DIMACS/CCICADA Workshop on Urban Planning for Climate Events

September 23 - 24, 2013
DIMACS Center, CoRE Building, Rutgers University

Midge Cozzens, DIMACS, midgec at dimacs.rutgers.edu
Fred Roberts, CCICADA/DIMACS, froberts at dimacs.rutgers.edu
Alexis Tsoukias, LAMSADE, tsoukias at lamsade.dauphine.fr
Laura Wynter, IBM, lwynter at us.ibm.com
Presented under the auspices of the Special Focus on Algorithmic Decision Theory, Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013+ and The Command, Control, and Interoperability Center for Advanced Data Analysis (CCICADA).


Clinton J. Andrews, Rutgers University

Title: Anticipating Coastal Residents' Responses to Storm Recovery Plans

In coastal areas subject to flooding and major storms, residents are still drawn to the amenity of the ocean even as they are repelled by the prospect of costly damage to their homes. Planners and public policy makers have tried a variety of approaches to discourage people from building in harm's way, ranging from buyouts and building bans to updated flood maps and stiffer insurance premiums. Many previous storm events have been followed by an *increased* intensity of building along the shore rather than a decrease. With funding from NSF, we have developed an agent-based model of coastal real estate market dynamics that can help planners anticipate how residents will respond to policy changes. This presentation will show results of several "what-if" scenarios for the community of Highlands, New Jersey, a town that was devastated by hurricane Sandy in 2012. Key findings include confirmation that the heterogeneity of the population affects preferred policy options, population turnover is a likely outcome, better information has modest value, and the regional context strongly influences residents' actions and governmental options.

Mitchell D. Erickson, Science and Technology Directorate, Department of Homeland Security

Title: Science and Technology in Disasters - Opportunities Revealed by Sandy

Hurricane Sandy was one of the most devastating storms in US history, hitting an area not frequently impacted by hurricanes. The preparations for, response to and recovery from Sandy provide many lessons learned and opportunities for improvement. They also give us a platform to build resiliency as America faces a future of increasingly extreme weather, sea level rise, increasing population in impact zones, and increasingly interconnected infrastructure. Two key components are emergency management and critical infrastructure protection.

As we look to the future and the next disaster, it is critical that we learn from prior disasters, improve, and apply the best technologies, systems, tools, and knowledge to the challenges. Thus, it is important to infuse emergency management and infrastructure protection with the tools that science and technology can provide, through the leadership of DHS' Science and Technology Directorate.

Sandy provided a lens to focus attention on capability gaps. Some of these capability gaps would require funded projects from DHS S&T or other agencies and some simply a clear articulation of the need to the private sector, inventors, app developers, or motivated citizens. Some will require years of research, but many should be solvable in the near future.

Frank A. Felder, Rutgers University

Title: Analyzing the Reliability and Resiliency of New Jersey's Urban Energy Systems in Response to Climate Change

New Jersey policy makers could benefit from models and calculations that assess the reliability and resiliency of integrated urban energy systems in response to climate change. These models must be sufficiently detailed to be credible yet tractable to provide useful engineering and economic information to a range of users and audiences such as legislatures, regulators, analysts, stakeholders, and the general public. The proposed modeling framework accounts for aleatory and epistemic uncertainty such as those associated with the frequency and duration of severe weather due to climate change, integrates probability risk assessment with cost-benefit analysis, accounts for major interdependencies among energy and other critical infrastructures, and addresses both reliability and resiliency. The framework is applied to New Jersey's predominately urban energy systems and preliminary results are reported.

Mike Greenberg, Rutgers University

Title: Closing Some Gaps: Planning for Sheltering and Sheltering in Place for Frail Seniors

When hazard events occur, sometimes there is a good deal of warning and other times very little time to decide what to do. Senior citizens are considerably more vulnerable to hazard events because of intrinsic limitations, such as lack of mobility, cognitive impairments, and many others, as well as local environmental challenges, including blocked egress routes, loss of energy, water and food supplies, and lack of access to medical care. The planning challenge is to develop and test realistic plans for evacuating and sheltering, and especially sheltering in place. Sheltering in place is going to be the typical option for frail seniors and merits considerably more attention than it has heretofore received.

