October 18, 2013

Jeanette Grider

Sustainability Disaster Recovery Conference

Event Details: November 14 - November 15, Busch Student Center, Wool Ballroom, 20 N. Grand Blvd., Rooms 170-173, Lower Level, St. Louis, MO, 63103

Saint Louis University's Center for Sustainability, in collaboration with Greensburg GreenTown and GreenTown Joplin, will present the second annual Sustainable Disaster Recovery Conference Thursday, Nov. 14 and Friday, Nov. 15, in the Wool Ballroom at SLU's Busch Student Center, 20 N. Grand.

All University faculty and staff can register for the student rate of $40, with a valid SLU ID at check-in.

The first Sustainable Disaster Recovery Conference was a great success. Approximately 200 people — ranging from students to government officials and industry professionals — attended a wide variety of educational sessions focused on weaving the principles of sustainability and energy-efficiency into disaster recovery efforts.

Building on the success of the inaugural year, the 2013 conference will continue the exploration of sustainable disaster recovery with added emphases on sustainable approaches to pre-disaster planning, emergency response, long-term recovery, and community resilience.

The two-day conference will bring together leaders in the fields of disaster response and recovery, government, urban planning, emergency management, design, renewable energy, public and private enterprise, green building, social work and sustainability. It features an impressive line-up of speakers and exhibitors eager to share experiences and resources to help cities and towns prepare for disasters and, in the event that the "unthinkable" happens, rebuild sustainable communities that are as efficient as they are resilient.

The conference features two keynote speakers:

  • Lisa LaDue, Assistant Director of Field Education, School of Social Work, Colorado State University, will discuss personal and community resilience in the face of widespread casualties and destruction.
  • Steve Hewitt, former city administrator of Greensburg, Kansas, will discuss integrating sustainable disaster response and recovery contingencies into pre-disaster community plans.

Plenary panels and breakout sessions will cover an array of topics including:

  • The role of government in sustainable disaster response and recovery, featuring representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), and the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA).
  • The integration of sustainable development principles and resiliency into community rebuilding, featuring leaders and administrators from disaster-stricken towns such as Oklahoma City, OK; Breezy Point, NY; and West Liberty, Kentucky.
  • Green building and integrating resilience into rebuilding projects including representatives from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Drury University Hammons School of Architecture.
  • Grassroots disaster planning and sustainable long-term recovery featuring representatives from the United Way, American Red Cross, St. Louis County Police Department, and the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency.
  • The use of social media in sustainable disaster recovery.
  • Preparedness and sustainable recovery from floods, fires, and earthquakes.
  • Planning and financing sustainable recovery projects.

The full program, along with registration links and venue information is available online.

About the Center for Sustainability
Building on the Jesuit tradition of leadership and service, Saint Louis University's Center for Sustainability uses interdisciplinary research, education, and development to advance sustainable approaches to the world's social, economic and environmental challenges. The Center develops partnerships across businesses, government agencies, communities, and academic institutions that steward Earth's resources to help build socially responsible, environmentally conscious, and economically prosperous communities.

About Greensburg GreenTown
Greensburg GreenTown is a nonprofit organization established to assist the people of Greensburg, Kansas to rebuild the town as a model "green" community following the devastating tornado in May of 2007. The town has made a remarkable comeback, reinventing itself as a showcase for sustainable building and green living now recognized around the world. GreenTown works to make green building and living easily understood, appealing and accessible to all.

About GreenTown Joplin
GreenTown Joplin is a project of Greensburg GreenTown, the nonprofit organization that helped Greensburg, Kansas rebuild a "green," energy-efficient community after the tornado of May 2007. GreenTown staff have been working in Joplin since last August, having assembled a committee of sustainability experts from the area who assist residents, business owners, and the City as they recover and rebuild after last year's devastating tornado.

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