Bruce Babbitt to Keynote Lincoln Institute’s 5th Annual Land Policy Conference, The Environment, Climate Change, and Land Policies

May 17, 2010

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 17 /PRNewswire/ — The intersection of land and environmental policy – including the question of where to put wind and solar farms, adaptation to climate change, the relationship between urban form and vehicle miles traveled, and green building standards for entire neighborhoods – will be the subject of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy’s 5th annual Land Policy Conference May 23-25.

Bruce Babbitt, former governor of Arizona and interior secretary, will be the keynote speaker for “The Environment, Climate Change, and Land Policies,” attended by over 100 leading scholars, practitioners and policymakers. Marianne Fay, chief economist of the sustainable development network at the World Bank will deliver a special address on how developing nations can cope with risk and better manage land, water, and energy systems under the looming threat of climate change.

“Land policy clearly has a central role in the environmental challenges we face, including climate change,” said Gregory K. Ingram, president of the Lincoln Institute. New research and data analysis and a wide-ranging discussion will be featured at the conference, which will cover topics including:

  • How much urban density is needed to support transit
  • How developing countries can adapt to the impacts of climate change
  • Innovations in stewardship and finance in land conservation
  • Conforming state and regional climate initiatives to a federal plan
  • A comparison of cap-and-trade and carbon pricing systems

The annual land policy conference has addressed such topics as property rights, taxation, and decentralization of government. Last year the focus was on innovations in public finance as a response to intense budget pressures on state and local government. The volume Municipal Revenues and Land Policies [ http://www.lincolninst.edu/pubs/1765_Municipal-Revenues-and-Land-Policies ], published this month by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, is an account of the proceedings, including all papers and commentary.

The agenda for the two-day gathering of “The Environment, Climate Change, and Land Policies” includes:

Marianne Fay, World Bank, on what climate change means for development policy, a central aim of the World Development Report 2010, which frames the need for affordable development choices, investments in new green energy, and adaptation to the inevitable impacts of global warming.

Bruce Babbitt, former governor of Arizona and interior secretary, member of the board of directors, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, with a keynote speech on the need for a national infrastructure bank not only for maintenance but to address climate change impacts such as rising sea levels and river basin flooding. Meaningful national standards for expenditures of this magnitude can only be implemented through comprehensive state land use plans, Babbitt says. A new federal-state approach to spatial planning can be informed by lessons learned in the Interstate Highway Act, various transportation acts, the Clean Water Act, and the Clean Air Act.

Other speakers include: Marlon G. Boarnet, professor at the University of California, Irvine, with a new analysis of the relationships among urban density, vehicle miles traveled, and emissions; Shlomo Angel, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and New York University, and Alex Blei, Pace Suburban Bus, on density, compactness and actual transit use; Reid Ewing, University of Utah, examining of both LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and the recently unveiled LEED-ND, or neighborhood design, standards; Clinton J. Andrews, Rutgers, with a review of emerging best practices to address the land-intensive needs of geothermal systems, photovoltaic arrays, wind farms, and biomass plantations; Robert Nicholls, University of Southampton, on coastal flooding due to climate change in developing countries such as Vietnam, where 11 percent of the population will be displaced if sea levels rise three feet; Christopher McGrory Klyza, Middlebury College, with a look at impacts of climate change on the 650 million acres of federally controlled land, managed by four conservation agencies; Sven Wunder, CIFOR and Jan Borner, Amazon Initiative and CIAT, on payments for environmental services as a conservation and carbon-mitigation instrument for forestry and agricultural lands; John A Dixon, formerly of the World Bank Institute, on how public and private authorities can employ economic incentives, signals, and policies to manage conservation lands, such as ecosystems including marine and coastal parks and game parks, in developing countries; Ian Parry, Resources for the Future, and Roberton III Williams, University of Maryland, comparing a carbon tax versus a cap-and-trade regime; Kiran Bhatt, K.T. Analytics, Inc., on land use impacts of congestion pricing, in London, Stockholm, and Singapore, and proposed for New York City; Elisabeth Hamin, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, on integrating adaptation and mitigation in eight major urban centers, and the synergies in converting land from automobile use to green infrastructure; Robert O. Mendelsohn, Yale University, with an evaluation of current methods of environmental risk assessment; Barry Rabe, University of Michigan, on how regional and state climate initiatives might be integrated with a national strategy; and Uma Lele, Independent External Evaluation of the Food and Agricultural Organization, looking at the effectiveness of such organizations such as Global Environment Facility and United Nations Environment Network in facilitating international agreements on biodiversity, climate change, and pollutants.

Discussants and chairs will also include Susan L. Handy, University of California at Davis, Douglas Foy, Serrafix Corporation and former Massachusetts Secretary of Commonwealth Development, Joseph Ferreira, Judith A. Layzer, and Michael Greenstone from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Jim Holway, Western Lands and Communities at the Sonoran Institute, Gordon Walker, Lancaster University, Doug Meffert from Tulane University, Roger Sedjo, Resources for the Future, James N. Levitt, Harvard University, Tanya Hayes, Seattle University, Peter Haas, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Armando Carbonell, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Thomas Light, RAND Corporation, Kristine Kern, Wageningen University, Matthew J. McKinney, University of Montana, David Montgomery, Charles River Associates, and Kirsten H. Engel, University of Arizona.

The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy is a leading resource for key issues about the use, regulation and taxation of land. Providing high-quality education and research, the institute strives to improve public dialogue and decisions about land policy.

SOURCE Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

Source: newswire

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