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 foregrounded Louisiana’s experience with these challenges, because on the Gulf Coast, the climate had already changed. New designs and infrastructures had reshaped how Louisianans live, just as evacuation, eviction, and emigration in the face of rising seas 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 brought 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 worked comparatively to evaluate the perils and promises of risk and retreat, given the imperatives of justice and democracy.
Who, and what, is at risk?
Who leaves their home—when, why, and how?
How do technocratic claims obscure injustice?
What kind of a challenge is climate change?
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
University of New Orleans: Center for Hazards Assessment, Response and Technology (CHART), Department of Planning and Urban Studies
Columbia University: Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture
Of interest might also be a related symposium on March 30, 2019 at the University of New Orleans titled "Heritage at Risk: Climate Changes to Historic Preservation," which was organized and sponsored by university's Jean Brainard Boebel Endowed Chair in Historic Preservation and produced in conjunction with "Democracy in Retreat?"
Flooded houses and highways in New Orleans (Jocelyn Augustino, FEMA)
Traci Birch on the "Defining and Managing Risk" Panel Discussion
Fallon Aidoo introducing "Evacuation, Emigration, Eviction" Panel
Daniel Aldana Cohen on the "Greenwashing" Panel
Bryan Parras on the "Is This Democracy?" Panel