Webinar Series 2021
The potential property and human health costs emanating from climate change compel local governments to act with greater urgency. However, local governments face a predicament between the demand to simultaneously balance development of effective short- and long-term (and often very complex) climate resiliency plans with financial and budgetary stability.
A critical element of this new climate and cost-risk management paradigm is the recent and evolving relationship between local governments and public bond rating agencies. As local governments plan to address the effects of climate change, they must also take into consideration the growing and evolving roles of debt rating agencies in the arena of climate risk management.
But rating local government debt through the lenses of climate change is very much uncharted territory for both debt rating agencies and local governments. This is due partly to the novelty and complexity of climate change. This complexity also is compounded in Northern Virginia by the progression of new and innovative climate resiliency strategies by local governments and the application of innovations such as ecosystems management, green infrastructure or risk-informed zoning that complement "conventional" or "gray infrastructure" engineering.
To shed light on this unique and evolving relationship between climate resiliency planning by the local governments of Northern Virginia and debt rating agencies, NVRC has invited Kurt Forsgren, Managing Director and Sector Leader for Infrastructure for S&P Global Ratings, and Nora Wittsbruck. Lead Analyst for Local Government at S&P Global, to share their work and expertise on this topic.
Please register here no later than March 12, 2021. It is free! https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3877589795246410764
Kurt Forsgren. Kurt is a managing director and sector leader for infrastructure at S&P Global Ratings. In this role, he works as an industry analyst across the different infrastructure sectors with a focus on supporting the transportation and utilities team on cross-sectoral initiatives such as public-private partnerships (P3s), climate risks and green evaluations globally.
Nora Wittstruck. Nora is a lead analyst within S&P's local government east region team covering local government credits from Maine to Florida. She also serves as the analytical lead for New York City and on the analytical team for the State of Texas. She also covers transportation issuers for Miami International Airport. Prior to joining S&P Global, Nora worked for the State of Florida in the Division of Bonds Finance as a Bond Development Specialist.
Local governments across Northern Virginia confront with greater regularity climate-induced stressors such as flooding from sea-level rise and intense storm events. A particularly complex issue with resiliency planning has been the struggle to balance the design, planning and application of gray and green infrastructure. For example, how might local governments of the region cope with creating viable public space that also accommodate sea-level rise or storm surge? Or, how might plans to revitalize bottle-necked stormwater culverts be undertaken that also promote holistic watershed approaches in general and on-site stormwater management and retention?
As our region’s local governments develop resiliency plans, they stand to benefit by drawing lessons from the Netherlands – widely recognized as a global pioneer in the planning and implementation of large- and small-scale holistic climate resiliency policies and projects.
The Dutch towns of (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Nijmegen) have successfully applied small and large-scale watershed management plans that acknowledge the force and character of water without over-relying on conventional large-scale civil engineering projects. In these cities, the Dutch have woven nature-based approaches such as living shorelines, bioswales in the context of long-term holistic watershed planning. The outcomes have been successful flood mitigation and the creation of amenities for urban life such as expanded shorelines in urban districts, and natural habitats for wildlife.
To share the work of these pioneering models, Suzan van Kruchten, head of climate for the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, will speak about her work and the lessons for the communities of Northern Virginia working to become climate resilient.
Featured Speaker: Suzan van Kruchten,
Ms. Suzan van Kruchten is the team coordinator for international climate and energy at the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. Suzan has over 10 years of senior-level policy development experience with national and local climate resiliency programs in the Netherlands and the United States. For the period of June 2012-October 2012, Suzan worked with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to review and report on Dutch climate resiliency innovations to the Northern Virginia region.
Webinar Series 2020
Resilience Webinar Series Part 1 | July 28, 2020 | 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET
Nature Based Urban Heat Island Mitigation: Ideas from Germany
Cities across Northern Virginia are identifying opportunities to respond to the increase of urban heat islands and poor air quality emanating from a changing climate. Across the Atlantic, cities in the region of Stuttgart, Germany, have deployed a range of creative and practical tools such as green facades, green walls and green mobile lounges to help cities adapt to heat stress.
The planted walls and roofs of the mobile green lounge pictured here, provide cool, biophilic settings for rest, meetings and even cultural performances in public spaces that tend to become excessively warm. There are other unique aspects of the German cities’ applications of green infrastructure in support of resiliency that will be shared via a webinar, Tuesday, July 28, from 12:00pm to 2:00pm. Jonathan Muller of Helix Pflanzensysteme will co-host a discussion of his work to green the Stuttgart region and the potential for our region to adopt and learn from those experiences.
