This Sunday: Big Data and Climate Change in Cities, March 10

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Climate Change and Cities Datathon: Public Presentations and Judging


This weekend, five teams of scholars, thinkers, writers, and practitioners will convene to participate in the Institute for Public Knowledge’s first Datathon. The theme, Climate Change and Cities, asks these groups to think about the nature of both meteorological and social data, and to consider ways that these different kinds of data can be used to help us better understand the relationship between climate change and our cities, and to help inform the decisions we will make as we plan for our collective future.

At noon on Sunday, March 10th, these five teams will present their findings in a session that is open to the public. A winning team will be selected by a panel judges:

Dalton Conley, University Professor at NYU

Duncan Watts, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research

Maryam Hariri, City Planner, NYC Department of City Planning

Climate Change and Cities Datathon: Public Presentations and Judging
Sunday Mar 10, 2013 | 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Institute for Public Knowledge, New York

Institute for Public Knowledge
Street:  20 Cooper Square, 5th floor
ZIP:   10003
City:  New York
State:  NY
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Climate Change: Why Do American’s Ignore it?

Hortong talks in detail about climate change in New York City including extreme heat waves and temperature. There are plenty of evidence of the climate change and much research being done to project and predict the extent of its possible effects. The problems of it are something Norgaard agrees with and argues need immediate action.

Norgaard talks about various factors contributing to American’s apathy and public silence in regards to climate change: strong individualism, fear, hopelessness, and guilt, lack of trust and participation in politics, and others. Which of the factors Norgaard talks about do you agree with/relate to the most, if any? As a college student, what are some things that can be done to make climate change become visible in “daily lives and in government planning” and allow more Americans to become more active in this matter?



Risked-Based Approach in a (World) Risk Society

The New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC) is focused on adapting to climate change to protect New York’s present and future infrastructure. Yohe and Leichenko, however, argues that both mitigation and adaptation strategies are necessary.

Keeping in mind the ideas that Beck outlines, what do you think is the best approach (for the world, and namely New York City) to react to risks and climate change?

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Inevitable Modern World Risk: Not an excuse to not take action!

In Dr. Ulrich Beck’s “Living in the world risk society,” Beck asks a simple, yet profound question: How do we live in times of uncontainable risks?

He continues to point out that global risks are inevitable, whether the government wants its citizens to believe it or not.  However, at the end, Beck is unable to provide an exact question to his answer.  Therefore, my question is: How would you incorporate Beck’s arguments about how to deal with modern world risks into a program we have already learned about, such as PlaNYC, that aims to make a better and cleaner NYC?


Elements of An Engaging Question

Hi Everyone,

This is just a reminder and review of the elements of a question that is meant to engage discussion for our readings each week.

First, the question should not be primarily factual.  In other words, the question should not be an assignment to readers to go look up information and report back.  It should engage discussion.  It should be based on a premise that the person posting sets up.  Why do they ask this question, based on what they have read and thought about?  This is why at least one sentence setting up the question is needed.  The question itself, furthermore, must cover at least two readings, even if the person posting has been assigned to specialize in one of the readings.  One or more other reading(s) can be brought in via skimming if need be.

Looking forward to seeing everyone Tuesday!

Your prof

Samantha MacBride

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Risk Management in New York City

How does Yohe’s & Leichenko’s risk management approach tackle Horton, Gornitz, & Bowman’s future projections of New York City?

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Week 3: Climate Change in the City. Modernism, Post-Modernism and Uncertainty

What is due: Memo 1: Propose Topic

Research challenge: What important has happened last week with regard to NYC’s response to planning for climate change?

Click to show required readings
Yohe, Gary, and Robin Leichenko. “Adopting a risk‐based approach.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1196.1 (2010): 29-40. [Zotero]

Horton, Radley, et al. “Climate observations and projections.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1196.1 (2010): 41-62. [Zotero]

Beck, Ulrich. “Living in the world risk society.” Economy and Society 35.3 (2006): 329-345. [Zotero]

Mann, Doug “Jean Baudrillard: A Very Short Introduction”

Norgaard, Kari. “Climate Change and Background Noise,“ in. Living in denial: Climate change, emotions, and everyday life. Mit Press, 2011.  179-205. e-reserves

Click to show optional readings
Baudrillard, Jean. “The Precession of Simulacra” in Simulacra and Simulation. University of Michigan Press, 1995.

Dietz, Thomas, Amy Dan, and Rachael Shwom. “Support for Climate Change Policy: Social Psychological and Social Structural Influences*.” Rural Sociology 72.2 (2009): 185-214. [Zotero]

Jacob, Klaus, et al. “Indicators and monitoring.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1196.1 (2010): 127-142. [Zotero]

Reading tips:  In the Yohe and Leichenko reading, concentrate on the lessons from the article that apply to New York City per se.  The Horton reading is an overview of climate change.  Concentrate on facts and figures that you have not heard about before.  What areas do you feel you need to know more about?   The Beck reading is about how risk is changing contemporary global society.  Focus on what this means by thinking about your own life experience.  In the Mann reading, concentrate on Beaudrillard’s thought starting with Simulacra and Simulations, and at least glance at his original text linked in the optional reading.  What does “desert of the real” mean?  The Norgaard reading is about the psychological bases of climate denial among students in the U.S.  How much does it speak to your own experience?

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