Louis J. Gross, University of Tennessee

Title: Sustainability and Human Behaviors: Modeling Perception of Factors Impacting the Urban Environment

Human behaviors in response to various aspects of sustainability, such as recycling programs, energy efficiency and automobile use, are affected by direct influences such as economic benefit to the individual, and indirect influences such as economic benefits to the "community" and "society", as well as group-level behaviors arising from social structure. The complexity in part arises due to the potential for large effects to arise from particular individuals, and the difficulty in deriving appropriate aggregated estimates of group responses from distributions of individuals. I will use information about sustainability approaches in Knoxville, Tennessee as a case study for quantitative methods to account for human perception of various initiatives. This is preliminary work and arises in part from the efforts of a SESYNC/NIMBioS Working Group on Human Perception and Climate Change.

Klaus H. Jacob, Columbia University

Title: Pre-Sandy Impact Modeling of Storm Surge on the NYC Metro Region's Transportation Infrastructure, Validation by Sandy, and post-Sandy Resilience Issues

As part of a NYSERDA funded ClimAID project to assess the impacts of climate change and sea level rise on New York State, and in particular on the NYC metro region, we modeled the impacts of a generic 100-year storm on the region's transportation infrastructure. Detailed quantitative forecasts were made for the systems and tunnels that would flood and those that would not flood; how long it would take for the various systems to be restored to 90% of their pre-storm operational capacity; and the economic impacts from their downtimes.

Sandy validated the forecasts to an almost eerily accurate detail. Since then the region has struggled to find a balance between the need for rapid recovery vs. implementing long-term resilience (i.e. "pro-building" for future climate and sea level rise conditions). Various policies explore a mixture of options including engineered protection, accommodation of water in flood threatened communities, and managed retreat to higher ground. It remains to be seen, whether Sandy is the transformative experience to achieve sustainable resilience of the region to the ever-increasing storm surge risks brought about largely by accelerating sea level rise.

Florent Joerin, School of Engineering Management of Canton of Vaud, Switzerland

Title: Adaptation Planning to Climate Change: Results from a Participative Approach Applied in Quebec City

The anticipated impacts of climate change (CC) are likely to be more intense in populated areas, which means cities and metropolitan areas in particular should pay greater attention to the challenges of adapting to these changes. Land use planning has proven to be a mechanism that can significantly increase or decrease the vulnerability of cities to CC for the built environment and socio-economic activities as much as for the inhabitants.

Multiples studies are produced on the amount and rate of future climate change at the global, continental or even national scale. However, when applied at a city scale, data are becoming scarce and consequences of climate change about the city itself, and its dynamics, is largely still unknown. For this reason, but also in order to contribute to the awareness of local stakeholders (elected officials, community representatives, and citizens), their active participation in the planning process is a key factor in successful adaptation to such changes in urban areas. The general idea is so to compensate the lack of data with the experiment of local stakeholders, who are already faced with (some of the) impacts of climate change.

In order to study and strengthen urban resilience, that is, the ability of cities and their stakeholders to adapt to CC, an action-research has been leaded in QuNibec City from 2010 to 2013. This project concerns a collective learning about the direct and indirect impacts that could result from CC, and by the identification of possible and desirable urban interventions proposed by stakeholders from the region. One of the main question was : how local experience shared by local experts can inform decision and adaptation planning by taking into account local area characteristics and their interrelationships.

An urban diagnosis, which anticipates changes in urban dynamics resulting from climate change and identifies specific vulnerabilities has first been realised. Then, from these vulnerabilities, urban risks has been mapped using GIS and multicriteria analysis, in order to target priority sectors for intervention within the study area. Finally, different tools of public participatory approach, as crowdsourcing, have been tested in an urban design approach producing, for each priority sectors, land use plans that integrate adaptation to CC.

