Democracy in Retreat? Master Planning in a Warming World
March 29, 2019
1370 Port of New Orleans Pl., New Orleans, LA 70130
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 foregrounds Louisiana’s experience with these challenges, because on the Gulf Coast, the climate has changed. New designs and infrastructures have reshaped how Louisianans live, just as evacuation, eviction, and emigration in the face of rising seas have 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 brings 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 will work comparatively to evaluate the perils and promises of risk and retreat, given the imperatives of justice and democracy.
9:00 — Introduction
ByWater Institute at Tulane University
Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University
9:30 — Defining and Managing Risk
Who, at what, is at risk? How should risk be defined and managed—as a cultural, economic, environmental, aesthetic, and architectural problem?
Craig Colten, Geography & Anthropology, Louisiana State University
Traci Birch, Coastal Sustainability Studio, Louisiana State University
Zachary Lamb, Princeton Mellon Fellow in Urbanism and the Environment
Monique Verdin, Another Gulf is Possible
Respondent: Liz Koslov, Urban Planning, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, University of California, Los Angeles
Moderator: Andy Horowitz, Assistant Professor, Department of History, School of Liberal Arts, Tulane University
11:15 — Evacuation, Eviction, Emigration
Who leaves their home—when, why, and how?
Jay Arena, Sociology, CUNY College of Staten Island
Monica Farris, University of New Orleans Center for Hazard Assessment, Response and Technology
Farrah Cambrice, Sociology, Prairie View A&M University
Andreanecia Morris, Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance
Respondent: Zaire Dinzey-Flores, Sociology, Rutgers
Moderator: Fallon Samuels Aidoo, Jean Brainard Boebel Chair in Historic Preservation, Assistant Professor of Planning & Urban Studies, University of New Orleans
2:00 — Greenwashing
How do technocratic claims of sustainability or resilience obscure or reinforce injustice?
Austin Allen, Design Jones LLC
Anthony Fontenot, Architecture, Woodbury School of Architecture
Thom Pepper, Common Ground New Orleans
Denise J. Reed, University of New Orleans
Respondent: Daniel Aldana Cohen, Sociology, University of Pennsylvania
Moderator: Carol McMichael Reese, Director of the City, Culture, and Community Ph.D. Proram; Professor of Architecture, Tulane University
4:00 — Is This Democracy?
What kind of a challenge is climate change?
Charles Allen, National Audobon Society
Cedric Johnson, African American Studies & Political Science, University of Illinois at Chicago
Margarita Jover, Architecture, Tulane University
Bryan Parras, Sierra Club
Monxo Lopez, Africana and Puerto Rican/Latino Studies, Hunter College
Moderator: Reinhold Martin, Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, Columbia University
6:00 — Closing Remarks
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, Director of the City, Culture, and Community Ph.D. Program; Professor of Architecture, Tulane University
The Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, Columbia University
University of New Orleans: Center for Hazards Assessment, Response and Technology, Department of Planning and Urban Studies
Mary D. Coghill Charter School
Columbia University: Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture
Of interest might also be a related symposium on Saturday, March 30th at the University of New Orleans titled "Heritage at Risk: Climate Changes to Historic Preservation," which has been organized and sponsored by UNO's Jean Brainard Boebel Endowed Chair in Historic Preservation and produced in conjunction with "Democracy in Retreat?"