Transcript: The Coolness of Great Lakes Cities | May 28, 2019

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a blue suit, white shirt, and spotted blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "The coolness of Great Lakes cities. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says MOST OF US WHO LIVE ON
OR NEAR THE GREAT LAKES - WHICH
INCLUDES THE VAST MAJORITY OF
ONTARIO'S POPULATION - ALREADY
KNOW WHAT A NATURAL WONDER THEY
ARE.
WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW IS THAT IN
THE CONTEXT OF A CHANGING
CLIMATE, THESE MASSIVE
RESERVOIRS OF FRESH WATER MAY
PROVE MORE WONDERFUL STILL.
HERE TO EXPLAIN, ON THE LINE
FROM CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS:
JESSE KEENAN.
HE'S A PROFESSOR OF ARCHITECTURE
AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY'S GRADUATE
SCHOOL OF DESIGN.

Jesse is in his thirties, clean-shaven, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing rounded glasses, a black suit, white shirt, and burgundy bowtie. Behind him, a panel reads "Harvard Kennedy School."

Steve continues AND PROFESSOR KEENAN, WE'RE
DELIGHTED TO WELCOME YOU TO TVO
TONIGHT.
HOW ARE YOU DOING?

Jesse says OH, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR
HAVING ME.

Steve says YOUR RESEARCH... WELL,
I GUESS I SHOULD START BY SAYING
MOST OF THE TIME WHEN WE TALK
ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE IT IS DOOM
AND DISASTER.
BUT YOU ARE RESEARCHING WHAT
POTENTIAL OPPORTUNITIES THERE
MAY BE AROUND CLIMATE CHANGE.
HOW COME?

The caption changes to "Jesse Keenan. Harvard University."

Jesse says WELL, WE HAVE OUR FAIR SHARE
OF DOOM AND GLOOM AS WELL, AS
YOU CAN IMAGINE, IN TERMS OF
ISSUE AWARENESS.
BUT I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO
RECOGNIZE EVEN IN THE FORMAL
DEFINITION OF ADAPTATION, IT'S
NOT ONLY JUST MANAGING RISK, BUT
IT'S TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THOSE
OPPORTUNITIES.
AND I THINK AS OUR SOCIETY
BEGINS TO ADAPT TO THE BROADER
CONSTRAINTS OF A NEW ECONOMY,
TRAJECTORIES ASSOCIATED WITH NEW
DEMOGRAPHIC PATTERNS AND THE
LIKE, WE BEGIN TO THINK ABOUT
HOW WE CAN REORDER SOCIETY, AND
MY SPECIALIZATION WITHIN THE
BUILT ENVIRONMENT, HOW WE CAN
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT TO THINK
ABOUT SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
AND SUSTAINABLE URBAN
DEVELOPMENT IN PARTICULAR.

Steve says BEFORE WE DO THAT,
JUST PAINT US A PICTURE, IF YOU
WOULD, GIVE US A SCENARIO WHERE
IN A NORTH AMERICAN CONTEXT
PEOPLE MIGHT BE FORCED TO MOVE
BECAUSE OF CLIMATE CHANGE.

The caption changes to "Jesse Keenan, @Jesse_M_Keenan."
Then, it changes again to "Looking for a better place."

