Addressing Climate Change Risk Through Role Play Simulations

The Science Collaborative Program of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (a partnership of NOAA and the coast states) has awarded a two-year, $637,000 grant to MIT and the Consensus Building Institute (CBI). The funds will be used to help build the capacity of coastal communities to address climate change risk. Working in conjunction with Reserve Managers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Maine and with public officials in Barnstable, MA; Dover, NH, Cranston, RI; and Wells, ME the CBI/MIT team will design role play simulations to help residents and community leaders assess the climate change risks facing their communities and determine whether they can reach agreement on appropriate adaptation measures. Four MIT graduate students in DUSP's Environmental Policy and Planning program will serve as staff to the Reserves and the town governments involved. The objective of the grant is to measure the extent to which tailored role play simulations incorporating the techniques of scenario planning can enhance collaborative efforts to assess climate change risks and build consensus on appropriate adaptation measures. The Principal Investigator is Lawrence Susskind, Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning; the Project Manager and Collaboration Lead will be Danya Rumore, a doctoral candidate in the department. (Image: Le grand Cricri (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons)