Peer Learning

Climate and Economic Resilience

Boston, MA | March 23-25, 2015

Peer Learning Recap

The Sustainable Communities Leadership Academy: Climate and Economic Resilience was designed and delivered for sustainability practitioners across the country that have received grants from the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. The workshop brought together 10 grantee teams, in the final stages of completing their HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Plans or Community Challenges. This workshop focused specifically on helping grantee communities build greater climate and economic resilience into their communities.

Presenters, Advisors, and Staff:

Lisa Barajas, Metropolitan Council of the Twin Cities
Brad Beaubien, City of Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development
Shamar Bibbins, Environment Program Officer, Kresge Foundation
Meredith Brady, Rhode Island Department of Transportation
Lois Bush, Florida Department of Transportation
Jamie Carter, National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationJoseph Curtatone, Mayor, City of Somerville, Massachusetts
Marc Draisen, Executive Director, Metropolitan Area Planning Council
Christopher Forinash, Director of U.S. Programs, Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC)
Ann Fowler Wallace, Director of Programs, Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities
Kevin Geiger, Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission
Julia Gold, Rhode Island Department of Health
Jen Horton, National Association of Counties
Alex Jaccaci, Hypertherm, Inc., and Upper Valley Adaptation Workgroup
Ben Jones, Community Investment Officer, Central Indiana Community Foundation
Ben Lilliston, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Sunaree Marshall, Senior Advisor, US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Economic Resilience
Megan McConville, Program Manager, National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation
Rob Moore, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)Jennifer Pereira, Grant Programs Officer, Rhode Island Foundation (invited)
Sascha Petersen, Senior Program Officer, Institute for Sustainable Communities; Managing Director, American Society of Adaptation Professionals
John Robert Smith, Chair, Transportation for America; former Mayor, Meridian, Mississippi
Ken Snyder, PlaceMatters
Carl Spector, Director of Climate and Environment Planning, City of Boston
Megan Susman, U.S. EPA Office of Sustainable CommunitiesBethany Remmers, Northwest (VT) Regional Planning Commission
Suzanne Shaw, Union of Concerned Scientists
Holly St. Clair, Metropolitan Area Planning Council
Harriet Tregoning, Director, HUD Office of Economic Resilience
Sarita Turner, PolicyLink


An international nonprofit organization, the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) has 26 years of practical experience working with local leaders to accelerate climate change and sustainability solutions. ISC’s programs are designed to facilitate peer learning and engagement among local leaders charged with the work of making their communities more sustainable. ISC has led more than 110 projects in 30 countries, and currently works in Asia and the United States. Learn more at:


The event was an opportunity for these practitioners to connect in a private and productive environment with peers and with leading national practitioners, thinkers, investors and policy-makers.



This worksheet from Sascha Petersen – Senior Program Officer at ISC and Managing Director of the American Society of Adaptation Professionals – can help communities identify climate and economic vulnerabilities in their region and begin to develop solutions to address them. It was shared with participants of the Climate and Economic Resilience breakout session at the HUD 2014 Convening and an updated version was used at the March 2015 Climate and Economic Resilience SCLA.