Jesse says WELL, IN NORTH AMERICA WE'RE
LOOKING AT A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT
PRIMARY SHOCKS AND STRESSORS.
I THINK WE'RE QUITE WELL AWARE
OF THE SHOCKS IN TERMS OF
EXTREME FLOODING EVENTS AND
HURRICANES, BUT WE ALSO HAVE
MORE REGULARIZED OR ANTICIPATED
MORE REGULARIZED FLOODING
ASSOCIATED OR ATTRIBUTED TO
CLIMATE CHANGE.
ANY GARDEN-VARIETY NUISANCE
FLOODING, BUT ALSO THINGS LIKE
EXTREME HEAT AND FOREST FIRES,
WHICH ARE RAPIDLY CHANGING,
PARTICULARLY IN THE WESTERN PART
OF THE NORTH AMERICA, RAPIDLY
CHANGING OUR ORIENTATION TO RISK
AND SETTLEMENT, PARTICULARLY IN
HIGH-RISK MOUNTAIN AND WHAT WE
CALL WILD URBAN INTERFACE AREAS.
THERE'S A GREAT DEAL OF BOTH
SHOCK AND STRESS THAT'S DRIVING
HOW WE LIVE AND HOW WE
ANTICIPATE WE WILL BE LIVING IN
THE FUTURE IN THE FACE OF
CLIMATE CHANGE.

Steve says AND APROPOS OF WHAT WE
SAID IN THE INTRODUCTION, WHAT
WOULD MAKE THE GREAT ALEX SUCH A
DESIRABLE DESTINATION?

Jesse says SEVERAL THINGS.
IT'S BOTH THE COMPOSITION OF THE
CITIES THEMSELVES AND THEIR
INFRASTRUCTURAL CAPACITY, BUT AT
THE END OF THE DAY IT'S THE
CAPACITY FOR CLEAN WATER AND THE
AVAILABILITY OF FRESH POTABLE
WATER FOR DRINKING AND AS A
BROADER NATURAL RESOURCE.

Steve says SO TO THAT END, YOU
HAVE ANALYZED A NUMBER OF CITIES
IN AND AROUND THE GREAT LAKES,
WHICH YOU SAY WOULD BE THE BEST
PLACES TO LIVE IF AND WHEN THE
MOST OMINOUS EFFECTS OF CLIMATE
CHANGE ARE TRULY UPON US.
AND RIGHT NEAR THE TOP OF YOUR
LIST IS DULUTH, MINNESOTA, WHICH
I SUSPECT A LOT OF ONTARIANS
DON'T SPEND A LOT OF TIME
THINKING ABOUT.
SO WHY DULUTH?

Jesse says PLACES LIKE DULUTH,
MINNESOTA, BUFFALO, NEW YORK,
BURLINGTON, VERMONT, AND OTHERS
HAVE DIFFERENT REASONS.
IN DULUTH, IN PARTICULAR, ONE OF
THE GREAT STRENGTHS THERE WAS
THE PHYSICAL CAPACITY OF THE
CITY.
THE CITY WAS DESIGNED FOR A MUCH
LARGER POPULATION THAN EXISTS
TODAY.
IT HAS A DIVERSIFIED ECONOMY.
IT HAS A CULTURE FROM WHICH
THERE IS AN ACCOMMODATION FROM
PARTICULARLY OUTSIDERS.
AND THERE IS A QUALITATIVE
ASPECT IN TERMS OF A SENSE OF
PLACE.
THERE'S GREAT ARCHITECTURE,
URBAN DESIGN.
THERE'S A REAL AMENITY TO
THINKING ABOUT WHAT IT WOULD
MEAN I THINK FOR MANY PEOPLE WHO
LIVE IN DULUTH NOW AND IN AND
AROUND DULUTH, IT'S REALLY QUITE
A WONDERFUL PLACE.
IN TERMS OF THOSE ENVIRONMENTAL
AMENITIES.
I THINK IT'S BOTH A COMBINATION
OF ECONOMY AND PEOPLE AND PLACE
THAT ADD UP IN MANY WAYS TO BE
AN ACCESSIBLE PLACE FOR CLIMATE
MIGRANTS IN THE FUTURE.

Steve says WHAT WOULD BE THE RISK
OF FLOODING IN DULUTH, MINNESOTA
IN THAT FUTURE SCENARIO?