This contribution will describe the main steps of this action-research, putting the focus on the participative techniques (focus-group, workshop, forum, crowdsourcing, etc.) used in order to involve local stakeholders. It will also propose a formal evaluation of the participatory approach applied in this project.

Robert E. Kopp, Rutgers University

Title: Regionalizing Sea-level Rise Projections for Urban Planning

While climate change affects the global mean state of the planet, nobody lives at the global mean. Adaptation decisions must be made on the basis of regional and local impact projections, not just global mean projections, and they must be made cognizant not just of changes in means, but of how those changes affect the recurrence intervals of extreme events. The impact of sea-level rise on coastal communities provides a clear example of the relevance of localizing projections. While global mean sea-level change is essentially a function of how much heat is stored in the ocean and how much land ice has been melted into the ocean, regional sea level is affected by numerous other factors. These include: (1) changes in ocean dynamics induced by warming and ice melt, (2) changes in the Earth's gravitational field, crustal flexure and rotation induced by the redistribution of mass from land ice to the ocean, (3) the ongoing effects of the redistribution of mass since the Last Glacial Maximum (glacial isostatic adjustment), (4) sediment compaction due to both natural effects and groundwater withdrawal, and (5) tectonics. As an example of the considerations needed for regional impact analysis, I will present projections for the mid-Atlantic United States, where the first four of these effects all play an important role and will lead to significantly greater-than-global sea-level rise over the course of the twenty-first century.

Richard Lathrop, Rutgers University, , Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, Jim Trimble and John Bognar, Rutgers University

Title: The Application of Web-based Decision Support Tools for Visualizing Coastal Flooding Vulnerabilities and Planning for Resiliency: the NJFloodMapper

While sea level rise is a world-wide phenomenon, mitigating its impacts is a local decision-making challenge that is going to require site-specific remedies. Faced with a variety of conflicting mandates and uncertainty as to appropriate responses, local land use planner and managers need place-based decision support system tools. To address these needs, we developed NJFloodMapper (www.NJFloodMapper.org) to help decision-makers assess the vulnerability of key infrastructure within their communities to sea level rise. Based on initial user surveys, we chose a template developed by the NOAA Coastal Services Center that provided a suite internet-accessible, user-friendly geospatial visualization tools. We have and continue to customize the template to meet our users' identified needs. A variety of geospatial data sets have been developed to characterize and map both human as well as environmental values and vulnerabilities. While NJFloodMapper was initially designed to address the long term effects of sea level rise, as a result of Hurricane Sandy, the tool has been expanded to map past and potential future storm-related surge. To provide more comprehensive decision support capability, the NJFloodMapper tool is being closely integrated with the web-based Getting to Resilience community evaluation tool (www.prepareyourcommunitynj.org). In combination, these web-based tools are a key element of an extensive outreach program to local communities to promote enhanced preparedness and land use planning decisions in the face of continued sea level rise and devastating coastal storms.

Pamela Murray-Tuite, Virginia Tech

Title: Impacts of Hurricane Induced Transportation Disruptions on Work Trips

Increased frequency of transportation disruptions due to weather events and climate change impacts can impact the economy if goods cannot be moved and employees cannot work. Hurricane Sandy provided an opportunity to investigate how commuters adapt to disruptions to multiple modes of transportation. This presentation discusses the duration of work trip disruptions and describes a variety of changes that commuters made and the socio-demographic characteristics and transportation disruptions statistically associated with a subset of the changes: changing transportation modes, routes, or departure times, and canceling the trip. Important implications for recovery include (1) not all transit users are transit dependent, but transit dependents may have to cancel their commutes, which could affect employment; (2) working parents are constrained by school/child care recovery; and (3) telecommuting can help people avoid severe delays, but dependence on power and communications systems emphasizes the role of multiple infrastructures in community resilience. More resilient transportation infrastructure and services, especially that which can withstand extreme weather events and the effects of climate change due to location selection, elevation, protective measures, special service provision, etc. will help minimize the disruptive effect of weather events both in terms of severity and duration. If both supply and demand are resilient and adaptive, the entire system's performance under disruptions is enhanced.

