William D. Solecki

William Solecki is a Professor of Geography at Hunter College, CUNY and served as the Interim Executive Director of the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay for its first two years. His research interests include urban environmental change, climate impacts, and adaptation. Dr. Solecki is a founding member of both the Urban Climate Change Research Network and the International Human Dimensions Programme’s Urbanization and Global Environmental Change Project. He was the former Director of the CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities and is currently co-Chair of New York City Panel on Climate Change, and the US National Research Council’s Resilience Roundtable. Dr. Solecki has also contributed, as a lead author, to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Group II, Urban Areas Chapter.

Climate Change and U.S. Cities | Island Press

Climate Change and U.S. Cities

Urban Systems, Sectors, and Prospects for Action

Approximately 80% of the U.S. population now lives in urban metropolitan areas, and this number is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. At the same time, the built infrastructure sustaining these populations has become increasingly vulnerable to climate change. Stresses to existing systems, such as buildings, energy, transportation, water, and sanitation are growing. If the status quo continues, these systems will be unable to support a high quality of life for urban residents over the next decades, a vulnerability exacerbated by climate change impacts.

Prospects for Resilience

Insights from New York City's Jamaica Bay

Given the realities of climate change and sea-level rise, coastal cities around the world are struggling with questions of resilience.  Resilience, at its core, is about desirable states of the urban social-ecological system and understanding how to sustain those states in an uncertain and tumultuous future.