There is no cost for this free event! Please Register here no later than July 21, 2020. We look forward to seeing you! https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8984618992365286158
Featured Speaker: Jonathan Mueller, Head Architect, Helix - Pflanzen Gmbh
Jonathan holds a B.A. in Architecture at the University of Applied Sciences Konstanz,M.A. in Architecture at Leipzig University of Applied Sciences, Employee in various architectural offices in the Stuttgart region, currently working for ’Helix Pflanzensysteme GmbH’ as Head Architect, planning and implementing functional NBS (Nature-based Solutions) in urban environments with a clear focus on vertical green walls and gardens, active member of the Horizon 2020 project ’Connecting Nature’. https://www.helix-pflanzen.de/
Video of Webinar
Resilience Webinar Series Part 2 | September 15, 2020 | 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM ET
Livable Public Play Spaces that Integrate Natural Systems
“Play space” in US cities too often conjures an image of landscapes consisting of sterile, mono-dimensional playsets designed to entertain infant and small children. Too often, parks in the US give little consideration to the inclusion of multiple generations or cultures, the mitigation of urban heat island, or inspire curiosity, adventure or inspiration. The demand for parks that are ecological and multi-functional has seldom been greater in light of the COVID-19 crisis – especially in the realm of mental health.
Around the world, cities such as Berlin, Gelsenkirchen and Singapore have embraced planning strategies for parks that are holistic. In these cities, the play areas are planned for enjoyment for the young and old, to memorialize events, stimulate interest in the environment and ecology, use tree canopies to cool the climate, recycle stormwater, and incorporate dining, music and faith.
Please join us for a FREE! webinar on September 15, 2020, from 12:00pm to 1:30 pm, with Herbert Dreiseitl, for a discussion of his work on ecological play spaces in cities such as Pforzheim, Gelsenkirchen and Singapore. Herbert will share with us his work in these cities and their potential inform equivalent efforts in our region.
Featured Speaker : Herbert Dreisetl
Urban Designer, Landscape Architect, Artist, for Regenerative Water Sensitive Cities. Founder of Atelier Dreiseitl and Ramboll’s Liveable Cities Lab. Today, independent consultant at DREISEITLconsulting and Professor in Praxis.
Herbert Dreiseitl’s focuses on creating Liveable Cities around the world. He is an internationally highly respected expert with a special hallmark on inspiring and innovative use of water to solve urban environmental challenges, connecting technology with aesthetics and encouraging people to establish a sense of ownership for place. He has realized ground-breaking contemporary projects in the fields of climate resiliency, stormwater management, urban planning and landscape architecture like Berlin Potsdamer Platz with Renzo Piano, Tanner Spring Park Portland Oregon, USA, and Bishan – Ang Mo Kio Park in Singapore. Hebert lectures worldwide and is also a regular visiting professor at the National University of Singapore. Today, he runs DREISEITLconsulting GmbH alongside with his wife, Bettina as an independent consultant for many initiatives and cities around the world.
Video of Webinar
Resilience Webinar Series Part 3 | September 29, 2020 | 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM ET
Flood Response Strategies in Northern Virginia: An Overview
Floods are one of the most common natural hazards in our region and can result in significant damage. The primary types of flooding in Northern Virginia include riverine, coastal, and urban flash flood. Some floods develop slowly, while others can develop in just a few minutes e.g. July 8, 2019. Floods can be local, impacting a neighborhood or community, or very large, affecting entire river basins. Floods that damage infrastructure such as roads and culverts present a serious public safety hazard.
The 2016 Northern Virginia Hazard Mitigation Plan update determined that most of the Northern Virginia jurisdictions have a ‘Highly Likely’ probability of continued flood risk due to ‘High’ vulnerability to flood hazard. Further complicating flood risk is the change in precipitation intensity, duration, and frequency trends due to global climate change. These trends are increasing the number of heavy downpour events that occur in a localized area and can quickly overwhelm the stormwater conveyance system resulting in rapid rises in creeks and streams and ponding in poor drainage areas that are outside of a mapped flood zone.
