What Can Planners Do?

Kay, Jane Holiz
August 2005
Planning;Aug/Sep2005, Vol. 71 Issue 8, p10
Trade Publication
The article discusses what environmental planners can do to confront the future shock of global warming. As temperatures soar at the pace predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, change is the only constant. With the accumulating evidence of climate change, one witnesses the maples on the move northward in overheated New England, flowers blooming in the once-dry desert, ski slopes losing snow, and rising seas and storm surges pummeling the coastlines where half of all Americans live. As the U.S. Congress debates the McCain-Lieberman proposal to restrict carbon dioxide emissions, the administration's rejection of reduced standards already adopted by 141 industrial nations remains an embarrassment. At Columbia University, the Urban Planning Program's Cool City Project is promoting green roofs to reduce the two- to 10-degree summer temperature peaks, save electricity, retain stormwater and improve air quality. Knowledgeable New Yorkers also worry about the danger of rising waters and the need for flood barriers and controls to block another northeast storm from hitting the subway system and larger landscape.


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