice movements more generally. This talk will explore opportunities, challenges, and synergies associated with bringing equity into resiliency planning in urban areas. The talk will draw from the author’s work on equity-based community adaptation in the U.S. Northeast.

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