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On September 29-30, a group of 85 participants gathered to hear and respond to presentations from almost 20 organizations and government representations engaged in advocacy, resiliency planning, design, and environmental policy. The purpose of the Climate Summit was to engage a discussion and response in which New Urbanist principles and values can be brought to bear in responding to climate change.
The following presentations from the day convey the breadth and depth of approaches, along with some common themes arising from the discussions:
- We have neither the time nor the resources to tackle climate change, racial and social equity, and public health as separate challenges. We must aim for solutions that address all three.
- As valuable as technological advances may be to the work on climate resilience, there are already many time-tested, low-tech approaches in the urbanist toolkit for diversifing transportation choice and reducing vehicle miles traveled.
- The environmental movement is realigning to address people's habitats as well as wild habitats.
- Compact, walkable places that encourage transit use are potentially the most comprehensively effective strategy for addressing climate change, both in terms of mitigation and adaptation.
- The magnitude of climate change is even greater than that of sprawl, and will call upon new urbanists and allies to step up their efforts to share best practices and collaborate across sectors.
For a perspective on the day, please see Anne Tate's article for Public Square, as well as Laurie Mazur's article, "New Urbanism is far from dead, but it is evolving," originally featured in CityMetric.