Democracy in Retreat? Master Planning in a Warming World

The Challenges of Planning for Climate Change


The climate crisis is changing the world. Some people are moving while others are redesigning the places where they live as they face rising seas and extreme weather. This conference foregrounds Louisiana’s experience with these challenges.

Just as evacuation, eviction, and emigration in the wake of disasters related to climate change have redefined where Louisianans live, new designs and infrastructures are reshaping how they live. Meanwhile, as we confront climate change, we also confront stark social inequalities. Technocratic plans that are promulgated in the name of “resilience” but without critical interrogation can not only reproduce but exacerbate existing injustices. Many policies that promise security for some cause suffering for others. Must there be winners and losers in the pursuit of environmental safety and justice? How can we ensure a democratic approach to that pursuit?

This two-day event in New Orleans brings together architects, landscape architects, planners, scholars, artists, policy makers, and activists for environmental justice whose work engages with the challenges of planning for climate change. Using Louisiana primarily as the case to “think with,” but including other at-risk areas such as the Texas Gulf Coast and Puerto Rico, participants will work comparatively to evaluate the perils and promise of risk and retreat, given the imperatives of justice and democracy.

Event location: Tulane River and Coastal Center, 1370 Port of New Orleans Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

Sponsored by:

Tulane University: School of Architecture, School of Liberal Arts, ByWater Institute, New Orleans Center for the Gulf South, Stone Center for Latin American Studies, Mellon Program in Community-Engaged Scholarship

Columbia University, Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture

University of New Orleans: Center for Hazards Assessment, Response and Technology, Department of Planning and Urban Studies

Alumni, Current Students, Visitors, Faculty
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