Urban Floods: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Urban Floods: Interdisciplinary Perspectives will take place April 12-13, 2018 on Columbia University’s Morningside Campus. The program will begin on April 12th with a conversation with Soloman Hsiang and Saskia Sassen and then follow up with an all day workshop on April 13th.

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.

This conference will be the first in a series of workshops and conferences on the theme of Science and Global Urbanism organized through the Center for Science and Society. and the Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate. 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?

Confirmed Speakers:

Kadambari Baxi, Barnard College
P.K Das, PK Das and Associates
Alexa Dietrich, Wagner College
Karen Fairbanks, Barnard College
Adriana Garriga-Lopez, Kalamazoo College
Stephane Hallegatte, The World Bank
Solomon Hsiang, University of California, Berkley
Laura Kurgan, Columbia University
Upmanu Lall, Columbia University
Tammy Lewis, Brooklyn College
Kate Orff, Columbia University
JC Salyer, Barnard College
Saskia Sassan, Columbia University
Ted Shepherd, Reading University
Paige West, Barnard College

RSVP using this Eventbrite link.