Climate, Brownfields and Natural Disasters
Nov 11, 2019

Climate, Brownfields and Natural Disasters

OurCounty: Los Angeles Countywide Sustainability Plan, for Equity, Resilience & Public Health (Panel Discussion at Brownfields 2019, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 3:30-4:30pm)

Inclusive stakeholder engagement is essential to equitable policymaking. Yet, many stakeholders, such as low-income or communities of color, often face barriers to participating in policymaking. Vulnerable populations are most susceptible to environmental disruptions, whether these be floods, heat waves, hurricanes, earthquakes, and melting permafrost. They have fewer resources with which to cope. Environmental justice communities are also disproportionately exposed to environmental stressors. Providing inclusive efforts that address these issues and provide true implementation benefits are therefore crucial to mitigating the impacts of climate change, as well as provide opportunities for equitable development.

OurCounty is a regional sustainability plan for all of Los Angeles—the first of its kind, it outlines a bold set of goals, strategies and actions for creating a resilient, inclusive, and sustainable county working with stakeholders.

On Wednesday, December 11th, panelists will highlight the innovative strategies and actions at the core of the plan. Panelists will also discuss how specific stakeholder engagement methods addressed common barriers to participation, and how that meaningful participation shaped OurCounty’s policy recommendations for improving equity and resiliency.

Rita Kampalath is a Sustainability Program Director in Los Angeles County’s Chief Sustainability Office, which provides regional policy leadership on equity, economy, and environment.

Chris Rhie is an urban planner and sustainability strategist at BuroHappold Engineering. Chris has extensive experience with sustainability and climate action plans.

Ignacio Dayrit is CCLR’s Director of Programs. He has been helping communities sustainably reuse blighted properties through grants, technical assistance, training, and stakeholder outreach for over 30 years.

• A representative from a community-based organization will also join the panel to provide stakeholder feedback on the OurCounty plan and process.

OurCounty was built from the ideas of people living and working throughout the Los Angeles region, utilizing a stakeholder engagement process that centered the perspectives of vulnerable communities. It is a strategic sustainability plan, that is intersectional by design, emphasizes collaboration as well as creative solutions that simultaneously benefit the environment, social equity, and economic revitalization.

Climate, Brownfields and Natural Disasters (Town Hall at Brownfields 2019, Thursday, Dec. 12, 3:30-4:40pm)

California’s recent battles with fires make this panel timely and particularly important.

Storms, fires, and other climate-mediated natural disasters are occurring with greater ferocity and frequency, and the implications for brownfield redevelopment may surprise you. Disasters can generate contamination, redistribute contamination, and contaminate previously remediated and closed sites. What does this mean for local climate resilience efforts? And what’s a brownfield practitioner to do?

Join CCLR and a star lineup of speakers at Brownfields2019 to learn more. On the afternoon of Thursday, December 12th, we’ll have three experts address the intersection of brownfields and climate-mediated disasters:

Jennifer Thompson Gray directs the Rebuild NorthBay Foundation, where she leads public-private collaboration efforts to facilitate Sonoma County and the surrounding area’s recovery from disastrous 2017 fires.

Sue Kemball-Cook is a climate model downscaling specialist at Ramboll. She uses data and quantitative tools to help prepare for disasters and facilitate recovery.

Ed Morales is a risk expert with Marsh, and has expertise in risk management, environmental insurance, and sustainability.

Disasters are not a matter of if, but when. From toxic ash in the wake of fires, to melted underground infrastructure that leaches chemicals into soil and groundwater, to issues of insurance coverage and new methods for public-private collaboration, our expert speakers have you covered. Bring your questions and join us for a thoughtful, informative and in-depth conversation that will deepen your knowledge of resilience and redevelopment.

CCLR and our speakers look forward to seeing you at these two sessions!

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