Facing Challenges of Sea Level Rise

Sunday, May 7, 2017 | 8 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.
CM | 1.25
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You'll learn about:

  • Learn about the ways in which other planners are dealing with sea level rise in their communities.
  • Learn about data, tools, and other resources planners are using to effectively plan for sea level rise. 
  • Learn about integrating sea level rise planning into the planning process.

Planning for sea level rise is one of the most difficult challenges planners are facing today. While the profession has long accepted that sea level rise is happening, the intractable questions of “how much” and “how soon” have plagued the decision-making process. Existing data tends to focus on broad impacts and general estimates for rise over large swaths of shoreline. Generally, this information is not nearly fine enough for community planners facing skeptical citizens and elected officials. Yet the uncertainty of local sea level rise impacts should not supersede the general facts that sea level is rising, often more quickly than predicted, that communities are grappling with its very real impacts, and that it is expected to continue well into the future.

This facilitated discussion will encourage the open exchange of ideas among planners on how to deal with the local impacts of sea level rise. What zoning tools are planners using? What sort of data is needed?  How do you plan for expensive infrastructure in the midst of such uncertainty? This session seeks to develop answers to these questions and more by tapping the practical experiences of planners dealing with the messy reality of sea level rise today.


James Schwab , FAICP , Jim Schwab Consulting LLC , Chicago , IL (see bio)
Joseph DeAngelis , Chicago , IL (see bio)