↑ top

Hazard Mitigation Workshop: Building Resilient Communities in the Face of Climate Change

Hazard Mitigation Workshop: Building Resilient Communities in the Face of Climate Change

Co-sponsored by the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment

Regardless of whether they agree on the cause of climate change, community leaders around the globe are recognizing the need to anticipate and plan for the impacts of a changing climate on their communities.  While the effects of climate change will vary regionally, they are expected to include a gradual increase in average temperatures, along with rising sea levels, increased periods of drought and extreme temperatures, and more frequent and severe storms. Communities in high-hazard riverine floodplains and coastal areas are especially susceptible. Given those risks, communities face challenges in rethinking urban development patterns and infrastructure policies, all within the context of uncertainty. Planning to build more resilient communities in the fact of climate change requires new approaches to hazard mitigation, post-disaster recovery, and climate adaptation, thinking through what those initiatives mean and how they come together.

The purpose of this one-day workshop will be to present basic knowledge and concepts on these topics, teach skills on how to conduct a vulnerability assessment using an interactive role-playing game, and survey planning tools for enhanced hazard mitigation and resilience at the local level using selected case studies. The workshop will also explore the adaptation and use of these tools in cities of the Global South.

This workshop is being offered by the Urban and Regional Planning Program, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. It will be co-taught by Kristin Baja (UM alum, Climate and Resilience Planner for the City of Baltimore, and Recipient of a 2016 White House Champion of Change Award) and Andrew Rumbach (hazard mitigation and recovery planner and Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Denver).

The workshop will be offered to UM students for free, but space is limited. More details to come. 

More about the workshop leaders:

Kristin Baja
Kristin Baja is the Climate and Resilience Planner with the Office of Sustainability at Baltimore City. She is responsible for development and implementation of the City’s Disaster Preparedness Project and Plan (DP3) which integrates climate adaptation with hazard mitigation efforts. She is also responsible for climate change communication and outreach, Community Rating System certification, resiliency planning and STAR Communities certification. Kristin is a Certified Floodplain Manager and is also responsible for regulating the city’s floodplain. She is an active member of the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, Climate Communications Consortium of Maryland, American Society of Adaptation Professionals, and the Baltimore City Forestry Board. Before joining Baltimore City, Kristin worked for the City of Ann Arbor developing their Climate Action Plan and Sustainability Framework. She has been involved in climate and resilience planning with various cities throughout the United States. Kristin holds a Master of Urban Planning degree and a Master of Science degree from the University of Michigan. In 2016, Kristin was recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change for her work on climate equity and resilience.

Andrew Rumbach
As a researcher and teacher, Andrew is broadly interested in urban sustainability and community resilience. His research examines the root causes of environmental risk in cities, asking why low-income and marginalized communities tend to suffer disproportionately from disasters. He is also interested in local government decision-making about disaster and climate risk, especially in small cities and rural communities. His research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, Natural Hazards Center, and the Rockefeller Foundation, among others, and is based primarily in the United States, India and the Pacific Islands. At the University of Colorado, he teaches graduate courses in environmental planning, disaster and climate change planning, and international development. He is the co-director of the International Planning Case Studies project, which provides practitioner developed cases to international planning educators. He also helps manage Planning for Hazards: Land Use Solutions for Colorado, a guide and website for helping communities to build environmental resilience through land-use planning.