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Fri, Oct 28, 2022    8am

10 years ago, the global climate crisis gave New York a wake up call. 44 people died. Tens of thousands of people displaced. 17% of the city flooded. Over $18 Billion has been spent on federal, state, local, and philanthropic initiatives focused on recovery and resilience.

What worked and what didn’t? Who has benefited and who has been left behind? What have we learned?

This conference will create a space for reflection, collective learning and calls to action for a community of storm survivors, activists, practitioners, public servants, and academics whose life and work changed to meet the challenges of Hurricane Sandy recovery. The event will consist of:

  • Roundtable discussions with local leaders, policymakers, and activists, covering a range of topics including preparedness, emergency response, housing and infrastructure recovery, community resilience, long-term planning for climate change adaptation, and governance.
  • Side sessions and workshops on coastal resilience and adaptation efforts from around the New York region.
  • Celebration of local leaders who helped their communities through the storm, the trauma of recovery, and are re-envisioning the future of New York

This event is hosted by the Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; Columbia Climate School, Columbia World Projects, Center for Sustainable Urban Development, Environmental Justice and Climate Just Cities Network, and Resilient Cities Catalyst. The event will be held at the Columbia Forum on 125th Street and Broadway. It is free and open to the public.


8:00 Registration & Coffee - 2nd Floor Foyer

8:30 Welcome, Objectives, and Introductions - Auditorium

  • Alex Halliday, Founding Dean, Columbia Climate School
  • Dan Zarrilli, Special Advisor for Climate and Sustainability, Columbia University
  • Thad Pawlowski, M.C. and Co-Director of Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes

9:30 Voices of the Children of Sandy - Auditorium

  • Christina Torres, Ph.D candidate in the Science Education program at Teachers College
  • Keanu Arpels-Josiah
  • Ajani Stella
  • Helen Mancini
  • Darielle Samson
  • Sora Borisute
  • Devjani Paul

9:45 Call to Climate Action - Auditorium

  • Karen Blondel, Community Organizer, Public Housing Civic Organization

10:00 Side Session: Strengthening Communities Together, NYC Emergency Management - Auditorium

  • Moriah Washington, Director of Community Management at NYC Emergency Management Department

10:00 Roundtable 1: What caused Sandy? - Room 315

  • Adam Sobel, Professor of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics and of Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Michael Marrella, Director of Waterfront and Open Space Planning at the NYC Department of City Planning
  • Eric Sanderson, Senior Conservation Ecologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society
  • Phil Orton, Research Associate Professor at Stevens Institute
  • Juan Camilo Osorio, City Planning Commission and Pratt Institute.

10:00 Roundtable 2: Were we prepared? - Room 316

  • Jeff Schlegelmilch, Director for the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Columbia Climate School
  • Kelly McKinney, AVP, Emergency Management + Enterprise Resilience at NYU Langone
  • Heather Roiter, Assistant Commissioner at NYC Emergency Management
  • Tevina Willis, Community Organizing Manager at Red Hook Initiative

10:00 Roundtable 3: Where did displaced people go?

  • Tom Chandler, Deputy Director & Research Scientist at National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Columbia Climate School
  • Cynthia Barton, Resilience and Response Professional at Hagerty Consulting
  • Ilya Azaroff, State Disaster Coordinator at AIA-NY and Director of Design at +LAB Vivian Louie, Chief Housing Officer, Community Housing Innovations

10:00 Side Session: Displacement map for NYC (Rebuild by Design, Georgetown University) - Room 207

  • Molly Barth, GIS Analyst at Milliman
  • Sheila Foster, Professor of Law and Public Policy at Georgetown University

11:00 Roundtables 1-3: Report Back - Auditorium

11:00 Side Session: Local Adaptation Plans with RPA and EDF - Room 315

  • Hillary Ho, Planning Intern, Energy and Environment at RPA

11:00 Side Session: Columbia Frontline Communities Project - Room 316

  • Jenna Davis, PhD candidate, Columbia GSAPP
  • Lidia Cano Pecharroman, PhD candidate, MIT DUSP
  • Hugo Sarmiento, Assistant Professor, Columbia GSAPP

11:00 Side Session: Interim Flood Protection Management with Emergency Management - Room 207

  • Suzan Rosen, Mitigation Operations Program Manager, New York City Emergency Management

12:30 Side Session: NYC Adaptation Futures by Barnard College and Urban Systems Lab - Room 316

  • Timon McPhearson, Professor of Urban Ecology and Director of the Urban Systems Lab, The New School
  • Elizabeth Cook, Research Fellow at the Urban Systems Lab and Assistant Professor at Barnard College

12:30 Side Session: Superstorm Sandy Alumni (Lessons from Pratt Institute students supporting community resilience) - Room 301

  • Roxanne Earley, Executive Director at Hoboken Business Alliance and Pratt Institute Alumni
  • Helen Harman, MS Candidate in City & Regional Planning at Pratt Institute
  • Matea Kulusic, Senior Acquisitions Associate at CREA, LLC and Pratt Institute Alumni
  • Leonel Lima Ponce, Academic Director of MSc. in Sustainable Environmental Systems at Pratt Institute
  • Delaney Morris, Planner II: Resilience and Waterfront at Boston Planning & Development Agency
  • Sarah Varghese, MS in Sustainable Environmental Systems at Pratt Institute

12:30 Side Session: Columbia Climate Action Collective - Listening Sessions - Room 207