Jesse says WELL, WITH ALL CITIES ON THE
GREAT LAKES AND ALL COMMUNITIES
ON THE GREAT LAKES, WATER IS
BOTH... IS FUNCTIONALLY A
DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD.
WE'RE LOOKING AT GREATER STORM
EVENTS, THAT IS FOR EACH RAIN
PERIOD OR RAIN EVENT WE HAVE A
GREATER PROBABILITY OR
ANTICIPATED PROBABILITY
ASSOCIATED WITH GREATER RAIN IN
THOSE SINGULAR EVENTS.
SO WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS IN
MANY CASES.
AND WITH THAT COMES FLASH
FLOODING, COMES GREATER
SEDIMENTATION, POLLUTION
CARRYING CAPACITY OF THAT WATER.
SO IN MANY WAYS WE RELY ON THESE
LAKES AS RESOURCES AND NATURAL
RESOURCES FOR POTABLE WATER, BUT
WITH THE ADVENT OF CLIMATE
CHANGE, NOT ONLY LOOKING AT
GREATER FLOODING AND NON-POINT
SOURCE POLLUTION FROM THAT
FLOODING, BUT THERE ARE GREATER
WATER QUALITY CHALLENGES, AND I
THINK THIS IS IN MANY WAYS
INCUMBENT UPON US TO THINK
ACROSS MULTIPLE SCALES OF
ENGAGEMENT IN TERMS OF
REGULATION AND DESIGN AND THE
LIKE.
FOR INSTANCE, YOU LOOK AT
NITROGEN LOADING THAT COMES
PRIMARILY FROM AGRICULTURE AND
OTHER ACTIVITIES.
THAT, WITH WARMING WATER AND
WARMING SURFACE WATER, COULD
VERY WELL LEAD TO ALGAL BLOOMS
AND OTHER TOXIC BLOOMS, WHICH
COULD COMPROMISE OUR DRINKING
WATER AS WE SAW IN TOLEDO OHIO
PREVIOUSLY.

Steve says YOU MENTIONED BUFFALO IN THE
LIST.
TO THE EXTENT THAT ANYBODY
THINKS ABOUT BUFFALO IN THE
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO, IT'S
USUALLY THOUGHT OF AS THE PLACE
YOU DON'T WANT TO BE IN THE
WINTERTIME BECAUSE WINTERS ARE
SO DIFFICULT.
DO YOU THINK BUFFALO HAS
CAPITALIZED ON ITS DESIRABILITY
AS A PLACE IN EVENT OF CLIMATE
CHANGE?

Jesse says I THINK BUFFALO HAS BEGUN TO
SEE ITSELF AND ITS TRUE
HISTORICAL LEGACY AND POSITION
ITSELF WITHIN THAT HISTORICAL
LEGACY OF AN INDUSTRIALIZED CITY
THAT HAS BEEN HOME TO MANY WAVES
OF MIGRANTS IN THE ADVANCEMENT
OF ITS OWN ECONOMIC INTERESTS IN
A NEW ERA, IN A NEW ERA OF
CLIMATE CHANGE.
AND I THINK THAT THAT HAS
POLITICAL OPPORTUNITY, WHICH
WE'VE SEEN IN THE LEADERSHIP OF
THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL AND
OTHERS, IN THE CHAMBER OF
COMMERCE, TO REALLY THINK ABOUT
CLIMATE CHANGE AS AN OPPORTUNITY
FOR COMPETITIVE ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT.
I THINK THAT'S WHERE WE POSITION
OURSELVES NOW WITH OUR WORK IN
DULUTH AND OTHER WORK AROUND THE
COUNTRY THAT BEGINS TO THINK
ABOUT HOW CITIES WILL BE
COMPETING WITH EACH OTHER FOR
THAT HUMAN CAPITAL INVESTMENT.
BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT'S
REALLY ABOUT INVESTING IN
PEOPLE, AND I THINK THAT BUFFALO
HAS TAKEN THAT TO HEART.
IT'S BEEN WIDELY PUBLICIZED, FOR
INSTANCE, THAT THEY ADVERTISE TO
PUERTO RICO, TO ATTRACT PUERTO
RICANS TO THEIR CITY.
SOME 10,000 PUERTO RICANS HAVE
BEEN ESTIMATED TO MOVE TO
BUFFALO, AND THAT'S A GREAT
THING.
THAT'S A GREAT THING FOR THEIR
ECONOMY, THEIR CULTURE, AND I
THINK THE LONG-TERM VITALITY OF
THE CITY IN BOTH QUANTITATIVE
AND QUALITATIVE TERMS.

