RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif., Aug. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Sea level rise, increased risk of wild fires, temperature rise, and susceptibility to floods: These are just some of the challenges facing California that were addressed at the Inaugural California Adaptation Forum. PMC, a leading environmental, planning, and contract services firm, sponsored and participated in several innovative panel discussions on the challenges of climate change and offered solutions on how communities and vulnerable populations can adapt.
The Elderly in a Changing Climate
PMC's Chris Read led a presentation about how climate change is creating new challenges for socially, physically, and economically vulnerable populations, specifically the elderly.
"Climate change and the aging population are generally discussed as discrete, but important long-term planning issues," said Read. "However, the overlap of these two topics is rarely considered."
Between 2000 and 2050, persons 65 or older are expected to grow from 12 percent to 20 percent of the US population. More importantly, the percentage of extremely old (85+) Americans is expected to triple during the same period. This unprecedented demographic shift will coincide with more intense climate change impacts.
"People and the jurisdictions they live in will face the prospect of aging in a changing climate with more extreme weather, economic uncertainty, and reduced access to important resources such as water," said Read. "The effort to enhance social, physical, and economic resiliency in an aging America will involve all of our planning efforts and needs to start now."
Hazard Mitigation Planning and Climate Adaptation
The increasing economic and social costs of natural disasters makes quality planning more important than ever for cities and counties. Considering how a community might be affected by natural hazards and mitigating those effects are essential considerations for any civic government.
PMC's Aaron Pfannenstiel understands that successful public safety planning considers how climate change could affect hazards. "We work with local governments to identify actions that reduce their vulnerability to a variety of conditions by assessing likely future climate conditions. Our primary goal is to help local governments facilitate a built environment and provide public safety services that efficiently protects residents and economic activities during a disaster and promotes quick recovery following a disaster."
Taking the Lead in Providing Sustainability Solutions
PMC's participation at the Inaugural California Adaptation Forum illustrates the firm's position as a leader in the field of sustainability and climate change. Tammy Seale, who heads PMC's Sustainability and Climate Change Services team, has helped establish the firm as a leader in providing innovative solutions to climate challenges facing local governments throughout the state.
Since 2007, PMC's Sustainability and Climate Change Services team has assisted more than 50 local governments across the state with addressing climate change issues, including climate adaptation, hazard mitigation, and sustainability.
Renewed Energy for Doing Good
Excuse the pun, but the California Adaptation Forum generated a renewed energy in practitioners to do more in helping the state adapt to climate change.
"I learned a lot about the resources that are available to local governments as well as best practices that have been implemented throughout the state to increase local resiliency," said Read. "Most importantly, I came back from the conference feeling as passionately as ever about the importance and urgency of doing good climate change and sustainability work."
About The California Adaptation Forum
Held in Sacramento on August 19 and 20, the California Adaptation Forum was a gathering of 800 leading policy-makers, academia, consultants, and community leaders to share and examine best practices on combating the effects of climate change. The forum addressed a wide variety of topics including public health, energy, water, emergency management, agriculture, biodiversity conservation, and coastal management issues associated with climate change and adaptation.
To learn more, visit www.californiaadaptationforum.org.
Since 1995, PMC has been a trusted advisor to municipalities throughout California, providing clients with a wide range of urban design, sustainability, revitalization, and contract staffing solutions. With offices throughout the Western United States, PMC has successfully worked with over 200 municipal governments to help them realize their vision for a more sustainable future and create a sense of place and purpose for their communities.
PMC is on the cutting edge of urban design, municipal planning, and sustainability. Our experts have led the charge in cutting our state's greenhouse gas emissions, designing bike- and public transportation-friendly communities, sourcing grant funding for revitalization projects, and ensuring that vital planning services go unfettered, even in the midst of budget cuts.
To learn more, visit www.pmcworld.com.