Karen Lightman, Metro 21, Smart Cities Inst., CMU (photo: CMU)

“You have to start with empowering people at the local level…You’ve got to do a combination of bottom up and top down…Everything is interconnected.” Karen Lightman on Green Connections Radio

A community in Pittsburgh was alarmed by the high rate of asthma and related illnesses in their children and cardiovascular diseases in their adults and attributed them to pollutants from the Shenanago Coke Works facility, which baked coal to produce coke used in making steel.  When they were rebuffed by the Allegheny County Health Department and the EPA, they leveraged data to make their case and eventually got the plant shut down. Then? Emergency room visits for asthma and related illnesses decreased 37.6% and those for cardiovascular diseases declined 26.5%

Listen to Joan Michelson’s enlightening interview with Karen Lightman, Executive Director of the Carnegie Mellon University Metro21: Smart Cities Institute. You’ll hear:

  • The challenges of “a system of systems… (in cities) everything is interconnected.”
  • Why starting local matters, but isn’t enough.
  • How to get good data and use it effectively.
  • Who to partner with for impact.
  • How to leverage schools at every level.

And more!

“Build public-private partnerships… (including partnering with universities, because) they are a place of innovation and…diversity…and they often deploy pilot projects using the city as a test bed.” Karen Lightman on Green Connections Radio

What’s YOUR city doing to be more resilient to climate change? Tweet it to us @joanmichelson or post it on our Facebook Page (and ask to join our new private Facebook group)

You might also like:

  • Ellen Stofan CEO of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
  • Barbara Whye, VP of Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer, Intel
  • Cindy Simpson, Chief Development Officer, Assn. for Women in Science
  • Ellen Williams, Former Director of ARPA-E, Innovation at the Dept. of Energy


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