Organizing Urban Transects for a Sustainable Transformation of Economic PartnershipS (OUTSTEPS)

Authors: Chris S. Renschler*, LESAM - Landscape-based Environmental System Analysis & Modeling Laboratory - University at Buffalo (SUNY), Susan S. Clark, Department of Environment & Sustainability - University at Buffalo (SUNY), Michael Shelly, RENEW (Research and Education in eNergy, Environment and Water) Institute - University at Buffalo (SUNY), Varun Chandola, Department of Computer Science and Engineering - University at Buffalo (SUNY), JiYoung Park, Department of Urban and Regional Planning - University at Buffalo (SUNY)
Topics: Coupled Human and Natural Systems, Sustainability Science, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters
Keywords: Global Change, Regional Sciences, Resilience
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 50
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Urban areas, and their rural watersheds, in the Lower Great Lakes (LGL) Region face present and future LGL-wide sustainability and resilience challenges. For instance, it is forecasted that the LGL Region – even though potentially afflicted by more frequent intense weather - will not be as severely impacted by climate change as other parts of the US. Urban areas in the LGL region, intersected by rural areas, may become a corridor of relative climatic stability compared to other regions in the United States, which might lead to in-migration. Meeting the LGL-wide sustainability and resilience challenges requires interdisciplinary research and testing of alternatives. Consequently, the University at Buffalo (UB) convened a NSF-funded workshop for researchers, sustainability and resilience officers, community stakeholders and students. By bringing together researchers, practitioners and stakeholders from around the LGL Region, the Organizing Urban Transects for a Sustainable Transformation of Economic PartnershipS (OUTSTEPS) workshop evaluated the assets, opportunities and barriers available to create a holistically connected urban and rural LGL Region that is an equitable climate refuge. The OUTSTEPS workshop leveraged the seven dimensions of the PEOPLES Resilience Framework and the 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as well as existing community stakeholder initiatives such as the Partnership for the Public Good (PPG) and the Erie County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) for the workshop’s guiding principles. The OUTSTEPS.org Community Platform enables team building for researchers and community stakeholders through collaborative design of research projects with output targeted to support practitioners and policy makers in their decision-making.

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