This summit will address the issues professionals face in adapting to sea level rise (SLR) and other climate change related impacts. Local, national and international experts will demonstrate best practices and state of the art research focused on the needs of the following two industries:
The built environment: Architects, planners, landscape architects and engineers
- Examining the issues facing aging and/or vulnerable public infrastructure such as utilities, electrical grid, water and waste management;
- Addressing the needs of architects, planners and others charged with designing the built environment in the face of SLR and other climate change related impacts;
- Analysis of policy changes that allow for the building of resilient communities including barriers to implementation.
The economy: Insurance and reinsurance, finance and real estate
- Focusing on the critical issues facing the insurance and reinsurance industries following the two worst years on record for climate related disasters;
- Working to understand how banks and the real estate market will be affected as vulnerable infrastructure continues to be put at risk;
- Examining the regional approach - how can local governments integrate planning efforts with a holistic regional plan of action that includes humans and the built environment.
Session 1: Sea level rise and storm surge: a damaging combination
This session has three goals: (1) To take stock of the state of our scientific knowledge relative to sea level rise, specifically the current and projected future rates of rise; (2) To focus on storm surge, its exacerbation by sea level rise, current and expected impacts and potential for damage on natural and built environments, and; (3) To recognize that collaboration between scientists and design professionals, such as architects and engineers, is vital for the adaptation and resilience of vulnerable communities confronted with the dual threat of sea level rise and storm surge.
Session 2: Adversity, opportunity and resilience: economic implications of sea level rise
This session will focus on three primary areas where sea level rise is likely to have an impact on the economy: (1) industries facing adverse consequences with a focus on the power, insurance and real estate industries. (2) opportunities that businesses will face related to sea level rise; and (3) economic issues that government, business, and society will face, including rising mitigation and adaptation costs, property tax base at risk, and economic sustainability in the face of environmental uncertainty.
Session 3: Integrating the health impacts of sea level rise into resiliency and adaptation planning
The goal of this session is to identify on-going efforts and gaps in understanding and integrating the health impacts of sea level rise into resiliency and adaptation planning. In many adaption studies and effort there is not much focus on climate change and health yet health is one of the most critical vulnerabilities to climate change impacts and one of the most compelling themes under which to discuss climate change and sea level rise. Working with local state and federal partners this session will provide perspectives from global to local scales, in an attempt to highlight the need for a continued focus on human health impacts in the climate change and sea level rise discourse.
Session 4: Impacts on built environments: envisioning a new paradigm
The goals of this session are to: 1) Discuss new approaches to design thinking; 2) Identify the critical factors that should drive design decisions in the immediate, near, and long-term future. Describe the contingent nature of design activity, discuss the main drivers and performance metrics, provide the designer with critical information needed to adequately address existing problems as well as longer term solutions; 3) Develop a vision for the International Sea Level Rise Workshop on Saturday October 19th, and; 4) Engage participants in a dialogue to establish the key aspects for current and future design activity in the built environment.
Session 5: Adaptation, innovation and resilience on a local, national and international front
The goal of this session is to identify the key components of a potential adaptation strategy tool kit for Florida and by extension similar coastal areas nationally and globally based on the findings of the earlier sessions which have outlined the physical, economic and built environment parameters of the region based on a number of examples.
In the face of these multiple challenges local communities are responding by regionally organizing and developing adaptation and mitigation activities. These initiatives will be complemented by an international panel which will bring a diverse array of viewpoints to the table.
The output will be a concise set of recommendations for mitigation and adaptation approaches and priorities aiming at truly sustainable adaptation, linking local experience with insights from the US, UK, Netherlands, Mexico, Australia and Sweden.