Steve says AS YOU LOOK AT YOUR
MAP OF PLACES TO GO, WHERE DOES
THE CAPITAL CITY OF ONTARIO,
TORONTO, SIT ON YOUR MAP?

The caption changes to "Toronto, the best place to be?"

A map of the border between Canada and the U.S.A. appears, highlighting Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo.

Jesse says I HAVE TO TELL YOU, WHEN WE
WERE THINKING ABOUT BUFFALO IN
THE PROCESS OF A NUMBER OF OTHER
CITIES WITHIN THE UNITED STATES,
ONE OF THE PRIMARY COMPONENTS OF
LET'S SAY A WEIGHTED PRIORITY
WAS BUFFALO'S RELATIONSHIP TO
TORONTO, AND WE REALLY SAW THIS
IN A MUCH BROADER DIVERSIFIED
ECONOMY, REGIONAL ECONOMY
ASSOCIATED WITH WHAT WE SEE AS
THE MEGALOPOLIS OF TORONTO.
AND THERE IS MUCH DEBATE, OF
COURSE, AS TO TORONTO'S
LEADERSHIP IN TERMS OF CLIMATE
CHANGE WITHIN THE BROADER
PROVINCE AND NATIONAL
GOVERNMENTS, AND THAT'S A
DIFFERENT DISCUSSION ALL
TOGETHER, BUT THE GENERAL
TRAJECTORY IS THAT TORONTO'S
BEEN QUITE PROGRESSIVE IN
CLIMATE CHANGE, IS THINKING
ABOUT FLOODING RISK AND
URBANIZATION AND SUSTAINABLE
URBANIZATION.
AND I THINK THAT'S A GOOD MODEL
THAT IS LIKELY TO GIVE IT A REAL
COMPETITIVE EDGE IN THE FUTURE,
AND BUFFALO WILL LIKELY BENEFIT
FROM THAT SPATIAL RELATIONSHIP.

Steve says WELL, LET'S GO THROUGH
A BIT OF A CHECKLIST ON SOME OF
THE PROBLEMS THAT TORONTO HAS.
YOU JUST MENTIONED FLOODING.
THIS HAS BEEN I GUESS THE LAST
FEW YEARS, ACTUALLY, HAVE BEEN
PRETTY BAD IN TERMS OF FLOODING
FOR TORONTO.
NO REASON WHY THAT WOULD CHANGE
GOING FORWARD, IS THERE?

Jesse says NO, NO, AND THAT IS THE
GENERAL CONSENSUS IN THOSE WHO
HAVE EVALUATED THE RISK AS
REFERENCED PRIOR WITH GREATER
AND GREATER PROBABILITY OF
EXTREME CONVECTION STORM EVENTS.

Steve says NOW WHAT ABOUT AGING
INFRASTRUCTURE?
THIS IS A PLACE THAT... I MEAN,
WE'RE STILL USING SEWER SYSTEMS
HERE THAT WERE BUILT 100 YEARS
AGO.
WHAT ABOUT THAT?

