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DUSP, Consensus Building Institute team awarded grant for climate change role-play project

Awarded $637,000 to develop joint project.
A research team from MIT and the Consensus Building Institute (CBI) have been jointly awarded a two-year, $637,000 grant to help build role-play simulations to help local residents and community leaders assess the climate change risks facing their communities and determine whether they can reach agreement on appropriate adaptation measures.

The Science Collaborative Program of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (a partnership of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the coast states), announced the award on Aug. 2 for the project, called “Capacity of Coastal Communities to Address Climate Change Risk Through the Use of Role Play Simulations.”

The principal investigator for the project is Lawrence Susskind, the Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning; Danya Rumore, a PhD student in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP), will serve as project manager and collaboration lead.

The MIT/CBI team will work in conjunction with reserve managers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Maine and with public officials in Barnstable, Mass.; Dover, N.H.; Cranston, R.I.; and Wells, Maine. Four MIT graduate students in the Environmental Policy and Planning program in DUSP 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.

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