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Kreisman Housing Law & Policy Symposium

May 2, 2024

David Rubenstein Forum, the University of Chicago

Two major crises of our time—climate change and a lack of affordable housing—seriously challenge our ability to create cities that are both livable and equitable. The goal of this year’s Kreisman Initiative on Housing Law and Policy Symposium on Housing and Climate Change is to better understand the connections between them: what are the overlapping causes, effects, and policy responses that are essential to addressing these existential dilemmas? What are we missing by not drawing distinct linkages as we try to address both emergencies? View the schedule

Kreisman Housing Law & Policy Symposium

May 2, 2024
David Rubenstein Forum, the University of Chicago

Two major crises of our time—climate change and a lack of affordable housing—seriously challenge our ability to create cities that are both livable and equitable. The goal of this year’s Kreisman Initiative on Housing Law and Policy Symposium on Housing and Climate Change is to better understand the connections between them: what are the overlapping causes, effects, and policy responses that are essential to addressing these existential dilemmas? What are we missing by not drawing distinct linkages as we try to address both emergencies? View the schedule

Several points frame the discussion:

  • Historical events and practices contributed to where we are today. Housing in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color are disproportionately affected by climate change. In particular, the practice of redlining pushed many communities of color into low-lying areas with substandard infrastructure, which now makes them especially susceptible to climate related disasters: floods, storms, droughts, and heat waves.
  • The housing sector is a significant driver of climate change. Residential buildings account for 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. A lot of housing is extremely energy inefficient, and much of it is located in poor neighborhoods. In addition, the context of housing—in car-dependent places, with no transit access—not only increases the cost of living due to added transportation costs but is a major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The housing sector is on the front line of climate change effects. Climate related disasters are creating housing instability and threatening a major source of generational wealth. Racism in housing is exasperated because of the disproportionate impacts of climate change on communities of color. Green gentrification is an increasingly visible phenomenon, where low-income communities are pushed out by wealthier population seeking safer locations. Rising insurance rates due to climate change are an increasing burden on low-and middle-income populations, and in particular affordable housing developers.

The event will be held May 2, 2024, at the David Rubenstein Forum, 1201 E. 60th St., 3rd floor, on the University of Chicago campus.

Schedule

8:00 – 9:00 Continental Breakfast and Exhibit

9:00 – 9:15 Introduction

Christopher R. Berry, William J. and Alicia Townsend Friedman Professor at the Harris School of Public Policy and Director, Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation, University of Chicago

Emily Talen, Professor of Urbanism and Director of Urbanism Lab, Division of Social Sciences, University of Chicago

9:15 – 10:15 Opening Presentation

Dana Bourland, author of Gray to Green Communities and senior vice president of environment and strategic initiatives at the JPB Foundation

10:15 – 11:30 Historical Context: How Did We Get Here?

Vivek Shandas Professor of Geography, Portland State University

Carlos Martin Project Director, Remodeling Futures Program, Joint Center for Housing Studies Harvard University

11:45 – 12:45 Lunch Presentation

Daniel Kammen Professor of Energy, University of California, Berkeley

1:00 – 2:15 Climate Change and Housing: Cause and Effect

Sean Becketti Principal, Elliott Bay Analytics

Jesse Keenan Favrot II Associate Professor of Sustainable Real Estate and Urban Planning, School of Architecture, Tulane University

2:15 – 2:30 Break

2:30 – 3:45 Policy Solutions

Danielle Arigoni Managing Director for Policy and Solutions, National Housing Trust

Katherine Burgess Vice President of Land Use and Development, Smart Growth America

Marla Nelson Freeport Professorship in Urban & Public Affairs, Department of Planning and Urban Studies, University of New Orleans

4:15 – 4:30 Closing Remarks

Chris Wheat Managing Director for Policy and Government Affairs, Sustainable Cities Fund

 4:30 Reception