Jesse says WELL, I THINK EVERYBODY'S IN
THE SAME BOAT WHEN IT COMES TO
STORM WATER MANAGEMENT.
AND IN TERMS OF MANY OTHER
INFRASTRUCTURAL CLASSES AS WELL.
AND THERE'S NO DOUBT THAT
REACHING NOW THE END OF OUR
USEFUL LIFE OR THE LIFE CYCLE OF
MANY OF THESE ASSETS, IT'S
INCUMBENT UPON MANY CITIES TO
MAKE THESE TYPES OF INVESTMENTS,
AND PROVINCES, STATES AND
FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS ARE PART OF
THAT AS STAKEHOLDERS FOR DOING
SO, THAT I DON'T THINK THERE'S
ANYTHING PARTICULARLY UNIQUE
ABOUT THAT AGING INFRASTRUCTURE
RELATIVE TO OTHER REGIONAL
ECONOMY BASES.
BUT CERTAINLY IT IS A CRITICAL
COMPONENT FOR THINKING ABOUT
SETTLEMENT PATTERNS, THINKING
ABOUT LAND USE, THINKING ABOUT
WHERE WE PRIORITIZE THE
ALLOCATIONS AND DENSIFICATION OF
PEOPLE AND ECONOMY,
INFRASTRUCTURE IS A CRITICAL
PART OF THAT, OF COURSE.

Steve says THE WEATHER CONDITIONS
IN ONTARIO'S CAPITAL CITY CAN
BE, YOU KNOW, VERY, VERY, VERY
COLD IN THE WINTERTIME AND VERY,
VERY, VERY HOT IN THE
SUMMERTIME.
HOW MUCH OF A DETERRENT IS THAT?

Jesse says WELL, I THINK WHAT WE SEE AND
I THINK AGAIN THE SCIENTIFIC
ANALYSIS OR THE ANALYSIS RATHER
AMONG SCIENTISTS HAS BEEN THAT
IN THE FUTURE THE LOWS AND THE
EXTREME LOWS THAT WE'VE SEEN ARE
CERTAINLY SHIFTING IN THE RIGHT.
IT IS GOING TO BE GETTING
WARMER, CERTAINLY THE EXTREME
HEAT IS A CHALLENGE,
PARTICULARLY FOR THOSE
TORONTONIANS WITHOUT AIR
CONDITIONING.
THAT WILL BE CERTAINLY A BURDEN
ON THE ENERGY DISTRIBUTION AND
GENERATION AND BROADER ENERGY
SYSTEMS.
IT'S GOING TO BE HOT.
IT WILL NOT BE AS COLD.
CERTAINLY THERE'S ADDITIONAL
CHALLENGES AS WE SHIFT FROM SNOW
TO ICE.
SO ICE ITSELF BRINGS A LOT OF
CHALLENGES, ITSELF, IN TERMS OF
LIFE SAFETY.
SO THAT IS A CHALLENGE.
AND THERE ARE NO DOUBT PLENTY OF
CHALLENGES AHEAD OF US IN TERMS
OF ENVIRONMENT, BUT THIS PALES
IN COMPARISON TO MANY OTHER
CITIES IN NORTH AMERICA WHO
REALLY HAVE AN EXISTENTIAL
CHALLENGE IN TERMS OF VIE TILT
IN TERMS OF PHYSICAL VIE TILT
BUT ALSO THEIR FISCAL VITALITY.
SO AGAIN, MANAGEABLE...
HOPEFULLY ONE COULD ARGUE
MANAGEABLE CHALLENGES AHEAD FOR
TORONTO.

Steve says AND BASED ON YOUR
UNDERSTANDING OF THE LAYOUT OF
THE CITY NOW, HOW MUCH CAPACITY
DO YOU THINK TORONTO HAS TO
INCREASE ITS SIZE SIGNIFICANTLY,
WHICH PRESUMABLY WOULD HAPPEN IN
A FUTURE WHERE PEOPLE WERE
MIGRATING HERE, NOT JUST FOR THE
REASONS THEY ARE COMING HERE
NOW, BUT BECAUSE OF
CLIMATE-RELATED REASONS AS WELL?

