NNC’s Science Director a Panelist at Lehigh Valley Planning Commission’s FutureLV Event

NNC’s Science Director, Kathryn Semmens Berti, PhD (center) on Built Environment panel. The other panelists were Mike Alderman, Vice president, Market Officer, Liberty Property Trust and Ellen Neises, Executive Director, Penn Praxis. Photo courtesy of LVPC.











Nurture Nature Center was honored to participate in the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission’s (LVPC) FutureLV event on December 6, 2017. The event marks the halfway point in the planning process for the development of a regional comprehensive plan that will be completed December 2018 and guide the Lehigh Valley towards sustainable growth over the next 30 years. The all-day event featured a keynote presentation from Peter Leyden, a futurist and previous editor of Wired magazine. He spoke to reinvention and the opportunities and challenges the Lehigh Valley faces over the next decades. In addition, three panels with local experts were convened as part of the event, covering topics such as technology, transportation, economy, education, design, development, and climate change. Dr. Kathryn Semmens, Nurture Nature Center’s Science Director, served as a panelist for the Built Environment panel, speaking about climate change and the future impacts that planners should consider in their designs and plans. Ellen Neises from PennPraxis and Mike Alderman from Liberty Property Trust were also part of the panel. Together they discussed features of resilient cities and how to be prepared for environmental challenges ahead. Kathryn noted that increasing temperatures as a result of climate change leads to higher frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation events which may stress stormwater infrastructure and lead to flooding. She also noted that planners may want to consider increasing the amount pervious and natural surfaces to mitigate rapid runoff and reflect on the advantages of undoing past development and design. All panelists encouraged the planners to think outside the box and expand their conception of what is possible while looking toward the future with optimism. More information about the LVPC’s FutureLV project can be found at their website http://www.lvpc.org/futurelv.html.