Dyson College of Arts and Sciences

Summit on Resilience II: The Next Storm

Dyson College of Arts and Sciences - Year in Review 2011-2012

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5 Recognizing that Sandy was not a terrorist-related occurrence brought to light that the National Security Strategy needs to grasp an even larger picture. In our focus on terrorism, we overlooked the wrath of nature. To achieve resiliency, we need a strategy to ensure that our country returns to normalcy as quickly as possible after a disaster occurs. Summit on Resilience II: THE NEXT STORM To help us best understand the complexities in achieving a broader recognition of resiliency, Pace University (impacted by Superstorm Sandy in that it is located in lower Manhattan, New York City) decided to explore what happened to those communities impacted by the superstorm and chose it as the focus of our second Summit on Resilience. The second Summit offered a clear picture to the challenges our communities face from multiple perspectives, part of which were highlighted by two of our keynote speakers. St├ęphane Hallegatte, a senior economist with the World Bank, addressed the need for global communities to examine some of their futile efforts at rebuilding in flood-prone locations, as well as recognizing the needs of those who live in these areas. In response to Hallegatte's challenge, one panelist, Vincent Barella, mayor of Point Pleasant Beach, (whose community was hard hit by Superstorm Sandy) stated that if residents in his community are being encouraged to rebuild their homes on stilts, then those communities in the Midwest that are hard hit by tornadoes, should consider building their homes below ground. 7 This observation reflects the complexities needed to achieve a truly interdisciplinary effort (in this instance, engineering) that was acknowledged in the white papers generated from Pace's first Summit. 8 Directly addressing the complexities of issues in building for the future and the need for an interdisciplinary effort, Michael Berkowitz, president of the Rockefeller 100 Cities Challenge, 9 identified some of the criteria on how to achieve a resilient city. 10 Key in this criteria is the framework for the disciplines needed to interact and guide policies for securing a resilient city. Implicit in this framework for resilience, wherein it is acknowledged that by 2020, 70% of people will be living in urban centers, is the potential impact for those communities that do not address one or more of the interconnected components.

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