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Responding to Waves of Extreme Events: Long-Term and Short-Term Sustainability and Resiliency from Philly and Fayetteville

Philadelphia City Hall

Responding to Waves of Extreme Events: Long-Term and Short-Term Sustainability and Resiliency from Philly and Fayetteville

On April 15, 2020, Meeting of the Minds will host a free, live webinar featuring Christine Knapp of Philadelphia, PA, Peter Nierengarten of Fayetteville, AR, and Tripp Borstel of ENGIE Impact.


In the face of a changing climate and responding to COVID-19, city leaders are facing an altogether new reality and paradigm. For cities that lead on climate action, how can they balance addressing critical needs while driving ambitious sustainability and resiliency strategies? How do we design city systems to help the most vulnerable amid overlapping crises? Join us as we speak to sustainability leaders from two cities leading on climate action – Philadelphia and Fayetteville.

Peter will share initial lessons learned from their COVID response and solutions being deployed in Fayetteville such as: drop off recycling centers (curb-side pickup has ceased operations), city compost sales and potential delivery to residents (compost sales have skyrocketed as residents start their own gardens and food supplies), connecting local agriculture to pop-up markets and buyers (shuttered restaurants are no longer demanding local food), food access and security for residents, sustaining lowered VMT and GHG emissions, adapting city streets for walking and bike access, and more. By April 15, there will be more lessons learned to report out.

Christine will share how Philadelphia is continuing ​to implement its long-term sustainability and climate action strategy, clean energy infrastructure, ​and addressing heat resiliency in light of potential shelter in place requirements this summer. She’ll also share how her office sees climate change as a multiplier of risks for vulnerable and low-income communities, but also a multiplier of opportunities to grow with equity. 

Join us as tackle these urgent and pressing questions.


Christine Knapp

Christine Knapp

Director, Office of Sustainability, City of Philadelphia

Christine Knapp was appointed as the Director of the Office of Sustainability for the City of Philadelphia under Mayor Jim Kenney in January of 2016. Previously she served in leadership roles at the Philadelphia Water Department, the US Department of Energy’s Energy Efficient Buildings Hub and at PennFuture where she advocated for the creation of a municipal sustainability office. She is a graduate of Villanova University, is on the board of the Passyunk Square Civic Association, was a 2010 Center for Progressive Leadership Political Fellow and has been recognized by Leadership Philadelphia as a “Keeper and Connector”.

Christine's Slides

Download the slides Christine used in this event’s presentation.

Peter Nierengarten

Peter Nierengarten

Environmental Director, City of Fayetteville, Arkansas

Peter has been the City of Fayetteville Environmental/Sustainability Director since 2012 and has managed several sustainability projects and accomplishments for the City, including: adoption of Fayetteville’s first Energy Action Plan, adoption of 100% Clean Energy Goals, Launching Arkansas’ first PACE Program, Fayetteville becoming Arkansas’ only 3-STAR Sustainability Certified Community, achieving the state’s first Silver designation as a Bicycle Friendly Community, managing Arkansas’ largest solar array on municipal property and managing Fayetteville’s Cultural Arts Corridor Project. In addition to the Fayetteville’s Sustainability Department, Peter also manages the City’s Recycling and Trash Collections Division and Parking Division.

Peter's Slides

Download the slides Peter used in this event’s presentation.

Tripp Borstel

Tripp Borstel

Director, Sustainability Solutions, ENGIE Impact

Tripp is a director with ENGIE Impact’s Sustainability Solutions. He has 15 years of experience as a strategy consultant to senior executives in the development of climate and energy strategies. His focus is on managing the cultural dynamics of strategy and building high levels of stakeholder alignment throughout the strategy development process. Tripp has worked with corporations, non-profits, and cities. Recently he supported the City of San Jose in creating Climate Smart San Jose, a climate action plan framed around how sustainability can enhance the good life. He lives in Oakland, California and has an MBA from UC Berkeley.

Tripp's Slides

Download the slides Tripp used in this event’s presentation.


April 15, 2020
10:00 am - 11:00 am
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Meeting of the Minds
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