Throughout history, many of our region’s great cities and towns have been located on bodies of water. Now these productive and iconic places are threatened by rising water, storm surges, and uninsurable, shifting waterfront land. With 50% of Americans living on some type of coast, isn’t there a better way? Architects, urban designers, landscape architects, and engineers need to collaborate to safeguard coastal land while creating great city spaces.

This program considers that the answer may come from a change in perspective. Planning inland from the water yields remarkable benefits. The vanguard for this approach will discuss their work. They include a major oceanographer and water modeler frequently sought out for his knowledge of the region’s ocean, river, and bay coastlines; NYC’s former chief urban designer, now a professor who focuses on achieving coastal resilience; the head of the Corps of Engineers’ Sandy Recovery Program; and a landscape architect with a coastal focus.

Case studies from around the region, as well as global cities, will demonstrate the success of water-centric approaches. The speakers will show how interdisciplinary research and collaboration between designers and scientists can forecast outcomes more reliably and result in effective best practices.