Jesse says YEAH, I THINK IT'S
FUNDAMENTALLY ABOUT
TRANSPORTATION AND MASS
TRANSPORTATION.
CERTAINLY THERE HAS BEEN
INITIATIVES IN CANADA AND
TORONTO AND THE PROVINCE
THINKING ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL
REMEDIATION, THINKING ABOUT
WATERFRONT DEVELOPMENT, MAKING I
THINK A LOT OF SMART MOVES IN
INVESTMENTS TO REVITALIZE THE
WATERFRONT, DEVELOP SOME
RESILIENCE PERFORMANCE IN THE
ENGINEERING AND DESIGN OF THAT
INFRASTRUCTURE, THOSE BUILDINGS
AND THOSE SETTLEMENT PATTERNS,
BUT IN THE FUTURE, THE REAL KEY
IS GOING TO BE HOW DO WE LINK
PEOPLE TOGETHER IN TERMS OF
ACCESSIBILITY, AND THAT'S
ACCESSIBILITY NOT JUST IN TERMS
OF MASS TRANSPORTATION BUT
HEALTH CARE, PROVISION OF URBAN
SERVICES IN GENERAL.
I THINK WHEN YOU THINK PERHAPS
ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITY OR THE
TRAJECTORY ONE COULD ARGUE FROM
A BROADER MEGALOPOLIS, FROM
BUFFALO TO HAMILTON TO TORONTO,
THIS IS TRULY AN OPPORTUNITY FOR
A REGIONAL ECONOMY AND A
REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT PATTERNS.
AND I THINK WE HAVE STARTED TO
SEE THAT IN TORONTO IN THE PAST
SEVERAL DECADES IN TERMS OF
SATELLITE DEVELOPMENT AND THE
DEVELOPMENT OF CERTAIN AREAS
WHICH ARE NOW CONNECTED THROUGH
INCREASED MASS TRANSPORTATION
AND INVESTMENT.
AT THE END OF THE DAY, THAT'S
THE KEY.
IT'S REALLY LINKING PEOPLE
TOGETHER, BOTH IN TIME AND
SPACE, AND THEIR GENERAL
RELATIONSHIPS.
AND I THINK TORONTO'S OFF TO A
REASONABLE START.

Steve says AS YOU LOOK ACROSS THE
GREAT LAKES, YOU KNOW, WE DO
HAVE SOME ISSUES WITH ALGAE,
WITH POLLUTION, PARTICULARLY ON
LAKE ERIE, SOME ON LAKE ONTARIO.
ARE THOSE CAUSES FOR CONCERN, IN
YOUR VIEW?

Jesse says NO, THEY ABSOLUTELY ARE, AND
THEY REPRESENT LONG-TERM RISKS
ASSOCIATED WITH THE VIABILITY OF
POTABLE WATER.
AS WELL AS WATER FOR A VARIETY
OF OTHER SOURCES AND USES.
AND I THINK IT REALLY, AGAIN,
THINKING ABOUT SUSTAINABLE URBAN
DEVELOPMENT, THINKING ABOUT
NON-POINT FORCE POLLUTION,
THINGS THAT JUST RUN OFF FROM
THE LOADS, FROM OUR YARDS...
FROM THE ROADS, FROM OUR YARDS,
BEING VERY PRECISE ABOUT WHAT
THOSE RISKS ARE AND HOW THAT
IMPACTS WATER QUALITY AND HOW WE
ENGAGE IN THAT IS REALLY QUITE
CRITICAL.
WE REALLY NEED TO GET ON TOP OF
THAT BECAUSE WATER IS OUR
GREATEST RESOURCE.
AT LEAST IN THE GREAT LAKES
REGION SO I THINK WE NEED TO
REALLY GET ON TOP OF THAT.
IF THAT'S A FUNCTION OF
REGULATION, A CHANGE IN CONSUMER
BEHAVIOUR, WHATEVER THAT MAY BE,
IT'S REALLY A CRITICAL ASPECT
FOR ADAPTING TO A FUTURE
CLIMATE.

