Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Creating Resilience in Sustainable Communities

To see the presentation I gave, entitled Civic Ecology: Resilience Thinking in Urban Social-Ecological Systems, click here.

For a news story on my presentation entitled Civic Ecology: Resilience Thinking in Urban Social-Ecological Systems, click here.

The Syracuse Center of Excellence (SyracuseCoE) introduced Central Upstate New York to the best "green and clean" practices of urban development, neighborhood revitalization, technological innovation, and environmental stewardship at its 8th Annual Syracuse Symposium on Environmental and Energy Systems at the Oncenter, Syracuse, Sept. 29 and 30, 2008.

This year's Symposium theme was "Creating Resilience in Sustainable Communities." The two-day event surveyed the latest ideas and advancements in the fields of resilient human and natural environments (environments able to withstand both natural and human-made changes); sustainable design of homes, neighborhoods, and communities; and clean and green products and services that will benefit this generation and generations to come.

The keynote speaker was Majora Carter, one of the nation's pioneers in successful green-collar job training and placement systems. Carter founded Sustainable South Bronx in 2001 to achieve environmental justice through economically sustainable projects informed by community needs. She is a MacArthur "Genius" Fellow, one of Essence Magazine's "Most Influential African-Americans," one of the New York Post's "Most Influential NYC Women" for the past two years, a board member of the Wilderness Society, and she is recording a special National Public Radio series called "The Promised Land" for 2009 release. Learn more at

Other notable speakers included:

  • Marty Anderies of Arizona State University's Global Institute for Sustainability, recognized as one the most comprehensive and integrated sustainability institutes in the nation;
  • Paul Beyer, New York State's Director of Smart Growth, who is helping implement new groundbreaking policies at the state's town, county, and regional levels;
  • Kevin Surace, CEO of Serious Materials, who leads his company's mission to reduce energy usage and CO2 generation of the world's largest contributor: our buildings;
  • Keith Tidball, a recognized innovator at Cornell University's Civic Ecology Initiative, who will speak about how civic participation plays a role in urban resilience;
  • David Doyle of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Kansas, who is helping tornado-stricken Greensburg, Kan. rebuild "green."
  • Matt Raimi of Californian firm Raimi+Associates, who will address his work in the Syracuse's Near West Side neighborhood and its status as one of just a few LEED-Neighborhood Development projects in the United States;
  • John Spengler of Harvard and Peter Nielsen of Aalborg University, Denmark, two of the world's leading experts in indoor environmental quality research and technology development.