2018 National Planning Conference

Sea Level Rise Planning Beyond 1.5°C

Monday, April 15, 2019 from 8:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. PDT

CM | 1.25

Activity Type: Educational Sessions

Activity ID: NPC198245

Location: 2016

Add to My Log


  • Learn how planners in public and private sectors are taking action to adapt to coastal climate change hazards despite lacking federal leadership.
  • Understand the complexities of codifying sea level rise, and other resilience and sustainability measures into coastal zone management, zoning, and design implementation.
  • Gain perspective from both the speakers' and audiences' experience grappling with the UN's latest call for rapid adaptation to climate change and sea level rise in coastal cities.


The October release of the special UN report on climate change found that unprecedented global changes must be made within the next 12 years to avoid warming above 1.5° Celsius. Even exceeding this threshold by 0.5° would exacerbate climate impacts significantly; by 2100, sea level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5°C compared with 2°C. Globally, planners and experts are grappling with the urgent need to adapt to these risks. Cities like San Francisco and New York City have begun to incorporate resiliency measures into zoning and coastal management. The Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines (WEDG) is another tool that provides guidance for adapting waterfront properties, such as incorporating mid-high range sea level rise estimates into the design. Learn from planners who have lead city and regional efforts to adapt to these urgent risks and participate in an interactive discussion with the speakers on what it will take for planners to prepare cities for an uncertain future with regards to sea level rise and coastal risks.


Session Speakers

Michael L. Marrella, AICP
New York City Department of City Planning
Brooklyn, NY

Richard B. Mullane
San Francisco, CA

Sarah Dougherty
Waterfront Alliance
Brooklyn, NY

Jessica Fain, AICP
San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission
Oakland, CA

Ashley Muse
Mountain View, CA

Roland Lewis
Waterfront Alliance
New York, NY