Steve says WHAT ROLE DO YOU SEE
TREES PLAYING IN THIS MIX?

The caption changes to "Adapting to climate change."

Jesse says WELL, TREES AND BROADER
MANAGED LANDSCAPES IN TERMS OF
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY ARE
REALLY CRITICAL FOR MAINTAINING
WATER QUALITY.
ALSO HAVING IMPACT IN TERMS OF
URBAN HEAT ISLAND.
IF WE THINK ABOUT THE RADIANT
IMPACTS ASSOCIATED WITH HEAT AND
URBAN ISLAND, THE IMPACT THAT
HAS DISPROPORTIONATELY ON THE
ELDERLY AND LOW TO
MODERATE-INCOME HOUSEHOLDS, HEAT
WILL NO DOUBT IN THE FUTURE,
EXTREME HEAT WILL BE A MAJOR
CHALLENGE.
IT WILL HAVE PUBLIC HEALTH
IMPLICATIONS, AND TREES PLAY NOT
ONLY A FUNCTION OF WATER
QUALITY, BUT THEY ALSO REALLY
HAVE A CAPACITY TO SHADE AND
PROVIDE SHADOW AND MITIGATING
SOME OF THE WORST EFFECTS OF
URBAN HEAT ISLANDS.

Steve says I'M GOING TO BE
CAREFUL HERE NOT TO GET YOU TO
WADE INTO A POLITICAL DISPUTE
THAT'S BEEN HAPPENING HERE IN
THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO, BUT
HAVING SAID THAT, THE RELATIVELY
NEW GOVERNMENT OF ONTARIO HAS
JUST CANCELLED A TREE PLANTING
PROGRAM.
THERE'S AN ENORMOUS DEFICIT ON
THE BOOKS, AND THEY ARE LOOKING
FOR WAYS TO SAVE EXPENDITURES.
WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE THEM AS TO
THE ADVISABILITY OF FINDING
SAVINGS IN THAT AREA?

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Jesse says WELL, THESE ARE INVESTMENTS.
THIS ISN'T JUST THROWING MONEY
AWAY.
THESE ARE REAL INVESTMENTS THAT
ADD UP NOT JUST IN TERMS OF
CLIMATE ADAPTATION BUT ALSO
CLIMATE MITIGATION, THAT IS, IN
TERMS OF GREENHOUSE GAS REMOVAL
AND IN THE CARBON CYCLE.
SO I THINK THERE ARE SOME REAL
ECOSYSTEM SERVICES ASSOCIATED
WITH INVESTING IN PROPER
FORESTRY MANAGEMENT AND IN
PLANTING IN TREES.
THERE ARE GOOD AND BAD WAYS TO
DO IT.
I THINK IT'S AN EMERGING SET OF
PRACTICES.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF SPECIES WILL
HAVE DIFFERENT VULNERABILITY
WITH THE CHANGING CLIMATE.
HAVING A LOT OF THE SAME
SPECIES, FOR INSTANCE, IN TREE
PLANTING CAN BE PROBLEMATIC.
SO THERE'S EMERGING PRACTICES,
BUT I THINK WE HAVE ENOUGH
EXPERIENCE NOW FROM WHICH WE CAN
REALLY VALIDATE NOT ONLY THE
ENVIRONMENTAL OR QUALITATIVE
ASPECTS OF THIS, BUT
QUANTITATIVELY I THINK THERE'S A
REAL ECONOMIC CASE TO BE MADE IN
TERMS OF MAKING THESE TYPES OF
INVESTMENTS AS WELL.

