Resilience as a Planning and Design Fundamental–Challenges and Solutions to Closing the Resilience Gap

August 16, 2018


Leading edge planners and designers are increasingly investigating how their projects can further resilience. Climate change acceleration and its growing impacts are converging with pervasive social problems, but our level of preparedness for these risks are not, thus creating a resilience gap. Planners and designers are well-positioned to close this gap, having significantly decreased greenhouse gas emission across their portfolios and, increasingly, considered adaptation efforts, both sometimes with a priority to build social equity. In this session, we will investigate the challenges that planners and designers face closing the resilience gap including:

  1. using scenario-based versus linear information for decision-making.
  2. brokering different time frames between client, finance and project life.
  3. accessing relevant measures of resilience for cost benefit and other project comparisons.
  4. moving the public view of design brilliance to less risky and more resilient options.

We will discuss methods to uncover resilience assets, find sources of revenue for resilience projects, illustrate resilience collateral benefits and decrease designer liability. Joyce Coffee, LEED AP, founder and President of Climate Resilience Consulting, will deliver a keynote address framing the discussion with insights based on her expertise focused on resilience strategies for municipal governments, corporations and nonprofits. This talk will be followed by presentations and critiques of several current Design Workshop projects with emphasis on resilience as part of a planning or design proposal.

Instructor: Joyce Coffee, LEED AP, founder and President of Climate Resilience Consulting
Joyce Coffee is an accomplished organizational strategist and visionary leader with over 20 years of domestic and international experience in the corporate, government and non-profit sectors implementing resilience and sustainability strategies, management systems, performance measurement, partnerships, benchmarking and reporting. Her career started working on private sector projects in Southeast Asia for USAID's US-Asia Environmental Partnership and the World Bank and proceeded with implementing water security projects for MWH, a global engineering company; creating community sustainability projects for a niche architecture and urban design firm, Farr Associates; and pioneering public private partnerships, adaptation planning, interdepartmental coordination and climate performance measurement as lead of the Chicago Climate Action Plan at the City of Chicago. More recently, she created corporate social responsibility plans and reports for Fortune 500 companies as a Vice President at Edelman and ran a preeminent global adaptation nonprofit grounded in university-based research and analytics, the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative, ND-GAIN. Joyce advises various high-level resilience groups, including the Global Adaptation and Resilience Investment work group, the American Society of Adaptation Professionals, the National Center for Atmospheric Research Engineering for Climate Extremes Partnership, the ISO TC 207/SC7 Adaptation External Expert group and the National Science Foundation’s Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network. She is an associate to Acclimatise and a Chicago Council on Global Affairs Emerging Leader. She was a founding board member of the Alliance for Water Efficiency, a Great Lakes delegate to Brookings International Young Leaders Climate Change Summit, a member of Illinois FARM’s advisory group and an Aspen Institute Socrates Fellow. Joyce regularly speaks as an expert in climate adaptation and resilience and has presented at Climate Week, WEF and COP side-events, and Greenbiz, among others. She received a B.S. in biology, environmental studies and Asian studies from Tufts University and a Masters in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is the author of the Climate Adaptation Exchange Blog. @joycecoffee