Environmental Challenges and Adaptation in Cities

Sunday, February 17, 2013: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Room 308 (Hynes Convention Center)
This symposium presents research on challenges to the welfare of urban populations from changes in coastlines and extreme events, the options that exist to cope with these challenges, and the environmental justice implications of both the impacts and alternative coping strategies. Presenters bring together -- in their individual research and as a group -- methods and insights from geography, engineering, and policy; highlight recent advances in interdisciplinary analysis; and demonstrate application of methods and tools in select settings. Urban areas are diverse, intriguing, dynamic agglomerations of people, infrastructures, institutions, and ecosystems, woven together by ever-changing interdependencies and activities. How such areas will develop and will continue to function depends in part on the relationships that exist and unfold across the urban landscapes and in part on the relationship between the urban area and the larger geographic, socioeconomic, technological, and political conditions within which they coexist. Urban areas change their environment and the environment changes them. Climate conditions play a particular role in this context, not just because climate change poses new challenges for any large agglomeration of people, infrastructures, institutions, and ecosystems, but also because urban areas can play a lead role in humanity's quest for a relationship with the natural environment, which allows societies to prosper and flourish for a long time to come.
Matthias Ruth, University of Maryland
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