Community Adaptation in the City

Webinar Date: 
May 22, 2014




This webinar focuses on how cities and communities might best respond to the complexities of a changing climate and how to best adapt to the on-the-ground issues with examples in Detroit and Brooklyn. This is the third installment of the National Adaptation Webinar Series and is sponsored by EcoAdapt, the National Wildlife Federation, Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, and Uprose, and hosted by


1:00-1:05 Welcome

1:05- 1:10 Leading the Way in Supporting Adaptation in Cities, Kara Reeves, Manager, Climate-Smart Communities Program, National Wildlife Federation

1:10-1:25 Leading Adaptation in Detroit, Kimberly Hill Knott, Director of Policy, Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice and Chair of the Detroit Climate Action Collaborative. Download the presentation.

1:25-1:40 Climate Justice and Community Resilience, Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director, Uprose. Download the presentation.

1:40-1: 45 Steps to Successful Adaptation Lara Hansen, Ph.D., Chief Scientist and Executive Director, EcoAdapt. Downlaod the presentation.

1:45-2:00 Open discussion and questions for panel members


Kara Reeves manages National Wildlife Federation’s Climate-Smart Communities  program, which helps communities identify and use nature-based approaches to prepare for the impacts of climate change and just completed a new primer on nature-based approaches to urban adaptation called Green Works For Climate Resilience: A Community Guide to Climate Planning.  Prior to joining NWF, Kara was the Technical Innovation Manager at ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability where she led the development and management of ICLEI's greenhouse gas emissions protocols and climate mitigation, adaptation, and sustainability projects.  Kara was previously the Urban Sustainability Planner for the District of Columbia Office of Planning and provided expertise on climate change mitigation and adaptation, green building, transportation, green jobs, green infrastructure, stormwater management, and others.  In particular, she played an active role in developing the Climate Action Plan. Kara has a Master in City Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  While at MIT, she focused on environmental justice and climate change, and she helped develop a climate adaptation tool while working on a project for the local government in Durban, South Africa.
Kimberly Hill Knott  has a bachelor’s in education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a master’s in educational administration from Temple University in Philadelphia.  As Director of Policy at Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice (DWEJ), she primarily handles state and federal policy initiatives around air quality and workforce development, including green jobs. Currently, she is leading the Workforce Development Policy Roundtable, which will develop a comprehensive report, including state and local policy recommendations, in an effort to reduce barriers to employment.  In 2009, she attended COP15 (Conference of the Parties of the United Nations) international climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, where she facilitated a meeting with the White House, EPA, and U.S. environmental justice delegates to discuss the importance of passing a binding agreement that protects low-income and minority communities from the adverse impacts of climate change. In 2011, Kimberly convened several key stakeholders from diverse backgrounds to form the Detroit Climate Action Collaborative (DCAC). Through DCAC, she is facilitating the development of Detroit’s first comprehensive climate change action plan. Recently, she was nominated and selected for the White House Champions of Change Award for Community Resilient Leaders. This was an extremely competitive process and only 12 people throughout the country were selected. The White House award is for leaders who are actively involved in addressing climate change and sustainability issues in their respective communities. The White House recognition ceremony was held on April 11, 2013. In May, she was one of 100 women invited to participate in the White House Women’s Summit on Climate and Energy, and is leading the Climate Conversations initiative. Before joining (DWEJ), Kimberly worked for Michigan Congressman John Conyers (Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee) for over a decade. 
Elizabeth C. Yeampierre is a nationally recognized Puerto Rican attorney and environmental justice leader of African and Indigenous ancestry born and raised in New York City. She is Executive Director of UPROSE, Brooklyn’s oldest Latino community based organization. Her award winning vision for an inter-generational, multi-cultural and community led organization is the driving force behind UPROSE. She is a long-time advocate and trailblazer for community organizing around just, sustainable development, environmental justice and community-led climate adaptation and community resiliency in Sunset Park. Prior to assuming the Executive Director position at UPROSE, Ms. Yeampierre was the Director of Legal Education and Training at the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund, Director of Legal Services for the American Indian law Alliance and Dean of Puerto Rican Student Affairs at Yale University.  She holds a BA from Fordham University, a law degree from Northeastern University. Elizabeth is the first Latina Chair of the US EPA National Environmental Justice Advisory Council.
Lara J. Hansen, Ph.D., Chief Scientist and Executive Director, EcoAdapt. Lara thinks climate change is everybody's problem and she wishes someone would bother to do something about it. Her desire for action led her to co-create EcoAdapt with a team of similarly inclined folks in 2008. She is co-author and editor of one of the earliest texts on the issue of natural system adaptation to climate change, Buying Time: A User's Manual for Building Resistance and Resilience to Climate Change in Natural Systems, as well as co-author of one of the newest books on adaptation, Climate Savvy: Adapting Conservation and Resource Management to a Changing World. The team that created these books created an engaged stakeholder process (first known as Climate Camp; now known as Awareness to Action Workshops) to help resource managers create adaptation strategies applicable to their work. 

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