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Breakfast Briefing: Pittsburgh as a Resilient City

February 23, 2016 @ 8:30 am - 10:00 am EST

Can Pittsburgh create a new paradigm of urban systems management through the lens of resiliency? Come hear from Grant Ervin, the City of Pittsburgh’s chief resilience officer, and Jordan Fischbach, co-director of RAND’s Water and Climate Resilience Center, for a look at how the topic of resiliency is changing city planning conversations in Pittsburgh and around the world.


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If sustainability is the ability to endure, then resiliency is the ability to strengthen and adapt. How does a city like Pittsburgh move beyond planning for sustainability and towards planning for true resiliency?

Last year, Pittsburgh was selected for the 100 Resilient Cities network, a Rockefeller Foundation program aimed at helping cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social, and economic challenges they’ll face during the 21st century. Next, Mayor Bill Peduto compiled a team of staff members – led by Grant Ervin – to weave resiliency into city planning at all levels. Through their work in the city’s Office of Innovation & Performance, Grant and his team help ensure that city projects are no longer addressed in isolation, but as a system. With help from RAND – a research organization focused on developing solutions to public policy challenges – the City will soon enter its next phase of resilience planning.

Join Green Building Alliance for a breakfast briefing with the City’s Grant Ervin and RAND’s Jordan Fischbach, where we’ll learn about RAND’s forthcoming resilience assessment, the City’s future action plan, something called the “resilience dividend,” and much more!


About our Speakers:

Grant-Ervin-203x300Grant Ervin serves as the chief resilience officer for the City of Pittsburgh where he oversees the integration of sustainability and resilience into City services, programs and policy. Prior to joining the City of Pittsburgh, Grant served as the regional director for 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, a statewide smart growth and sustainable development policy organization; and as public policy manager for Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG).

Grant brings fifteen years of experience to this role, in which he works to engage stakeholders from the region’s communities, local governments, civic sector, business sector, and institutions; consult with an international platform of resilience experts; and collaborate with a global coalition of Chief Resilience Officers in cities around the world.

Jordan FischbachJordan Fischbach is a policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, co-director of the Water and Climate Resilience Center, and a member of the Pardee RAND Graduate School faculty. He is a leader in climate adaptation, water resources management, and coastal planning.

Fischbach has expertise in risk analysis, exploratory simulation modeling, and Robust Decision Making, a method designed to better manage deep uncertainty and develop robust and adaptive plans through quantitative scenario analysis. He works with government agencies to better incorporate deep uncertainty into their long-term climate and coastal adaptation planning efforts.



8:30 – 8:40 – Guests arrive, grab breakfast and coffee, find seats.

8:40 – 9:30 – Presentations.

9:30 – 10:00 – Q&A Session.


Learning Objectives:

1.Explore the intersection of sustainability and resiliency.

2.Discover how the topic of resilience is informing city planning initiatives in Pittsburgh and around the world.

3.Learn about the various players involved in working towards a Resilient City including researchers, city planners, and citizens.

4.Obtain perspective about Pittsburgh’s plan to become a Resilient City, including RAND’s resiliency assessment and the City’s forthcoming action plan.


This event is approved for 1.5 GBCI CEUs and 1.5 AIA HSW hours.

Partnering with USGBC and AIA, GBA makes it easy for our members to report continuing education credits.  Please provide your GBCI and/or AIA number so we can auto-report your credits (for applicable events).  Non-members can still earn continuing education credits but will need to self-report their GBCI CEUs.


February 23, 2016
8:30 am - 10:00 am
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Mary Schrag


Green Building Alliance
33 Terminal Way, Suite 331
Pittsburgh, 15219 United States
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