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  • Climate, Brownfields and Natural Disasters: Getting to the Root of Resilience

    Thursday, December 12, 03:30 pm - 04:30 pm
    502 B
    Town Meeting Conversations
    Track 6: Liability and Enforcement
    Since the last National Brownfields Conference in 2017, we’ve seen disastrous forest fires in California, catastrophic flooding in the Midwest, and an island-wide blackout in Puerto Rico. All of these events were influenced and exacerbated by climate change, and as extreme weather events become more common, resilience to their impacts becomes more important. What does all this mean for brownfield redevelopment and land reuse? Disasters can contaminate soil and water, generating more brownfields. In addition, these events can re-mobilize contaminants that may be left in place and can compromise the effectiveness of existing remedies. They can also create public health threats. In the face of such overwhelming natural forces, how should brownfield redevelopers respond? How can adaptation measures be integrated into the development process, thus producing a more resilient and valuable asset in the future? How should we approach assessment and remediation with climate change and disaster resilience in mind, and how can we best communicate all of this to local stakeholders? This roundtable will explore the overlap between brownfield redevelopment and resilience. It will offer practical, quantitative methods for incorporating resilience to climate hazards such as extreme rainfall and sea level rise into the redevelopment process, from planning to remediation. It will also explore how redevelopment equips us to prevent disasters from contaminating more land and generating more brownfields in the first place. This session will bring together a non-profit leader working on fire recovery in Sonoma, CA; an insurance and risk expert; and a climate modeler. Together, they’ll facilitate a discussion about climate change and redevelopment. Bring your questions and observations, and join us for what promises to be an engaging, highly educational conversation.
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