Urban Floods: Interdisciplinary Perspectives


Thursday, April 12, 2018


Solomon Hsiang, University of California, Berkeley and Saskia Sassen, Columbia University

Time: 6:30PM-8:00PM (with reception to follow)

Venue: 2911 Broadway (formerly Bernheim & Schwartz)


Friday, April 13, 2018

All-day conference on URBAN FLOODS

Time: 9:00AM-5:00PM

Venue: 2911 Broadway (formerly Bernheim & Schwartz)


Please view the detailed program for the event here.


About the Conference:

This unique conference seeks to bridge the gap between physical scientists – who draw on physical observations, quantitative data analysis, computer simulation, and visualization – and social scientists and humanists who focus on participant observation, case studies, and other interpretive methods.

Our focus for this conference is the relationship between physical development choices and environmental risk, with specific focus on large-scale urban floods.

This one-day conference will address major urban floods, past, present and future. The goal is to understand these events in as holistic a way as possible, considering scientific and humanist questions together, and informed by historical context. We will focus on global linkages between extreme weather events, with a focus on South Asia and the United States. We ask how these disasters reflect the confluence of urban development decisions, natural climate variability, and human-induced climate change. What are the relative roles of urban development decisions, e.g., reclamation, zoning, patterns of land use and urbanization, natural climate variability, and human-induced climate change? How does scientific knowledge and risk get translated and how does the answer depend on where we are in the world and the historical context of local priorities? What do these events of the recent past teach us about the future, when these cities will be increasingly encroached upon by rising seas?

The conference is envisioned as the first in a series on the theme of Science and Global Urbanism organized through the Center for Science and Society, and the Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate.

Supported by ISERP with co-sponsorship by Center for the Study of Social Difference, the Center for Spatial Research, and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society.


Confirmed Speakers:

Nikhil Anand, University of Pennsylvania

Thomas Asher, Social Science Research Council

Adriana Garriga-Lopez, Kalamazoo College

Stephane Hallegatte, The World Bank

Solomon Hsiang, University of California, Berkeley

Laura Kurgan, Columbia University

Upmanu Lall, Columbia University

Tammy Lewis, Brooklyn College

Suzana Camargo, Columbia University

J.C. Salyer, Barnard College

Saskia Sassen, Columbia University

Ted Shepherd, Reading University

Paige West, Barnard College



We will send out a specific email to all registrants outlining the logistics for the workshop as the event draws closer.
RSVP using this Eventbrite link.