“Anyone who thinks that there is not a dramatic change in weather patterns is denying reality. We have a new reality, and old infrastructures and old systems.”
So stated New York Governor Cuomo in the days immediately following Hurricane Sandy, commenting on a challenge facing communities not just in the US but around the world. With some climate change already ‘locked in’ to the momentum of the climate system, human communities are facing an uncertain future. Finding those solutions that increase communities’ readiness for extreme events is a part of responding to climate change.
The promise of green infrastructure, which relies on wetlands, green roofs, rain gardens and permeable pavement, among other approaches, is that it can help communities deal cost-effectively with increased precipitation and storm water runoff while potentially bringing co-benefits, from good jobs to healthier air and cooler summer temperatures. Solutions like green infrastructure are a source of hope that, in responding to climate change we can also help our communities become healthier, more equitable, and more sustainable places to live and work.
That’s why we at Climate Interactive are thrilled to announce the start of a new project (thanks to the Surdna Foundation) which will, over the course of the next year, see us creating a prototype system dynamics simulation of green infrastructure that will allow for the same sort of ‘what-if’ scenario testing that has been so effective in our other models of global climate change, the transition to clean energy, and resilience to drought in eastern Africa.