Newswise — CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 17, 2024)— In a place often called ground zero for the impacts of climate change, the University of Miami’s Climate Resilience Academy will host its third symposium, “Resilience in the Built and Natural Environments,” on Wednesday, April 24 and delve into the ways that municipalities across the globe can and are adapting to a warming planet.

Held at the Lakeside Village Expo Center on the Coral Gables Campus, the one-day symposium will bring together local, national, and global experts on sustainability. Participants will discuss the many challenges posed by global warming and assess what can be learned from previous projects, what still needs to be addressed, and how to increase momentum in response to accelerating climate impacts. 

Morning sessions will focus on community-scale solutions. The keynote will feature Carlos Martín, director of the Remodeling Futures program and lecturer at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, who specializes in issues related to climate, housing, and equity. He will be speaking with Annie Lord, executive director of Miami Homes for All, an organization that aims to offer more affordable housing while also preserving existing affordable housing options in Miami-Dade County.

Benita Hussain, tree equity lead at American Forests, will then discuss the health impacts of “greening” cities equitably. Hussain worked with the mayors of New York City and Boston on environmental policy.

A panel about sustainable building in South Florida will include Germane Barnes, associate professor at the University’s School of Architecture, where he leads the Community Housing Identity Lab; Maria Nardi, director of Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department; Marta Viciedo, program director in Miami of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; and Avra Jain, architect, developer, and founder of the Vagabond Group. 

The afternoon will focus more on coastal protection and larger infrastructure. It will open with David Erdman, associate professor of architecture and urban design at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he also directs its Center for Climate Adaptation.

Then, a panel including Colonel Terrence “Rock” Salt, who recently retired from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Jacksonville district and led efforts to develop a Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, along with Rachel Silverstein, executive director of Miami Waterkeeper, and Henk Ovink, executive director of the Global Commission on the Economics of Water and former Special Envoy of Water Management for the Netherlands, will discuss large-scale sustainable infrastructure and flood protection.

The symposium will conclude with a conversation between Michael Berkowitz, executive director of the Climate Resilience Academy, and Jainey Bavishi, assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, and deputy administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Register to attend the symposium. A full schedule is available on the registration page.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

WHERE: Lakeside Village Expo Center, 1280 Stanford Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33146. Parking is available at the Pavia Parking Garage.

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The University of Miami is a private research university and academic health system with a distinct geographic capacity to connect institutions, individuals, and ideas across the hemisphere and around the world. With more than $413 million in research and sponsored program expenditures annually, the University of Miami is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU).

The University’s vibrant and diverse academic community comprises 12 schools and colleges serving more than 19,000 undergraduate and graduate students in more than 180 majors and programs. Located within one of the most dynamic and multicultural cities in the world, the University is building new bridges across geographic, cultural, and intellectual borders, bringing a passion for scholarly excellence, a spirit of innovation, a respect for including and elevating diverse voices, and a commitment to tackling the challenges facing our world.