Past Event

Urban Floods: Interdisciplinary Perspectives Conference

April 12, 2018 - April 13, 2018
6:30 PM - 5:00 PM
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2911 Broadway, New York

Thursday, April 12, 2018 6:30-8:30PM with reception to follow.
Friday, April 13, 2018 9:00AM-5:00PM

All events will be held at 2911 Broadway, New York, NY 10027 (formerly Bernheim & Schwartz). 

The Initiative on Extreme Weather & Climate at Columbia University presents: Urban Floods: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, a unique conference that seeks to bridge the gap between physical scientists – who draw on physical observations, quantitative data analysis, computer simulation, and visualization – and social scientists and humanists who focus on participant observation, case studies, and other interpretive methods.

The conference is envisioned as the first in a series on the theme of Science and Global Urbanism organized through the Center for Science and Society and the Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate. The Thursday session will feature a conversation on climate and catastrophe with Solomon Hsiang (Chancellor’s Associate Professor of Public Policy at University of California, Berkley) and Saskia Sassen (Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University).

This conference will address major urban floods, past, present, and future. The goal is to understand these events in as holistic a way as possible, considering scientific and humanist questions together, and informed by historical context. Our focus will be on weather events in the United States and South Asia. We ask how these disasters reflect the confluence of urban development decisions, natural climate variability, and human-induced climate change. What are the relative roles of urban development decisions, e.g., reclamation, zoning, patterns of land use and urbanization, natural climate variability, and human-induced climate change? How does scientific knowledge and risk get translated and how does the answer depend on where we are in the world and the historical context of local priorities? What do these events of the recent past teach us about the future, when these cities will be increasingly encroached upon by rising seas?

Free and open to the public, but registration required via EventBriteMore information, including a list of confirmed speakers, can be found on the Urban Floods webpage.

This workshop is funded by the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, supported by the Center for Science and Society, and the Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate. Co-sponsors include the Center for Spatial ResearchInstitute for Comparative Literature and Society, and Center for the Study of Social Difference