Archive for September, 2023

Worried About Living In A Flood Zone? Try A House That Floats.

Courtesy of The New York Times, a look at how coastal cities threatened with rising tides and bigger storms could use not just the waterfront, but also the water, as places to build housing: As sea levels rise and storms worsen, threatening the planet’s fragile coastlines, some architects and developers are looking to the water […]

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Why New York and Other Cities Still Aren’t Prepared For Floods

Via The Verge, commentary on why cities shouldn’t be caught off guard but often are with floods: New York City came to a grinding halt Friday as floods shut down roads and subways and inundated schools in one of the biggest storm-related emergencies since the remnants of Hurricane Ida hit in 2021. It isn’t a problem that’s unique to […]

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New York’s Bluebelt Program

As New York City experiences intense rainfall, it is instructive to look at Staten Island and one of the really successful measures that has been accomplished: the blue belt network. It’s a really great solution for handling intense rainfall and filtering water and water quality and biodiversity. But it’s not the kind of thing that […]

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New York Needs to Get Spongier—or Get Used to More Floods

Via Wired, a report on how devastating deluges around the world point to the metropolis of tomorrow: the “sponge city.” Think more parks and fewer parking lots. TWO YEARS AFTER the remnants of Hurricane Ian dumped up to 10 inches of rain on New York City in just two hours, the metropolis is once again inundated today by extreme […]

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Turn Climate Risk Into Opportunity with Resilient Geographies

Courtesy of Climate Alpha, an interesting look at how to turn climate risk into opportunity with resilient geographies: Earlier this month, Climate Alpha’s Founder & CEO Dr. Parag Khanna keynoted Climate Day at CREtech, the Built World’s largest innovation and sustainability conference in New York City. Parag spoke on turning climate risk into opportunity by […]

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Transforming Trees Into Skyscrapers

Courtesy of The New Yorker, a look at how – in Scandinavia – ecologically minded architects are building towers with pillars of pine and spruce: Brumunddal, a small municipality on the northeastern shore of Lake Mjøsa, in Norway, has for most of its history had little to recommend it to the passing visitor. There are […]

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Black Swans / Green Shoots examines the collision between urbanization and resource scarcity in a world affected by climate change, identifying opportunities to build sustainable cities and resilient infrastructure through the use of revolutionary capital, increased awareness, innovative technologies, and smart design to make a difference in the face of global and local climate perils.

'Black Swans' are highly improbable events that come as a surprise, have major disruptive effects, and that are often rationalized after the fact as if they had been predictable to begin with. In our rapidly warming world, such events are occurring ever more frequently and include wildfires, floods, extreme heat, and drought.

'Green Shoots' is a term used to describe signs of economic recovery or positive data during a downturn. It references a period of growth and recovery, when plants start to show signs of health and life, and, therefore, has been employed as a metaphor for a recovering economy.

It is my hope that Black Swans / Green Shoots will help readers understand both climate-activated risk and opportunity so that you may invest in, advise, or lead organizations in the context of increasing pressures of global urbanization, resource scarcity, and perils relating to climate change. I believe that the tools of business and finance can help individuals, businesses, and global society make informed choices about who and what to protect, and I hope that this blog provides some insight into the policy and private sector tools used to assess investments in resilient reinforcement, response, or recovery.