CityAdapt Blog – What Will You Bring to the Table in 2016?

I am writing to you from the National Adaptation Forum, a gathering of public and private sector adaptation professionals from across the United States. Held biennially, this event provides a space for knowledge exchange and support on climate change adaptation and resilience.

The case for MC-4 has never been more apparent than it is today. Across meeting rooms and convention halls, I hear individuals asking how we can connect what we do in our cities on water, energy, biodiversity/open space, public health, the built environment and governance to other cities across the world. We know that this work happens in within different sectors and we need to engage all of them – policymakers, urban planners, academics, business leaders and others. We know that what we do to adapt in Athens is important for how we adapt in Cape Town and Perth and San Francisco. We know that we must use our resources wisely, choose appropriate indicators, track success and communicate all of this effectively. This is why we have a robust network – to support us and propel us forward.

It is no surprise that MC-4 members are leading the way and sparking conversations here at the National Adaptation Forum. For example, members are facilitating the following workshops:

  • Robert Lempert – Making Good Decisions in a Changing Climate: Serious Games, Hands on Exercises, and Robust Plans
  • Juliette Hart & Lindene Patton – The Adaptation Blind Spot: Distant Climate Change Risks That Matter Locally
  • Kelly Klima – Just Resilience
  • Krista Kline – Better Together: Building Regional Adaptation Networks to Accelerate Progress
  • Jonathan Parfrey – Speaking Truth to Power and Power to Truth: Building a Two Way Street in Climate Change Assessments
  • Louis Blumberg – Measuring Resilience: How Will We Know When We’re There?

I look forward to tackling the many critical themes that have emerged throughout the Forum sessions within our network. In particular, these ideas have surfaced repeatedly:

  • Valuation as a process of making the case for adaptation to range of stakeholders
  • Measuring success
  • Selecting appropriate indicators
  • Defining and translating ecosystem services
  • Expanding the possibilities for creative funding mechanisms for adaptation projects and redefining funding sources
  • Institutionalization of adaptation considerations

I had the opportunity to assist with the facilitation of a workshop on expanding the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) regional adaptation networks to new locations such as North America and Europe. In each discussion at the workshop, participants voiced the necessity of addressing the aforementioned themes at the city scale, but also sharing ideas across borders.

As the momentum is building on connecting climate change adaptation strategies in cities throughout the world, I leave you with this this question: When MC-4 takes the stage next year, what do you want to bring to the table at the 2016 CityAdapt Conference in Los Angeles?

About the Author:  Laurel Hunt is the Secretary of the Mediterranean City Climate Change Consortium (MC-4) Secretariat.  She is also the Communications Director at the Loyola Marymount University Center for Urban Resilience (CURes) and the Managing Editor of Cities and the Environment (CATE) Journal. She represents the Los Angeles region to the Sate of California through the Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation.  Laurel has a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles. The emphasis of her graduate studies was on climate change adaptation, regional environmental sustainability and community-based participatory planning.