The City University of New York (CUNY) Institute for Sustainable Cities and the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College host the Promoting Resilience and Transformation in Cities: A Conference for a Public Policy of Urban Climate Governance May 16-17, 2017. The conference explores topics related to urban climate resiliency, policy development and implementation, stakeholder interaction and cooperation, and more.

The first panel focuses on how cities are currently approaching the demands of climate resiliency and mitigation. Related issues include what are the key social, economic and environmental dynamics that result in challenges or opportunities for cities as they move along the continuum from everyday climate resiliency practice to transformative adaptation and mitigation; and, what are most significant governance barriers cities face in response to these dynamics and their interactions?

The next panel examines ways that cities can promote meaningful climate policy transitions, what adjustments to current policies are best, and what future policies could be envisioned. Based on a reflection of past and current successful urban policy transitions, which strategies and conditions have the potential to promote a transition to more meaningful and successful climate public policy in cities?

The third panel considers how cities could acquire the tools, knowledge and financing for significant climate action. What kinds of knowledge, data, and information are most useful for practitioners and community stakeholders who are developing public policy for climate change action?

The final panel of the conference explores strategies to advance science-policy-maker-practitioner interaction, and the conditions for promoting ongoing knowledge exchange within the research community focused on climate governance in cities.


May 16, 2017

6:00pm: Plenary and Kick-Off Reception

Keynote Address: Cynthia Rosenzweig,Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NASA and Columbia University

Climate Change and Cities: The Five Pathways to Transformation

Panelist: Seth Schultz, C40


Reception to Follow – Four Freedoms Room, 1st Floor, Roosevelt House

May 17, 2017

9:30am: Introduction

Introduction: William Solecki – Hunter College


9:45 – 11:05am: Session 1 – Challenges and Opportunities


  • Nilda Mesa – Columbia University
  • Stephanie Pincetl – University of California – Los Angeles
  • Matthias Garschagen – United Nations University – Bonn – Germany
  • Elizabeth Yeampierre, Uprose


11:10am-12:30pm: Session 2 – Conditions of Urban Policy Transitions


  • Jainey Bavishi, Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency – City of New York
  • Andrea Sarzynski – University of Delaware
  • Hallie Eakin – Arizona State University


12:30-1:15pm: Lunch (available within Roosevelt House Institute)


1:15-2:35pm Session 3 – Meeting the Needs of Climate Policy Transitions: Knowledge, Tools, and Financing


  • Steve Hammer – World Bank
  • Franco Montalto – Drexel University
  • Joyce Coffee – Climate Resilience
  • Francesco Musco – Università Iuav di Venezia


Break: 2:35-2:55


3:00-4:20pm – Session 4 Session – Advancing Science-Policy Maker-Practitioner Interaction


  • Karen Weigert – Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Kristin Baja – City of Baltimore
  • Adam Parris – Science and Resilience Institute
  • Bill Ulfelder – The Nature Conservancy


4:20-4:50pm – Conclusion and Next Steps – Elements of a Climate Governance and Urban Public Policy Interest Group.

Facilitators: Peter Marcotullio, Hunter College and William Solecki, Hunter College


4:50pm – Adjourn