Steve says AND PROFESSOR KEENAN,
ONE LAST QUESTION IF I CAN.
WE'VE TALKED ABOUT THE AREAS
THAT YOU ARE, NO PUN INTENDED
RELATED TO YOUR LAST NAME, THAT
YOU ARE KEEN ON HAVING PEOPLE
COME TO AS CLIMATE CHANGE
BECOMES A THING.
HOW ABOUT PLACES IN NORTH
AMERICA WHERE YOU THINK THE
STRESSORS ARE GOING TO BE SIMPLY
TOO MUCH AND YOU CAN IMAGINE IN
THE FUTURE PEOPLE LEAVING FROM.
WHERE WOULD THEY BE?

Jesse says WELL, SOME OF THAT WORK HAS
BEEN DONE IN A VARIETY OF
DIFFERENT ACADEMIES, INCLUDING
DEMOGRAPHY AND LOOKING AT
CERTAINLY SEA LEVEL RISE
INUNDATION ZONES, COASTAL AREAS.
CERTAINLY HIGH MOUNTAIN AREAS.
ANY NUMBER OF GEOGRAPHIES THAT
ARE RUNNING OUT OF POTABLE
WATER, GROUNDWATER.
SO WE'RE REALLY LOOKING IN THE
LOWER BOUNDS I WOULD ARGUE
SOMEWHERE IN THE ORDER... AT
LEAST IN THE NEXT 50 TO 60, 70
YEARS, YOU KNOW, 10 MILLION
PEOPLE.
NOW AT LEAST IN THE UNITED
STATES.
AS A FIRST ORDER OF
APPROXIMATION.
IT WOULDN'T BE SURPRISING TO
MANY TO SPECULATE ON A CERTAIN
LOGIC OR RATIONAL ARGUMENT FOR
LARGER POPULATION ON THE MOVE.
THE QUESTION IS WHERE DO THEY
WANT TO GO AND WHAT ARE THE
MODES OF AFFORDABILITY,
ACCESSIBILITY AND QUALITY OF
PLACE THAT IS GOING TO ATTRACT
THOSE PEOPLE?
YOU KNOW, I THINK WITH YOUR
PROGRAM IN TORONTO, TORONTO HAS
CERTAINLY BEEN AT THE FOREFRONT
AND THINKING ABOUT SUSTAINABLE
URBAN DEVELOPMENT, THINKING
ABOUT, FOR INSTANCE, TECHNOLOGY
AND ADVANCING THAT.
I THINK THAT IS A LITTLE BIT OF
A DANGEROUS AVENUE TO GO DOWN IN
MANY WAYS.
WE DO NEED ONGOING INTELLIGENCE
ASSOCIATED WITH SMART TECHNOLOGY
AND SMART URBANISM, BUT I THINK
THERE ARE SOME SIGNIFICANT CIVIL
LIBERTIES ASPECTS OF THAT THAT
ARE REALLY RIPE.
AND I THINK IN MANY WAYS TORONTO
IS GOING THROUGH THAT
EXPERIMENTATION PHASE.
BUT IF DONE WELL, WE COULD HAVE
THE HARDWARE AND THE SOFTWARE TO
BEGIN TO THINK ABOUT
ENVIRONMENTAL RISK, HOW WE
MEASURE THAT, ENGAGE PEOPLE IN
THE PROCESS OF UNDERSTANDING A
QUALITY OF PLACE AND INVESTMENT
IN THEMSELVES IN THEIR CITY AS
TRUE CITIZENS, AND I THINK
THAT'S VERY EXCITING AND I THINK
IN MANY WAYS TORONTO, BUFFALO
AND THE LIKE REPRESENT A VIABLE
PLACE AND A VIABLE RECEIVING
ZONE, IF YOU WILL.

The caption changes to "Producer: Sandra Gionas, @sandragionas."

Steve says THAT'S JESSE KEENAN
FROM THE HARVARD UNIVERSITY
GRADUATE SCHOOL OF DESIGN.
IT'S GOOD OF YOU TO JOIN US ON
TVO TONIGHT. THANKS SO MUCH.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Jesse says THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING
ME.

Watch: The Coolness of Great Lakes Cities