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If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em: Architect Vanessa Keith On How Cities Will Adapt To Climate Change

Barbara Gentile

TheLouisville Sustainability Summitis underway at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage today, with keynote speaker Vanessa Keith speaking later Friday morning. Keith’s book, “2100: A Dystopian Utopia – The City After Climate Change,” focuses not on how to stop our planet from becoming hotter, but how to adapt to the warmer climate if changes aren’t implemented. You can hear our conversation in the media player above.

Highlights from the interview

On why her book is both utopian and dystopian:

"Let's assume that we have four degrees of warming and what are we going to do with that? That doesn't mean we don't do anything now, it actually was intended to be a call to action to say, OK this is the road we're on, this is where we're going, this is the best we can do with the road we're on. That's the Utopian part. And if we don't do anything, we can expect to end up here or worse. And right now I think it might actually be worse."

On the science behind her ideas on the future:

"All of the technologies that we are referencing in the book we are showing solving our problems — all of the techniques because it's not only technologies, it's techniques as well — that we are employing are things - and I was absolutely adamant about this with my team - these things have to be things that somebody somewhere, now, is the process of developing. So this is not pie in the sky imaginings without any sort of basis in fact and research. We actually did quite a bit of research."

Bill Burton is the Morning Edition host for LPM. Email Bill at bburton@lpm.org.