Joe Picciano, NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness

Title: A Decision Support Tool (DST) to Plan Effective Resiliency Measures

The ability to build resiliency into our critical facilities and systems, particularly those that are considered "Lifeline Sectors," is a challenge to both public and private sector owners/operators. These systems include water and waster water systems; energy utilities; the petroleum industry; transportation systems; health systems; and all other critical sectors along with their facilities and supporting systems. This challenge is best addressed prior to any disaster or event that could potentially impact the fragile interdependencies between all critical infrastructure and our communities and citizens. For key leadership in the public and private sector understanding how resiliency relates to enhanced recovery and the ability to bring "business back to business" as quickly as possible for the economic viability of major of critical infrastructure and most importantly for critical services for our citizens.

The Decision Support Tool (DSL) serves as a guiding framework for making decisions in a post impact environment based on prioritization of response and recovery actions that will provide the best options and actions to take. This is based on an understanding of External Critical Needs (ECN); Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) and available assets. These factors and the DST allows decision makers to understand the implications of decisions and which will lead to an earlier recovery. However, the most important use of the tool is its utilization prior to any event as we plan future projects for improved resiliency. By running varying scenarios through the DST specific options and alternatives for resiliency will be identified and will allow for decision makers to make investments based on enhanced recovery factors and ultimately economic reasoning. The presentation will provide an overview of the DST and its future use in New Jersey.

Fred S. Roberts, Rutgers University

Title: Mathematics of Planet Earth, Homeland Security, and Algorithmic Decision Theory

This talk will introduce the main topics of the workshop, with a discussion of challenges arising from urban planning for climate events. It will put the workshop in context as a part of a world-wide effort known as Mathematics of Planet Earth that is focusing on the role of mathematical sciences in sustaining the health of our planet. The talk will discuss homeland security aspects of climate change and explain the importance of new decision making tools based on algorithms for dealing with massive amounts of relevant data.

David A. Robinson, Rutgers University

Title: Urban Influences on Temperature in New Jersey

It is well known that urban environments generate their own "micro"climate. Most notably, the developed landscape, with its dark rooftops and asphalt pavement, absorbs more solar radiation than vegetated cover and more slowly releases this heat at night. Also, climate-controlled buildings and limited transpiring vegetation contribute heat to urban atmospheric conditions. The result is often higher daytime temperatures and especially nighttime minimums in urban areas compared to rural ones. In densely populated regions of New Jersey the added warmth extend beyond the urban core into surrounding developed areas. The magnitude and spatial extent of the northeast NJ heat island varies depending on regionally prevailing atmospheric patterns and may locally be influenced by nearby waters. This presentation will examine NJ heat islands, exploring their frequency and magnitude while concentrating on thermal conditions that most greatly impact humans and infrastructure. Such conditions include the frequency and persistence of temperatures above thresholds, such as maximum temperatures exceeding 90N0F and 100N0F and minimums above 70N0F and 80N0F. Winter exceedances will also be discussed. We will also speculate as to what the future holds for NJ urban temperatures as the state and region warm in all seasons.

Gavin Smith, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Title: Adapting to Climate Change: Lessons from Natural Hazards Planning

Adapting to climate change poses a major challenge for nations and communities around the world. Many will have to contend with unprecedented risks and impacts due to rising sea levels, temperature and rainfall shifts, and more intense coastal storms. Rural and urban livelihoods will be profoundly affected. Poor and marginalized groups will be especially hard hit. Increasing attention is therefore being focused on how to adapt to climate change. But much remains to be done to understand the underlying challenges and opportunities. Moreover, there is a compelling need to take practical steps to build community sustainability and resilience in the face of climate change.

