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GCSC Seminar: “From Climate Action to Climate Justice: driving equitable urban sustainability and resilience planning in Portland, Oregon”

April 13, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm MDT

Please register to attend online: 

  • Combined efforts are shifting the City of Portland’s policy focus from Climate Action to Climate Justice, specifically through the formation of a Climate Justice Initiative and updated Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan that will center and uplift BIPOC community voices and initiatives. Read more here.

Abstract: The City of Portland, Oregon has a long history of environmental stewardship and sustainability. In 1993, Portland was the first city in the United States to write a Climate Action Plan (CAP), committing to fighting climate change by reducing CO2 levels to 80% of 1990 levels by 2050. In their 2015 update to the CAP, Portland was the first city to comprehensively include equity metrics, highlighting the interconnectedness of climate change and socioeconomic wellbeing. Now, Portland wants to move the needle again, turning their focus to Climate Justice policies and practices. This talk will describe two unique paths of problem-based and practitioner-defined research that are converging to inform Portland’s next iteration of sustainability and resilience plans.

First, we will look at the results of research that qualitatively analyzed climate-related plans written by BIPOC community organizations in Portland. The analysis shows how community members are conceptualizing sustainability and resilience, highlighting their priorities for policies and investments. The findings are being used to enhance the quality and depth of community engagement in climate planning, while also directing city workflows to better reflect BIPOC community ideas and concerns.

Next, we will explore the Resilience Infrastructure Planning Exercise (RIPE) project and subsequent formation of the Disaster Resilience and Recovery Action Group (DRRAG). This multidisciplinary, cross-bureau, and inter-institutional initiative used hazard scenario workshops to identify the city’s critical infrastructure and understand interdependencies between infrastructure and social systems. The team is developing strategies for getting infrastructure assets back online following disasters, while ensuring recovery happens in just and equitable ways.

Bio: Dr. Liliana Caughman is an interdisciplinary environmental and social scientist with a focus on urban sustainability and resilience. She is passionate about achieving the transformational changes needed to combat climate change in just, fair, and equitable ways.  She is currently a Faculty member in the Native Environmental Science program at Northwest Indian College and Affiliated Faculty at Portland State University’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions. Liliana earned a B.A. in Physics from UC Berkeley, Master’s in Environmental Studies from Evergreen State College, and PhD in Earth, Environment, and Society from Portland State University. Liliana has led a variety of applied research projects focused on climate adaptation, resiliency, and partnerships for sustainability outcomes. Additionally, she has worked on research, policies, and programs at the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, and the Sustainability in Prisons Project.

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April 13, 2021
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm MDT
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