2015 Conference

Building Resilient Cities: Addressing Crisis and Ongoing Stress

at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
March 13-14, 2015

Quick Links: Schedule | Speakers & JudgesParticipant Toolkit & Conference Booklet

Join the conversation: @fordsppg | #fordsppgCITIES

The problems facing cities today can be daunting, and the global economic recession that began in 2008 has highlighted many of these challenges that extend beyond the scope of any single catastrophic event. Resilience is about more than our preparedness for shocks like natural disasters or sudden human conflict.  It is also about proactively engaging the ongoing stresses that fracture communities, neighborhoods, commerce, and the exchange of information and ideas – and these stresses span the policy areas of governance, education, infrastructure, affordable housing, unemployment, community cohesion, and beyond.

The United States and Canada share more than simply a border or the coastlines of the North American continent.  We enjoy tremendous trade opportunities, the exchange of ideas, shared cultures and languages, the vast natural resources of the Great Lakes, and a commitment to partnering on issues of regional and global importance like the health and resilience of our cities.  So, we ask ourselves: how can we enhance the resilience of our cities?

But we know that just identifying solutions isn’t enough.  In this multi-stakeholder case competition, students will not only convey complex information and ideas but integrate them into viable plans of action.  Creating better public policy starts here.


  • Joseph Schilling, Director of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (bio)

  • Douglas Kelbaugh, Professor of Architecture & Urban Planning at the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning (bio)

Presentation slide decks

News/Blog/Multimedia Coverage