The U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit gained a significant new capacity last week—a dedicated section on the built environment—and the Graduate School of Design’s Dr. Jesse M. Keenan is a central figure in its conception and development.
Launched in November 2014, the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit (CRT) at climate.gov provides resources to help communities and businesses build resilience to climate-related impacts and events. Keenan serves as editorial team co-lead for the newly added Built Environment section of the site. Alongside two other editorial co-leads, he has directed the section’s development along with NOAA, the U.S. Forest Service, and a team consisting of various agencies and stakeholders, under the auspices of the Community Resilience Panel for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems.
“We tend to remotely conceptualize climate change in terms of global environmental impact without giving consideration to the incremental impacts in the built environment that resonate with our everyday lives,” he says.
As Keenan highlights, “this section acknowledges the interdependencies between physical, biophysical and social systems in the built environment.”
The Built Environment section also represents an important step in the advancement of interagency collaboration and dialogue.
“We consulted with experts in the field, as well as end-user communities, to help us tailor this section of the Toolkit to help urban and suburban planners meet a wide range of climate-related issues threatening our nation’s built environments,” says Dr. Nancy Beller-Simms, program manager in NOAA’s Climate Program Office and one of Keenan’s principal project collaborators.