OUTSTEP Lower Great Lakes:  Organizing Urban Transects for a Sustainable Transformation of Economic Partnerships across the Lower Great Lakes.

Hotel Henry Urban Resort Conference Center, Buffalo, NY - August 19-21 2019


Organizers: Chris Renschler, Susan Clark, Michael Shelly, Jiyoung Park, Ryan McPherson - University at Buffalo


Urban areas, and their rural watersheds, in the Lower Great Lakes (LGL) Region face present and future LGL-wide sustainability and resilience challenges. For instance, it is forecasted that the LGL Region will be adversely impacted by climate change and extreme weather events (Dupigny-Giroux et al, ll (2018): Northeast. In Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States: Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume II). These trends and events could potentially both impact the functionality or even disrupt the natural, social and infrastructure systems that support urban sustainability and place direct strains on the resilience of urban and rural communities.  

Meeting the LGL-wide sustainability and resilience challenges requires interdisciplinary research and testing of alternatives. Consequently, the University at Buffalo (UB) is convening a workshop for researchers, sustainability and resilience officers, community stakeholders and student representatives for a three day, invitation only, workshop at the center of the LGL Region, in Buffalo, New York. By bringing together researchers, practicioners and stakeholders from around the LGL Region, the Organizing Urban Transects for a Sustainable Transformation of Economic Partnerships (OUTSTEP) workshop, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, will evaluate the assets, opportunities and barriers available to create a holistically connected urban and rural LGL Region that is an equitable climate refuge.

The OUTSTEP LGL workshop will leverage the 7 dimensions of the PEOPLES Resilience Framework and the 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as well as existing community stakeholder initiatives such as the Buffalo Partnership for the Public Good (PPG), the Erie County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) or UB Sustainability for the workshop’s guiding priciples. This 1st OUTSTEP Workshop will serve to facilitate intense interactions between more than 100 practicioners, community stakeholders and researchers from eight urban communities with universities along the LGL (listed as the water flows): University of Michigan, University of Toledo, Cleveland State University, Penn State at Behrend, University at Buffalo, SUNY ESF, SUNY Oswego, and Clarkson University.


UB Reporter Research News Article (Aug 26 2019)Stakeholders seek to develop Lower Great Lakes research network  

For social media purposes please use #OUTSTEPLGL


Contact Info: Chris S Renschler, University at Buffalo, Dept. of Geography, 116 Wilkeson Quad, Buffalo NY 14261, USA ---- E-mail: