Wednesday Keynote — The Power of Systems Thinking: Designing Equitable and Resilient Infrastructure

Our built environment is often developed in silos, with individual owners, engineers, and designers identifying opportunities, constraints, trade-offs, and costs solely within their project boundary, and with limited evaluation of the larger community impacts. To transition to a more resilient and equitable built environment, we must first understand who is most reliant on our community assets and infrastructure, and what resilience means to them. Using examples from Massachusetts and California, we will discuss how centering equity and climate risk in the design and decision-making process can help to mitigate harm and enhance benefits to those who have historically been adversely impacted by infrastructure decisions. This type of systems-based thinking requires policy-makers, designers, engineers, owners, and operators to think holistically about a resilient and just transition that ensures buildings continue to meet the needs of occupants, enables buildings to serve as grid assets, and keeps equity at the core of the conversation.

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Event Time: 

Wednesday, March 20, 2024 - 9:00am to 10:00am

Room / Location:
Harbor Ballroom

CEU Information: 

BOC: 1 credit hour
BPI: 1 credit hour
GBCI: 1 credit hour (BD+C, WELL)
MA CSL: 1 credit hour (Elective)
NAHB: 1 credit hour
NARI: 1 credit hour
PHI: Credit offered for full conference attendance
Phius: Credit offered for each full conference day
RESNET: Credit offered for each full conference day

Learning Objectives:

  • Compare and contrast the benefits of people-focused assessment as opposed to more traditional infrastructure-focused assessment.
  • Analyze the key climate risks within the Boston community, and how infrastructure failure will impact those with the fewest resources.
  • Take action to mitigate the unique ways that those at the most risk are impacted by extreme storm events.
  • Describe the stakeholders at play in a climate vulnerability risk assessment, and specifically one focused on community engagement and social vulnerability.

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