1:30 Side Session: Prioritizing the Public Realm in Climate Change Advocacy - Municipal Art Society - Auditorium

  • Genesis Abreu, Youth Environmental Leadership Manager at Futures Ignite
  • Amy E. Turner, Senior Fellow, Cities Climate Law Initiative at Sabin Center for Climate Change Law
  • Ya-Ting Liu, Chief Strategy Officer, Deputy Mayor for Operations at NYC Office of the Mayor
  • Siobhan Watson, Deputy Director of Sustainability Programs at NYCHA
  • Thomas Devaney (Moderator), Senior Director of Land Use and Planning at the Municipal Art Society of New York

1:30 Roundtable 4: How did communities respond? - Room 316

  • Joe Tirone, Founding Broker, Staten Island and Candidate for NY State Senate District 23
  • Malgosia Madajewicz, Associate Research Scientist at the Center for Climate Systems Research at Columbia Climate School
  • Donovan Finn, Assistant Professor at the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stonybrook University

1:30 Roundtable 5: What rules changed? - Room 301

  • Michael Burger, Executive Director of the Sabin Center for Climate Law (moderator)
  • Howard Slatkin, Executive Director for Strategic Planning at NYC Department of City Planning
  • Deborah Morris, Adjunct Assistant Professor + Researcher at Columbia GSAPP
  • Seth Pinsky, Executive Director of the 92nd Street Y and former NYC EDC
  • Louise Yeung, Chief Climate Officer at NYC Office of the Comptroller

1:30 Roundtable 6: How did the government change? - Room 207

  • Michael Berkowitz, Founding Principal of Resilient Cities Catalyst (moderator)
  • Kate Orff, Founding Principal of SCAPE, Professor at Columbia GSAPP, and Co-Director of CRCL
  • Judy Rodin, Author of The Resilience Dividend and former President of The Rockefeller Foundation
  • Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs for the Kingdom of the Netherlands

2:30 Roundtables 4-6: Report Back - Auditorium

2:30 Side Session: NYC Adaptation Futures by Barnard College and Urban Systems Lab - Room 316

  • Timon McPerson, Professor of Urban Ecology and Director of the Urban Systems Lab, The New School
  • Elizabeth Cook, Research Fellow at the Urban Systems Lab and Assistant Professor at Barnard College

2:30 Side Session: Works on Water (Artist Talk) - Room 301

  • Nancy Nowacek, Assistant Professor of Design at Stevens Institute of Technology and Artist & Designer

2:30 Side Session: Shoreline Resiliency Project - Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery - Room 207

3:30 Roundtable 7: Who recovered and who did not? - Room 316

  • Hugo Sarmiento, Assistant Professor at GSAPP (moderator)
  • Rachel Meltzer, Plimpton Associate Professor of Planning and Urban Economics at Harvard GSD
  • David Mazzuca, Lead Instructor at the National Center for Disaster Preparedness
  • Christie Peale, CEO & Executive Director at the Center for New York City Neighborhoods
  • Paul Lozito, Chief Strategy and Program Officer at Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery

3:30 Roundtable 8: What challenges were faced - Room 301

  • Karen Blondel (moderator), LOEB Fellow and Founding and Executive Director at Public Housing Civic Association
  • Amy Chester, Managing Director at Rebuild by Design
  • Joy Sinderbrand, Senior Vice President for Capital Programs at NYCHA
  • Alison Branco, Climate Adaptation Director at The Nature Conservancy
  • Elijah Hutchinson, former New York City Economic Development Corporation

3:30 Roundtable 9: Are neighborhoods more resilient today - Auditorium

  • Paul Gallay, Senior Staff Associate, Center for Sustainable Urban Development (moderator)
  • Pamela Pettyjohn, Co-Founder and President of the Coney Island Beautification Project
  • Damaris Reyes, Executive Director at GOLES
  • Arif Ullah, Executive Director at South Bronx Unite
  • Melissa Miles, Executive Director at NJ Environmental Justice Alliance
  • Kelly Vilar, Chief Executive Officer at Staten Island Urban Center

3:30 Side Session: Flood Net - NYU, CUNY, and City of New York - Room 207

  • Tega Brain, Assistant Professor at NYU Tandon School of Engineering

4:30 Side Session: Youth at the Center - Teachers College, Center for Sustainable Future’s Storytelling Project - Room 316

4:30 Side Session: The Rise of the Renewable Industry with Karp Strategies - Room 301

  • Sarah Dougherty, Senior Consultant at Karp Strategies
  • Benjamin Baker, Managing Director at Greenbacker Capital

4:30 Side Session: Congregant Shelter Charette - Collaborative Communities and AIA-NY - Room 301

  • Ilya Azaroff, State Disaster Coordinator at AIA-NY and Director of Design at +LAB
  • Laura Clemons, COllaborative Communities

4:30 Side Session: Alternative Energy Futures - University of Pennsylvania + One Architecture - Room 207

  • Nicholas Pevzner, Assistant Professor at Weitzman School of Design at University of Pennsylvania,
  • Matthijs Bouw, One Architecture; Professor of Practice at Weitzman School of Design at University of Pennsylvania

4:30 Roundtables 7-9: Report Back with Elected Officials (Is the city prepared for what’s next?) - Auditorium

5:30 Closing - Auditorium

All are welcome to attend in-person at Columbia University, or on-line. Register today!

For questions, please contact the Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes at crcl@columbia.edu.