CCRUN Seminar Abstracts

CCRUN Green Infrastructure, Climate, and Cities Seminar Series

June 2, 2021

June’s CCRUN seminar will focus Understanding, Communication and Addressing the Challenge Climate Change Presents Municipalities

Seminar Description:

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization serving the Philadelphia region, including Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania; and Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Mercer counties in New Jersey.

DVRPC has a wide variety of tools, datasets and resources available to facilitate planning efforts in the region. Drawing on two recent DVRPC publications, Municipal Management in a Changing Climate and the online Coastal Effects of Climate Change in Southeastern PA tool, the presenters will review the historic and projected changes in our region’s climate, discuss the impacts of those changes on municipal operations, and provide recommendations for preparing for and responding to those impacts. In addition, the presenters will demonstrate an interactive, online tool that allows Pennsylvania municipalities on the tidal Delaware to understand how their communities may be affected by sea-level rise. The tool also compiles and analyzes participation in the National Flood Insurance Program and potential savings that policyholders could see if their municipality participated in FEMA’s Community Rating System. It is intended to provide municipal officials, community members, and advocates with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions about their possible flood vulnerabilities.

 

About the Speakers    

Rob Graff manages the Office of Energy and Climate Change Initiatives for DVRPC. Mr. Graff develops and guides initiatives to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, and to prepare the region for the long-term impacts of a changing climate. Mr. Graff represents DVRPC’s regional perspective on numerous efforts related to energy and climate change issues, including the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Transportation Research Board’s Standing Committee on Extreme Weather and Climate Change Adaptation. He serves by gubernatorial appointment as a member of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Climate Change Advisory Committee. Prior to joining the Commission in 2007, Mr. Graff was an Associate Scientist at Tellus Institute in Boston, where he helped create the Global Reporting Initiative, now the global standard for corporate sustainability reporting. Mr. Graff earned a Master of Public Affairs and Urban & Regional Planning degree from the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

Amy Verbofsky is the Manager of Healthy and Resilient Communities at DVRPC. In this role she convenes DVRPC’s Healthy Communities Task Force and partners with communities and stakeholders to develop food systems and healthy community-related studies such as the Camden Health Element and Eat Local MontCo: Montgomery County’s Local Food Promotion Strategy.  Amy also supports DVRPC’s environmental planning work, including administering the coastal zone management program within the Delaware Estuary Coastal Zone and creating the Coastal Effects of Climate Change in Southeastern PA Story Map.  Prior to joining DVRPC, Amy served as the Recovery Planning Coordinator for the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Emergency Management.  Amy earned dual Masters Degrees in City Planning and Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania. 

Adam Beam is a senior research analyst in the Office of Energy and Climate Change Initiatives for DVRPC. During his six years at DVRPC, Adam has worked on various projects designed to assist communities in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions while preparing to adapt to the effects of climate change. These projects have included preparing DVRPC’s 2015 Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Inventory, providing technical assistance to municipalities on best practices for solar PV and electric vehicles, and authoring DVRPC’s forthcoming municipal implementation tool, Municipal Management of Extreme Heat. Adam earned a Master of City Planning degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

CCRUN Green Infrastructure, Climate, and Cities Seminar Series

October 7, 2020:

Collaborations for Climate Resilience: Lessons for Philadelphia from Boston, Pittsburgh, and NYC.

On Wednesday  October 7th, our Green Infrastructure, Climate and Cities seminar will be held online on the topic Collaborations for Climate Resilience: Lessons for Philadelphia from Boston, Pittsburgh, and NYC.

When Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney entered his second term earlier this year, he committed to working with external stakeholders to develop a citywide climate adaptation plan and hiring a Chief Resiliency Officer. As Philadelphia develops its climate adaptation plan, we can look towards cities across the region that have developed unique frameworks to engage external partners in addressing climate change, such as Boston’s Green Ribbon Commission, New York City’s Panel on Climate Change and Pittsburgh’s Higher Education Climate Consortium. This panel discussion is an opportunity for the City of Philadelphia and Drexel University to learn from the experiences of Boston, NYC and Pittsburgh in how they’ve managed partnerships with civic institutions, their best practices and lessons learned, and their advice to best provide value to city operational and citywide efforts around resilience.

The seminar will begin with presentations by city leaders on how they’ve been addressing climate change, followed by a panel discussion with city officials and university representatives, moderated by the City of Philadelphia.

This event is part of Climate Year, a year of climate and sustainability focused events, teaching, and civic engagement at Drexel University and the Academy of Natural Sciences.