Much has been learned from experience and scholarship in the field of natural hazards planning that is directly relevant to climate change adaptation. This presentation synthesizes this scholarship and distils lessons from case studies around the world to provide practical guidance for communities to plan for and adapt to climate change. Natural hazards events become disasters when a physical peril, such as an extreme weather event, exceeds the coping capacity of the imperiled community, nation or region, such as the New Orleans levee failure and dismal response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 or the devastating impacts of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Natural hazards planning scholars and practitioners have learned that disaster can be averted if proactive steps are taken to reduce social vulnerability, maintain the natural functions of healthy ecosystems (such as coastal ecosystems that reduce the impacts of coastal storms) and avoid land-use choices that put people in harm's way. These lessons have particular relevance for understanding and addressing the barriers to and opportunities for adapting to climate change.

The materials used in this presentation draw from the soon to be published book, Adapting to Climate Change: Lessons from Natural Hazards Planning which is co-edited by Gavin Smith and Bruce Glavovic. This is the first book to provide climate change policy-makers, scholars, students, and practitioners with a rigorous understanding of natural hazards planning scholarship and experience to overcome these barriers and unlock opportunities for building communities that are sustainable and resilient to climate change. Improving the ability to draw from what we know about natural hazards and disasters and apply this knowledge in practice to the challenges associated with climate change adaptation is the purpose of this book.

Alexis TsoukiÓs, CNRS - LAMSADE, UniversitÚ Paris Dauphine

Title: Capability Theory for Urban Planning

Urban planning needs (among others) to measure values. Values associated to land use, human activities, landscapes, economic and social activities etc.. In the presentation we show that conventional statistical information (demographics, census, economic maps etc.) are not sufficient for such purposes. Nor is sufficient using the market revelation about land (and buildings) prices, insofar these could provide a biased image of spatial wealth distribution. We show instead why and how capability theory (inspired by A. Sen work) can be used as a normative (and potentially prescriptive) tool aiming at measuring urban quality among spatial, social and economic clusters of the citizens. Capability theory allows to capture both ``objective measures'' and ``subjective assessments'' (expressed by groups of citizens). It mainly allows to change our perspective in measuring values in terms of opportunities and options instead in terms of consumption. The main claim of the presentation is to show (using among others some simple examples) how capability theory can be used as an urban planning support tool.

Laura Wynter, IBM Research

Title: Smarter Cities Research at IBM

In this presentation we give an overview of topics that we are working on at IBM research pertaining to Smarter Cities. We describe the research problems of interest, the approaches and capabilities that we have created, pilot deployments around the world. We conclude with a discussion of several new directions that we believe are of value for further study.

Rae Zimmerman, NYU

Title: Once Again, the Urban Planning Challenge Associated with Climate Change and Disasters

Urban planning has been confronted with the broader issues of climate change as well as location specific catastrophes related to heat, flooding and wind damages for well over a decade or more. On the one hand, urban society makes incremental adaptions to these threats, and on the other hand broader planning efforts have emerged from many directions that are both directly and indirectly part of urban planning processes. The presentation assesses the status of plans for climate change to address these threats and the intersection of these plans with more micro-level initiatives such as green infrastructure and examples of individual building initiatives. These are viewed against a backdrop of recent population trends from census data and infrastructure location in vulnerable areas. Given the systems approach that urban planning underscores at least in its philosophy, it is well positioned to lead some of the needs for systems thinking in climate change adaptation and provide the accounting needed to balance localized initiatives with the needs of larger geographic areas. Some key issues in this area are identified. Urban planning also needs to be cognizant of what is going on at a more localized, behavioral level in terms of adaptive choices, and some of the actions already being taken are given and how they fit into and demand action at broader planning levels. Portions of this presentation build upon data and findings from the author's recent book, the author's book, /Transport, the Environment and Security: Making the Connection/ (Edward Elgar Publishers 2012).

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Document last modified on August 29, 2013.