In order to reduce vulnerability to flood hazard and improve stormwater management, some Northern Virginia jurisdictions have developed, or are in the process of developing, a flood response strategy. After discussing the issue with a number of other local jurisdictions in Virginia, it is clear that there is no ‘one-size fits all’ response. In fact, each jurisdiction has a slightly different approach. The Commonwealth of Virginia is also working on a “Coastal Adaptation and Resiliency Master Plan” that may include other viable options.
There is a buffet of options that a strategy could include, but each option comes with many questions and challenges that county planners and floodplain program managers must sort out. Such options include; buyouts for repetitive loss properties, mapping out flood prone areas that are outside of FEMA floodplains, increasing size of stormwater conveyance pipes, requiring new development to retain a bigger volume of runoff, educating the public about flood risk, overland relief encroachments, and how to purchase flood insurance.
NVRC will host a “flood response strategy show and tell” for Northern Virginia local governments so that we may all collectively learn from the various approaches that have been developed and implemented.
Video of Webinar
Resilience Webinar Series Part 4 | October 6, 2020 | 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM ET
The risk to critical infrastructure and property from extreme weather and climate change is rising. According to NOAA, the U.S. has experienced 10 extreme weather/climate disaster events so far in 2020 (as of July 8), with losses exceeding $1 billion each causing significant economic effects on the areas impacted. Only about a third of these losses were insured. Investing in resilience planning to protect our communities and infrastructure involves taking action to understand and reduce risk. Insurance is one way to transfer the risk from an unavoidable extreme weather event.
Join us for a FREE conversation with Munich Re, a global leader focused on developing innovative insurance solutions geared towards extreme weather and climate change. Our guests, Dr. Raghuveer Vinukollu, Manager of Natural Catastrophe Solutions at Munich Re, and Ms. Prentiss Darden of Munich Re’s Resilience Domain Incubator will will share the work by their team to develop and apply analysis and tools for use by local governments to inform them about the interface between insurance, risk, and financing climate resiliency plans.
Register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3294646318976869904 FREE!!
Featured Speakers: Dr. Raghuveer Vinukollu, Manager of Natural Catastrophe Solutions at Munich Re, and Ms. Prentiss Darden of Munich Re’s Resilience Domain Incubator
Dr. Raghuveer Vinukollu is a Natural Catastrophe Solutions manager at Munich Reinsurance America, Inc. (“Munich Re”) based in Princeton, New Jersey. He is a member of the Strategic Products team and leads the flood insurance strategy for Munich Re in the U.S.
His responsibilities include development of innovative products designed to cover various natural catastrophe exposures, either through traditional reinsurance structures or private label approaches. Prior to joining Munich Re, Raghuveer worked at Swiss Re where he began his reinsurance career as a Natural Hazard specialist, developing probabilistic models for Flood and Storm Surge perils. He later transitioned to the Facultative Programs unit as a Property Reinsurance Underwriter. Raghuveer received his Ph.D in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Princeton University. He is a frequent speaker on climate adaptation and resiliency, as well as sea level rise and the impact of flooding on local businesses and personal property. Raghuveer is also a strong advocate for the Natural Catastrophe Protection Gap initiative, an initiative to close the protection gap between economic and insured losses.
His responsibilities include development of innovative products designed to cover various natural catastrophe exposures, either through traditional reinsurance structures or private label approaches. Prior to joining Munich Re, Raghuveer worked at Swiss Re where he began his reinsurance career as a Natural Hazard specialist, developing probabilistic models for Flood and Storm Surge perils. He later transitioned to the Facultative Programs unit as a Property Reinsurance Underwriter. Raghuveer received his Ph.D in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Princeton University. He is a frequent speaker on climate adaptation and resiliency, as well as sea level rise and the impact of flooding on local businesses and personal property. Raghuveer is also a strong advocate for the Natural Catastrophe Protection Gap initiative, an initiative to close the protection gap between economic and insured losses
Prentiss Darden has a diverse background that spans innovation, business development, project management, and landscape architecture. Currently she works in the Resilience Domain of the Munich Re Incubator where she develops business ventures to build resilience to natural catastrophes.
Prior to Munich Re, she worked as an Innovation Strategist at a civil engineering firm, leading resilience-focused design projects for a range of global clients in both private and public sectors throughout the United States as well as in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Prentiss enjoys working with multi-disciplinary teams to solve complex challenges related to resilience in the built environment and has facilitated workshops and spoken on panels at the United Nations, MIT, Columbia University, the American Society for Landscape Architects, and the American Institute of Architects.