Alex Steffen in The Atlantic Cities: Sandy Was A Wake-Up Call
"There’s a palpable sense in America that Sandy was a wake-up call," says Steffen. "In a year when we saw one of the worst droughts in American history, when we’ve seen catastrophic wildfires, when we’ve seen other floods and natural disasters, to also see a thousand-year storm says something about the world that we’re moving into." The cities of the not-so-distant future must be prepared to not only fight climate change by becoming carbon neutral, but also become adept at preparing for—and surviving—unpredictable weather events and other effects of an unstable environment. "The future is a tough place," he says, "and as we move into it, we are going to need to think of ways to reduce our vulnerabilities to not only climate chaos, but all sorts of instabilities that are happening as our economy shifts in the face of planetary realities." In his talks, Steffen delivers clear, concise strategies on how we can rebuild our urban areas, improve our standards of living, and thrive in uncertainty. As Sandy's destruction indicates, now is the time to start.