Urban Resilience & Sustainability

Urban Resilience & Sustainability

Location: Kroon Hall, 195 Prospect St. New Haven, CT

November 4, 2016

Watch the recorded event.

About the Conference

Watch Panel I

Panel I:  Challenges and Opportunities for Urban Sustainability:  Results from the 2016 National Academy Report Moderator Karen Seto

This panel will discuss the key insights from the recently published National Academy report, Pathways to Urban Sustainability:  Challenges and Opportunities.  What are the different sustainability paradigms that incorporate the social, economic, and environmental systems and which could be blueprints for other regions with similar barriers to and opportunities for sustainable development and redevelopment?  Examples from Chattanooga and Los Angeles will be used to discuss how sustainability practices have contributed to the development, growth and regeneration of major metropolitan regions in the United States.  The panel will also discuss how national, regional, and local actors are approaching sustainability, and specifically, how diverse stakeholders (e.g. industry, city/county governments, universities, public groups) are necessary to integrate science, technology, and research into catalyzing and supporting local sustainability initiatives.

Watch Panel II

Panel II: Building Urban Resilience:  How are Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities addressing stresses and preparing for shocks? Moderator Brad Gentry

In 2013, the Rockefeller Foundation (RF) pioneered the 100 Resilient Cities initiative (100RC) to help cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges they are facing. It does so by supporting the adoption of a view of resilience that includes not just the shocks—earthquakes, fires, floods, etc.—but also the stresses—unemployment, violence, food/water shortages, etc.—that weaken the fabric of a city on a systemic basis. By addressing both the shocks and the stresses, a city becomes more able to respond to adverse events, as well as to deliver basic functions to all populations in good times and bad. Panelists Scott Rosenstein (Head of Platform Research for 100RC), Katerina Oskarsson (Deputy Resilience Officer for the city of Norfolk, VA) and Murali Chandrashekaran (Senior Associate Dean, Strategic Partnerships and Global Initiatives, Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia) will discuss the approaches being taken to enhance urban resilience, as well as to capture and share the lessons being learned.

Watch Panel III, IV, and Habitat III Student Reflections

Panel III: Bridging Science and Management to Achieve Sustainability Moderator Virginia Chapman

Panelists will focus on innovative engineering solutions and water resource research that is driven by urban and campus planning.   New Haven lies along the Atlantic coast and experiences both cyclonic disturbances and coastal storms and consequently faces both acute coastal and inland flooding events.  In 2015, the city of New Haven introduced Vision 2025, a plan for a sustainable, healthy, and vibrant city, and in October 2016, the Yale Sustainability Plan 2025 was launched.  These planning efforts have created momentum to launch joint initiatives toward a more sustainable future. Panelists Julie Paquette, Gaboury Benoit and Giovanni Zinn with Moderator Ginger Chapman will describe current efforts underway to manage resources more holistically and explore the major barriers and merits of crossing the town-gown divide.

Panel IV: Adapting the Connecticut Coast

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and more recent projections of sea level rise, the State of Connecticut and its coastal communities have been compelled to reassess patterns of development, placement of infrastructure, storm and flood protection, storm water management, and indeed all the many factors associated with the broad concept of resilience.  In particular, the disciplines of planning, architecture and landscape design have had the challenge – but also the opportunity – to reconsider established paradigms and practices.  This panel will present perspectives from professionals in all of these fields, who are also currently collaborating on important initiatives and studies throughout the state, but focused on Connecticut’s largest city, Bridgeport.  We will consider the role of research, policy, politics, funding, design, technology, and community participation in approaching these projects.

Habitat III: Student Reflections

In mid-October several students from Yale F&ES participated in the United Nations (UN) conference, Habitat III, a global summit aimed at outlining best practices for urban sustainability, resilience, and development. This trip was the culmination of almost a year of preparation during which students closely followed the lead up to the conference and its goal of drafting a “New Urban Agenda.” Students will share their on-the-ground experience in Ecuador, as well as reflections on the New Urban Agenda and the Habitat III process. 

Schedule of Events


Registration and Breakfast


Welcome Address by Dean Burke


Keynote Address: From Resilience to Transformation: Challenges in Theory and Practice

William Solecki, PhD., Hunter College


Panel I: Challenges and Opportunities for Urban Sustainability: Results from the 2016 National Academy Report


Karen Seto, Ph.D., Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Jerry Miller, Ph.D., National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Charles Branas, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Ernest Tollerson, South Street Seaport Museum, Environmental Grantmakers Assocation, Hudson River Foundation

Amanda Pitre-Hayes, City of Vancouver




Panel II: Building Urban Resilience: How are Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities addressing stresses and preparing for shocks?


Brad Gentry, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Murali Chandrashekaran, Ph.D., Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia

Scott Rosenstein, Rockefeller Foundation

Katerina Oskarsson, Ph.D., City of Norfolk


Coffee Break


Panel III: Bridging Science and Management to Achieve Sustainability


Ginger Chapman, Yale University

Julie Paquette, Yale University

Gaboury Benoit, Ph.D., Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Giovanni Zinn, City of New Haven


Panel IV: Adapting the Connecticut Coast


Alan Plattus, Ph.D., Yale University School of Architecture

David Waggonner, Waggonner & Ball

David Kooris, State of Connecticut

Alex Felson, Ph.D., Yale School of Architecture, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies


Habitat III: Student Reflections


Closing Remarks

William Solecki, Ph.D., Hunter College

4:30pm to 5:00pm