Session Information

Climate Cool: Designing and Financing Innovative Eco-Resilient Infrastructure for Cities & Coasts

Date: Wednesday, March 2

Time: 3:30pm - 5:30pm

Format: Panel Discussion

More than half of the world's population now lives in cities.  It is estimated that 90 trillion of investment dollars is required in climate-smart infrastructure over the next several decades, which creates tremendous opportunities for business and government to collectively solve infrastructure related challenges.  What innovative financing models and mechanisms are enabling this investment around the world?  What is the role of innovation in design, engineering, technology, and community engagement as we prepare for extreme weather events? Hear from key players on the role of investment and green infrastructure in catalyzing resiliency to meet the climate adaptation challenge.

Topic Speakers

The Climate Bonds Initiative in an investor-focused NGO that works to accelerate the global shift to a low-carbon and climate resilient economy by mobilizing bond markets. 

Supported by a 50 member international Advisory Panel, it works to reduce market friction and improve risk differentiation for green investments. That includes advocacy around standards; issuer support for bond market development; and policy interventions that change the rules of game, away from brown to green.

Projects include developing proposals for the European Commission’s DG Climate on Europe’s role in mobilizing private sector capital for climate solutions; developing green securitization regulatory and policy proposals; and publishing regular state of the market analysis.

Sean is Consultant (Green Bonds) to the Executive Office of the United Nations Secretary General; and is working with China’s central bank on growing a green bond market in China.

The Climate Bonds Initiative runs an International Climate Bonds Standards and Certification Scheme. The $34 trillion Climate Bond Standards Board includes:

  • The Treasurer of California, Bill Lockyer.
  • The US Investor Network on Climate Risk.
  • The EU Institutional Investor Group on Climate Change.
  • CalSTRS, the USA’s second largest pension fund.
  • Australia’s Investor Group on Climate Change.
  • CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project.
  • The Natural Resources Defense Council.

Its industry working group includes representatives from KPMG, Standard & Poor’s, Aviva Investors and the IFC. The first standards-compliant bonds will be issued soon.

An accomplished international speaker, Sean has over the past year spoken at conferences and seminars in Toronto, New York, Boston, Washington DC, Paris, Frankfurt, Utrecht, London, Casablanca, Doha, Beijing, Hong Kong and Sydney.

He is also a member of:

  • German International Aid Ministry’s TRANSfer Expert Group on “Using Climate Financing to Leverage Sustainable Transport
  • Mercer’s Sustainability Opportunities Fund Advisory Panel.
  • The Canadian Corporate Knights Capital Advisory Council.
  • Carbon War Room’s Building Efficiency Advisory Board.
  • The Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport’s (SloCAT) Financing Framework.

He was a member of the 2013 Commonwealth Secretariat’s Expert Committee on Climate Finance.

Sean was previously an award-winning marketing advisor to a number of the largest Australian pension funds and a social marketer and publisher.

Sean has four daughters and lives in London with his partner.


Dale is the director of development for UniverCity, the sustainable urban community adjacent to Simon Fraser University on Burnaby Mountain. This past year, Dale was selected to be the representative of the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI), acting as an expert on resilient communities and sustainable development for an international exchange with the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIRE), administered by the Government of Japan.

Dale was invited to tour the damage and recovery efforts following the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake in 2011, leading to the largest rebuilding and recovery effort in Japanese history.  The purpose of the CLAIRE exchange was to have international experts review local policy and action and provide expertise in the rebuilding of these devastated communities to be more resilient and sustainable in the future.

Mikkelsen and the Trust’s team are making significant and innovative contributions toward the creation of independent and universal green building standards to ensure a high level of urban design, environmental performance, and resilience. UniverCity, is a transit-oriented community utilizing a unique stormwater management system, and a Neighborhood Energy Utility—all features which make the community more resilient than a conventional one. Mikkelsen has a graduate degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of British Columbia and serves as a board member for the International Living Future Institute.

At UniverCity, Dale has been able to develop or co-develop several LEED Certified projects including Canada's first LEED Gold woodframe low-income condominium project, Canada's first LEED Gold retrofit elementary school (and solar demonstration project), a LEED Gold childcare facility, and two LEED Certified mixed use commercial/residential buildings.  On the backbone of this experience, Dale led a team to deliver the UniverCity Childcare Centre, anticipated to become Canada's first living building.


Breece Robertson is the National Geographic Information Systems (GIS) director for The Trust for Public Land. Robertson joined The Trust for Public Land in 2001 to create a comprehensive, coordinated GIS program. Today she provides leadership for the organization’s Conservation Vision and GIS service—the leading provider of “Land for People” science in the country—managing a cutting-edge team of GIS staff and consultants nationwide.

The Trust for Public Land’s Conservation Vision and GIS service weds community engagement to cutting-edge data and mapping technologies to help cities and communities create informed, forward-looking park and conservation plans. Esri, the world’s leading manufacturer of geographic information system (GIS) technology, has twice honored The Trust for Public Land’s GIS service for innovation in helping communities meet park and conservation goals. In 2006, The Trust for Public Land was awarded the Esri Special Achievement in GIS award and in 2012, the prestigious “Making a Difference” award.

Breece presents at conferences annually around the country and is featured in and has authored many publications. In 2011, she received a Planning and Urban Form Research Fellowship from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Breece is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a master’s degree in geography and planning.

Presentations and speaking engagements include:

  • 2014 Esri Southwest User Conference, Keynote Speaker
  • 2014 Washington GIS Conference, Keynote speaker
  • 2002 - 2013 Esri International User Conference
  • 2009 – 2013 Land Trust Alliance Rally
  • 2012 Greater and Greener International Urban Parks Conference
  • 2012 National Conference on Environmental Collaboration and Conflict Resolution
  • 2010 New Mexico Watershed Forum
  • 2008 National Smart Growth Conference
  • 2007 ESRI Health GIS Conference

Susanne joined the City of Miami Beach in September 2015 as Assistant City Manager (ACM) and Chief Resiliency Officer (CRO). Her sustainability and resiliency portfolio includes planning, building, code compliance, green space and environmental management. The City of Miami Beach is a leader and pioneer in adaptation efforts in South Florida. As CRO she will build on that foundation to develop an action-oriented citywide strategic resiliency plan for all city operations.

While in Fort Lauderdale she was lead staff to the city's visioning process producing Fast Forward Fort Lauderdale: Our City, Our Vision 2015. She also co-chaired the Infrastructure & Growth Leadership Pillar for Broward’s Six Pillars Planning process. She was selected as a Fellow for the 2012 ICMA Sustainable Communities Fellowship and is a member of the State of Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Community Resiliency Focus Group

Susanne was appointed Miami-Dade County's first Sustainability Director in July 2009. She spearheaded the planning effort to develop the County’s first sustainability plan, GreenPrint, which includes the County’s first climate action plan. Susanne has been a member of the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Compact staff steering committee since its inception in 2009. This regional collaboration has afforded her the opportunity to share the South Florida story around the world.

During her 21-year career in Miami-Dade, she also served as the public-safety assistant county manager, which landed her in a central role during the County's response to the numerous damaging hurricanes of 2004 and 2005. Due to that experience she was appointed to FEMA’s National Advisory Council.

She is on the board of the Association of Climate Change Officers, a member of state's community resiliency focus group and ICLEI's Resilient Communities for America Advisory Committee.