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Friday, April 4, 2014

Presentations Recap: Resilient Cities (Idaho)

Disaster, Destruction, and Resilient Cities Panel:

Andrea McArdle (CUNY) started off the morning with a discussion of the need for cities to anticipate the human costs of weather disasters, particularly as they impact vulnerable populations, by analyzing NYC's response to Hurricane Sandy.  John Travis Marshall and Ryan Rowberry (both George State) presented and discussed a prototype strengths and weaknesses index for measuring a city's legal capacity to deal with disasters that, in turn, can be used for the post-disaster allocation of recovery resources.  Lastly, Kellen Zale (Houston) analyzed the policy decisions facing cities when they choose to demolish municipally owned property and then presented an alternative approach to destruction that still builds on resiliency.  

Social Aspects of Resilient Cities Panel:

Palma Strand (Creighton) discussed the idea of "civity" by exploring the city as a complex adaptive system, underpinned by larger social networks and legal frameworks. Melissa Berry (Missouri) introduced the idea of an urban land ethic that rests on a concept that cities are socio-ecological constructs wherein people and nature have a reciprocal ecological relationship.  

Resiliency, Equity, and Economy Panel:

Chris Odinet (Southern) discussed the notion that truly resilient cities must exercise good judgment and prudence in the allocation of public resources in public-private partnerships so as to ensure a level playing field for private businesses and true market competition. Jeff Litwak (Columbia River Gorge Commission) discussed agreements between cross-border local governments and the issues created by their status as interstate compacts, including a call for cities to use interstate compacts as a tool for resiliency.  Jonathan Rosenbloom (Drake) discussed the problems in funding resiliency, particularly through traditional bond financing, and suggested more efficient and progressive means of funding public resiliency infrastructure through public-private partnerships.

Resiliency and Planning for City Growth Panel:

Keith Hirokawa (Albany) stressed the importance of water resources and how a well provided for water infrastructure that allows for the successful delivery of eco-system services can be a critical tool in the long-term resiliency planning of cities.  Tom Wuerzer (Boise State-Community Planning) and Tom Bergin (Blaine County Planning Department) closed out the symposium with a discussion of the issues facing cities related to wildfires and how resilient cities can be better prepared for wildfire disasters through effective mapping and building codes.

Lastly, excellent job to all the faculty and law review students of the University of Idaho College of Law for a tremendously successful event.  Keep on the lookout for the symposium issue of the Idaho Law Review where the articles from the above presentations will appear.

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