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The ‘R’ Word: Retreat, Relocation and Climate Resilience

March 1, 2019 @ 7:15 am – 11:45 am
UMass Club -
One Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108

Adaptation to climate change has emerged as an essential and permanent topic for professional, academic, government and public discussion.

Civil engineers, architects, building owners, real estate investors, insurers, planners, environmental regulators, transportation providers, emergency responders, public health providers, and many others are grappling with how to incorporate the evident need for adaptation and resilience into much of what they do. Academia is also deepening its involvement with this most important and fascinating set of public policy issues.

The growing body of experience and expertise in adaptation is not widely appreciated either within or across the traditional silos that define professions, disciplines and practices. At the same time, there is no regular, ongoing opportunity for adaptation professionals from various fields to meet in Boston to cross-pollinate ideas and share solutions to common problems.

The Environmental Business Council of New England (EBC) and the Sustainable Solutions Lab at the University of Massachusetts Boston have collaborated to establish a quarterly series of half-day Climate Adaptation Forums that will provide cutting-edge thought leadership on adaptation to climate change for environmental and energy professionals, policy makers, municipal officials, NGOs, and practitioners.

These quarterly forums will address everything from infrastructure and design solutions to communication challenges and barriers to implementation to policy solutions to the nexus of climate and equity. Local, national and global speakers will represent forward-thinking institutions, global firms, academia, government and other high level practitioners. Join the ever-growing group of professionals working to address the challenge of climate change adaptation and resiliency at the quarterly forums.

Jump to the Forum Website

Upcoming Forum: The ‘R’ Word: Retreat, Relocation and Climate Resilience

More Information and Registration

Climate adaptation efforts are often focused on armoring the built environment against climate risks. But given dire climate projections and the costs associated with retrofits and rebuilding, retreat and relocation should be part of the conversation as well. Join the Climate Adaptation Forum for a discussion about retreat, relocation, and climate resilience. Speakers will touch on the financial, legal and human hurdles to retreat. We will hear stories from around the country of communities and individuals that have successfully moved or are currently grappling with the need to relocate due to climate change and sea level rise.

As with past Forums, there will be sufficient of time for audience engagement during the moderated discussion with the speakers.

Forum Co-Chairs

  • Nasser Brahim, Technical Leader, Kleinfelder
  • Jason Hellendrung, ASLA, PLA, Vice President, Planning and Design, Tetra Tech
  • Deanna Moran, Director of Environmental Planning, Conservation Law Foundation


  • Robert S. Young, Director, Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, Western Carolina University – Link to Bio
  • Carri Hulet, Senior Associate, Consensus Building Institute; Climigration Network – Link to Bio
  • Katie Spidalieri, Institute Associate, Georgetown Climate Center – Link to Bio
  • Rosetta S. Elkin, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, Harvard University Graduate School of Design – Link to Bio
More Information and Registration