[OSGeo-Discuss] who's involved with climate change planning?

Miles Fidelman mfidelman at meetinghouse.net
Thu Sep 26 11:42:47 PDT 2019

Hi Folks,

It keeps occurring to me that climate change requires a response that 
mirrors the way we now respond to natural disasters - volunteers coming 
together, self-organizing, getting to work.  We simply don't build 
infrastructure from the top down anymore.

And it occurs to me that folks who have been involved in crisis mapping, 
disaster response, and things like local "open planning" are key to all 
of this.

As I try to get something going in my town, and region, I'm kind of 
wondering who else is doing such things - be it serving on local 
planning boards, organizing working groups to, you know, build stuff 
rather than simply march in the streets.

I'll start:

- years ago, our then non-profit (The Center for Civic Networking), 
among others - helped organize the "Sustainable Cambridge (MA) 
Coalition" - starting around a kitchen table, it led to a series of 
town-meeting like visioning exercises, changes to the City's master 
plan, line items in the Community Development Block Grant submission, 
and city staff dedicated to sustainability.  Since then, the City, MIT, 
Harvard, and a bunch of other big players, have organized the "Cambridge 
Compact for a Sustainable Future" - who are collaborating (loosely) to 
plan & implement things like carbon-neutral programs, and climate 
resiliency efforts.

- we were also involved in building a Community of Interest around 
municipal telecommunications (rights of way, city-wide enterprise nets, 
municipal broadband) - mostly an online journal, an email list, lots of 
speaking & writing engagements, some consulting - a lot of which led to 
communities organizing municipal broadband projects - typically starting 
with a working group drawn from municipal staff & the local business 

- more recently, I spent some time in the GIS & transit arenas - which 
overlapped with crisis mapping, and geospatial information sharing

- now, I'm trying to engage with our town planning department, and those 
in our neighboring communities - as well as larger condo associations & 
building owners - to pull something together (I think of Greta 
Thurnberg, and the Sunrise Movement as akin to the Sons of Liberty - 
putting out the cry; now it's time to stock armories, raise militias, 
and go to "climate war."  You know, like Team Rubicon, except 
pro-active.)  And, maybe, just maybe, do some broader community 
building, and networking, with folks in other communities (a COI for 
local groups like Team Rubicon - for mutual support, information 
exchange, collaboration).

Anyway - it seems like this might be a place to start talking.

So.. anybody out there doing anything interesting that relates? Any 
suggestions on other currently active communities to plant some seeds in?


Miles Fidelman

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.  .... Yogi Berra

Theory is when you know everything but nothing works.
Practice is when everything works but no one knows why.
In our lab, theory and practice are combined:
nothing works and no one knows why.  ... unknown

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