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6/27/23, 5:30pm - 8pm
Center for Architecture
1.5 LU

Building on the AIANY Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee's award-winning series on managed retreat, this program will focus on climate migration, examining the extreme complexity of its economic, social, and environmental impacts, with an emphasis on equity and environmental justice. As professionals working to better the built environment, we recognize that it is incumbent upon us to find appropriate pathways forward as swiftly as possible, and to continue to address questions including

  • How do cities and communities clarify differences between refugees and migrants and define migration—including forced migration, internal displacement, and planned relocation?
  • What are the planning processes for climate migration?
  • Where are the knowledge and communication gaps?
  • How do cities and communities make decisions about how to support residents in at-risk locations?

We have assembled a group of speakers whose work on climate migration ranges from on-the-ground reportage and community engagement to the climate migrant rights debate and the structuring of public policies for the future of our changed world. Panelists will address what migration looks like in different settings, the perspectives of sending and receiving communities, and what happens to vacated communities.

Jake Bittle, Reporter, Grist; Author, The Great Displacement: Climate Change and the Next American Migration
Rob Freudenberg, Vice President, Energy & Environment, Regional Plan Association (RPA)
Elizaveta Barrett Ristroph, Lawyer, Ristroph Law, Planning & Research; Director of Resilience, Anthropocene Alliance
Mathew Sanders, Senior Manager, Flood-Prepared Communities, The Pew Charitable Trusts
Johanna Lawton, Project Manager at Rebuild by Design

About the Speakers:
Jake Bittle is a staff writer at Grist environmental magazine, where he covers climate impacts and adaptation. He is the author of The Great Displacement: Climate Change and the Next American Migration. Bittle’s work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, and Harper's Magazine, among others.

Robert Freudenberg is Vice President of RPA's Energy & Environment program, leading the organization’s initiatives in areas including climate mitigation and adaptation, open space conservation and park development, and water resource management. He oversees a comprehensive program of projects and policies to improve the health, equity, prosperity, and sustainability of the New York City metropolitan area. Freudenberg led the development of an innovative set of strategies centered on climate adaptation and mitigation for the organization’s once-in-a-generation Fourth Regional Plan. He is a well-respected and sought-after expert on environmental issues in the New York City metropolitan region with national and local print, television, radio and digital media appearances. Prior to joining RPA, Freudenberg served as a coastal management fellow at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, where he focused on policies for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. He holds a Master’s of public administration in environmental science and policy from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs and a bachelor’s in environmental biology from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Elizaveta Barrett Ristroph is a lawyer, planner, mediator, evaluator, and researcher based in south Louisiana with strong ties to Alaska. For many years, she has worked for tribes and non-profits to provide legal services, planning, and research related to human rights, natural resources, hazard mitigation, governance, and climate change adaptation and relocation. She is now the Director of Resilience for Anthropocene Alliance, a network of environmental justice organizations and tribes from Puerto Rico to Alaska. She serves on the Board of Buy-In Community Planning, EPA’s Board of Scientific Counselors, and the National Academies Committee on Managed Retreat in the U.S. Gulf Coast Region, and coordinates the Climate Migration and Managed Retreat group affiliated with American Society of Adaptation Professionals. She holds a JD as well as PhD in adaptation planning.

Mathew Sanders manages the state planning portfolio of Pew’s flood-prepared communities initiative, which focuses on state-level efforts to plan for current and future flood risk. Sanders works directly with state governments and community leaders to advocate for, develop, and implement comprehensive disaster-resilience plans for various flood risks. Before joining Pew, Sanders worked as a planner for the Louisiana state government, focusing on post-disaster recovery and long-term disaster resilience. Notably, he led Louisiana’s successful application to the National Disaster Resilience Competition and served as the principal planner in development of both projects—Louisiana’s Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments and the relocation of Isle de Jean Charles in remote coastal Louisiana—upon receipt of a $92.6 million award. Before working in Louisiana, Sanders did land use planning for New York City and was a journalist in Jackson, Mississippi. Sanders holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Louisiana State University and a master’s in urban planning from NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. He was a Route Fifty Navigator Award recipient in The Leaders category for excellence and achievement in state government. Sanders is accredited by the American Planning Association’s American Institute of Certified Planners and has been a frequent guest lecturer at institutions such as Columbia University, Tulane University, and Louisiana State University.

Johanna Lawton is a climate adaptation practitioner supporting resilient infrastructure initiatives at local, state, and national levels, as well as collaborative stakeholder engagements. Her previous work in publishing focused on the intersection of human rights, social justice, global development, and literature. She is a founding member of Resilience PAC, a political action committee dedicated to getting climate forward candidates elected to local offices, and serves as a public member of the Quality of Life Committee for Manhattan Community Board 2.

This event is offered in person and virtually; COVID-19 vaccinations and face masks are strongly encouraged for all visitors. Read our full Health and Safety Protocol here.

If you register for a virtual ticket, you will receive an email with a Zoom link to access the program.

Organized by
AIANY Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee
6/27/23, 5:30pm - 8pm
Center for Architecture
Group 6 Created with Sketch.


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