Climate change and racial equity top the agenda for a Colorado State University symposium this week that focuses on urban issues.
On Sept. 16-17, Colorado State University will host the International Symposium on Conservation Impact, the second annual event from the institution’s Salazar Center for North American Conservation.
This year’s virtual program will cover North American cities that have employed green space and other tactics to address climate change impacts and racial equity. There will also be a pitch competition among five finalists about their proposals for landscape connectivity, with the winner receiving $100,000.
The symposium will convene city leaders from the U.S., Mexico and Canada, with a panel of CSU scientists also planning to discuss their research specifically on urban sustainability.
“Urbanization is not expected to slow down in the near future,” Melissa McHale, an associate professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, told the university’s news service. “That means that in 30 years, we expect that there will be more people living in cities across Africa than there are living in cities around the world right now. It is mind-boggling.”
U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., is the event’s keynote speaker. Haaland, one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress, will speak about environmental justice and access to nature within cities. The CSU’s center is named for Ken Salazar, a former U.S. secretary of the interior and Democratic U.S. Senator from Colorado. He will moderate the panel of municipal leaders during the symposium.