Democracy in Retreat? Master Planning in a Warming World

The climate crisis is changing the world. Some people are moving in the face of rising seas and extreme weather, and others are redesigning the places they live. But those making such plans and those most affected by them are not always the same. The challenges posed by climate change thus force architects, planners, engineers, and others charged with imagining the future of their communities to contend with enduring questions of democracy and justice.

This conference foregrounds Louisiana’s experience with these challenges, because on the Gulf Coast, the climate has changed. New designs and infrastructures have reshaped how Louisianans live, just as evacuation, eviction, and emigration in the face of rising seas have redefined where they live. All the while, as the United States confronts climate change it is already riven by stark inequalities. Escaping critical interrogation, technocratic plans promulgated in the name of “resilience” can not only reproduce, but exacerbate existing injustices across the country and beyond its borders. Many policies that promise security for some cause suffering for others. But must there be winners and losers in the pursuit of safety, justice, and democracy?

This event brings together architects, planners, scholars, artists, and others whose work engages with the challenges of planning for climate change. Using Louisiana as the case to “think with,” participants will work comparatively to evaluate the perils and promises of risk and retreat, given the imperatives of justice and democracy.

 

SCHEDULE

 

9:00 — Introductory Remarks

 

  • ByWater Institute, Tulane University
  • Buell Center, Columbia University

 

9:30 — Defining and Managing Risk

Who, and what, is at risk?

  • Craig Colten, Geography & Anthropology, Louisiana State University
  • Traci Birch, Coastal Sustainability Studio, Louisiana State University
  • Zachary Lamb, Princeton Mellon Fellow in Urbanism and the Environment
  • Monique Verdin, Another Gulf is Possible
  • Respondent: Liz Koslov, Urban Planning, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Moderator: Andy Horowitz, Assistant Professor, Department of History, School of Liberal Arts, Tulane University

 

11:15 — Evacuation, Emigration, Eviction

Who leaves their home—when, why, and how?

  • Jay Arena, Sociology, CUNY College of Staten Island
  • Monica Farris, University of New Orleans Center for Hazard Assessment, Response and Technology (CHART)
  • Farrah Cambrice, Sociology, Prairie View A&M University
  • Andreanecia Morris, Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance
  • Respondent: Zaire Dinzey-Flores, Sociology, Rutgers
  • Moderator: Fallon Samuels Aidoo, Jean Brainard Boebel Chair in Historic Preservation, Assistant Professor of Planning & Urban Studies, University of New Orleans

 

2:00 — Greenwashing

How do technocratic claims obscure injustice?

  • Austin Allen, Design Jones LLC 
  • Anthony Fontenot, Architecture, Woodbury School of Architecture
  • Thom Pepper, Common Ground New Orleans
  • Denise J. Reed, University of New Orleans
  • Respondent: Daniel Aldana Cohen, Sociology, University of Pennsylvania
  • Moderator: Carol McMichael Reese, PhD, Director of the City, Culture, and Community Ph.D. Proram; Professor of Architecture, Tulane University

 

4:00 — Is This Democracy?

What kind of a challenge is climate change?

  • Charles Allen, National Audubon Society
  • Cedric Johnson, African American Studies & Political Science, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Margarita Jover, Architecture, Tulane University
  • Bryan Parras, Sierra Club
  • Monxo Lopez, Africana and Puerto Rican/Latino Studies, Hunter College
  • Moderator: Reinhold Martin, Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, Columbia University

 

6:00 — Closing Remarks and Reception

 

 

Organized by:

Fallon Samuels Aidoo, Jean Brainard Boebel Chair in Historic Preservation, Assistant Professor of Planning & Urban Studies, University of New Orleans

Andy Horowitz, Assistant Professor, Department of History, School of Liberal Arts, Tulane University

Carol McMichael Reese, PhD, Director of the City, Culture, and Community Ph.D. Proram; Professor of Architecture, Tulane University

Columbia University, Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture 

 

Sponsored by:

University of New Orleans: Center for Hazards Assessment, Response and Technology (CHART), Department of Planning and Urban Studies

Tulane University: School of ArchitectureByWater InstituteNew Orleans Center for the Gulf SouthStone Center for Latin American StudiesMellon Program in Community-Engaged Scholarship

Columbia University: Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture 

 

Of interest might also be a related symposium on Saturday, March 30th at the University of New Orleans titled "Heritage at Risk: Climate Changes to Historic Preservation," which has been organized and sponsored by UNO's Jean Brainard Boebel Endowed Chair in Historic Preservation and produced in conjunction with "Democracy in Retreat?"

Flooded houses and highway shown from above, horizon in the distance

Flooded houses and highways in New Orleans (Jocelyn Augustino, FEMA)

Traci Birch Democracy in Retreat presentation

Traci Birch on the "Defining and Managing Risk" Panel Discussion

Fallon Aidoo introducing "Evacuation, Emigration, Eviction" Panel

Fallon Aidoo introducing "Evacuation, Emigration, Eviction" Panel

Daniel Aldana Cohen on the "Greenwashing" Panel

Daniel Aldana Cohen on the "Greenwashing" Panel

Bryan Parras on the "Is This Democracy?" Panel

Bryan Parras on the "Is This Democracy?" Panel

Date

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