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Urban Resilience – What’s the Role of Water Infrastructure?

Time: 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM
Location: Renaissance Park 909, 1135 Tremont Street, Boston MA 02129
Sponsored By: Presented by Northeastern University’s Center for International Affairs and World Cultures, the Northeastern Humanities Center, & the Department of Political Science
Contact: internationalcenter@northeastern.edu
More Information: https://www.norwich.edu/faculty-and-staff/engineering/168-tara-kulkarni

“Contemporary Issues in Security and Resilience Studies” Speaker Series Event

Twenty-five percent of the $1 billion in annual flood damages in the US can be linked to stormwater. Most municipalities however, are crippled with aging infrastructure and shrinking budgets. Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI), offers a low-cost alternative to expensive capital projects. These nature-based engineering interventions, not only address flooding concerns, but also protect against drought, coastal damage and erosion. Moreover, they offer the added advantages of lowering the urban heat island effect, reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions, and improving health outcomes. GSI practices thus truly exemplify the “resilience dividend” – one solution, many benefits. Worldwide, cities are investing in integrating GSI practices, and the relevant framework into their higher-level strategic plans for the city. This presentation highlights some of the key findings of a research effort, looking at the twelve of the 23 US cities in the Rockefeller Foundations’ 100 Resilient Cities network. Using the stormwater lens, I will discuss how fund raising, program development and implementation, operation and maintenance, as well as green training, engaging the public in education and outreach, and using mechanisms like public-private partnerships, to track resilience in various sectors, including stormwater management, can become a collaborative effort, and a concrete way to build community resilience.



Dr. Kulkarni is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, and the Director of the Center for Global Resilience and Security (CGRS) at Norwich University. She has worked as a state regulator for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in the industrial wastewater, hazardous waste, and petroleum cleanup sections, and as Sustainability Manager for an environmental management consulting company in India before starting her academic career. Her current research interests are in green infrastructure, sustainable water resources management, and building community resilience through engineering innovation in environmental health and security. Her recent publications include a book on water resources planning, and the water and wastewater sections of Vermont’s infrastructure report card, for the American Society of Civil Engineers.

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