Gloucester Meetinghouse Symposium

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                             November 10, 2022   

 

ANNUAL SYMPOSIUM IN DOWNTOWN GLOUCESTER SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2022

ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE AND URBAN PLANNING

 

GLOUCESTER, MA: The Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation (GMF) and TownGreen present Planning for Reality: Climate Change and Downtown Gloucester, on Saturday, November 19, at 1:00 p.m. The event will be held at the Gloucester Meetinghouse, home of the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church, at the corner of Middle and Church Streets, Gloucester, MA.

The program features four presentations that include opening remarks from Greg Verga, Mayor of Gloucester; Professor Charles Waldheim, Director of the Office for Urbanization at Harvard Graduate School of Design; Dr. Antonio Raciti, Associate Professor of Community Planning and Ecological Design, University of Massachusetts, Boston; and Kevin Hively, CEO and Founder of Ninigret Partners, a management consulting firm that focuses on economic development and community planning.

The Symposium addresses urban planning in the downtown Gloucester area in light of expected and projected climate impacts with a focus on building awareness of climate threats and considering them in the urban planning process. It will conclude with a panel of the speakers to address reflections and key insights from the event. All segments will have Q&A for audience participation.

EVENT DESCRIPTION
The November 19th Symposium, Planning for Reality: Climate Change and Downtown Gloucester, brings together experts in climate change scenario planning, community planning in environmental justice communities, and economic development in urban coastal areas to discuss how addressing climate change impacts today will allow for more effective and protective urban planning in the future.

Hosted by the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation in partnership with TownGreen, the Symposium will provide the public with an opportunity to learn more about how climate change will impact downtown Gloucester. The event is free and will be live streamed on GMF’s YouTube Channel where it will be available after the program.

Speakers will address these topics:

  • Professor Charles Waldheim, Director of the Office for Urbanization at Harvard Graduate School of Design: What does research say about the impacts of sea level rise and a Category 3 hurricane on downtown Gloucester?
  • Antonio Raciti, Associate Professor of Community Planning and Ecological Design, University of Massachusetts, Boston: What is the framework for future downtown development given the interests of environmental justice communities?
  • Kevin Hively, CEO and Founder of Ninigret Partners: What are the implications of urban planning from the perspective of the Blue Economy?

“TownGreen is focused on Cape Ann-specific climate impact research and public education based on this research. We’ve been lucky enough to partner with Professor Waldhiem and his team at the Harvard Graduate School of Design to bring our communities realistic, visual research so we can begin to see what might happen in a great storm,” says Dick Prouty, TownGreen Board Chair. “It is very important that we understand what the climate threats are, what they look like, where they will happen, and begin to take the necessary steps to address it through adaptation solutions.”

The program will take place in the heart of downtown Gloucester at the Gloucester Meetinghouse on Church Street. “It is fitting that a symposium addressing climate change be held in the historic Meetinghouse, the site of important annual community programs on topics of current concern,” says GMF President, Charles Nazarian. “Climate change will impact us all. Meeting together to talk about these issues is exactly what we need.”

ABOUT THE GLOUCESTER MEETINGHOUSE FOUNDATION 

The mission of the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation is to preserve one of Gloucester’s most admired historic buildings, built in 1806 for the first Universalist Society in America and home of the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church. The GMF is an IRS-recognized 501(c)(3) modeled on a similar nonprofit that supports Boston’s famed Old North Church.

ABOUT TOWNGREEN

TownGreen, Inc’s mission is to act as a catalyst in assisting the greater Cape Ann region in becoming a vibrant and inclusive model of sustainability that is fossil fuel free and prepared for the impacts of climate change. TownGreen, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. It has promoted climate mitigation and adaptation strategies, including clean energy, since 2015. For more information, visit the TownGreen website: towngreen2025.org.
-end-

For additional information, contact: Kathleen Williams, Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation, k.williams@gloucestermeetinghouse.org, Cell: 978-821-5291; Maureen Aylward, Director, TownGreen, maureen@towngreen2025.org, Cell: 978 290 1507.

 

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