Tyler Corson-Rickert and Mónica Oliver under the direction of Professor Lawrence SusskindThis is a seven-party, integrative negotiation between stakeholders in a city over how to implement housing retrofits to enhance resilience to extreme heat in the aftermath of deadly heat waves attributed to climate change.
The city of Evantown experienced two deadly heat waves last summer that revealed the extent of climate change in the region and the poor condition of the city’s low-income housing stock. The greatest casualties during the heat wave were among the elderly and the children of low-income families living in aging public and rental housing. Now the new mayor, who won election decrying the previous mayor’s stumbling response to the crisis, has called together a group of stakeholders to decide how the city should undertake a program of housing retrofits to reduce vulnerability to extreme heat. Should the retrofits focus on public housing or low-income rental housing? Should the city government bear all the cost, or should private homeowners and landlords contribute? What scale and pace of response is appropriate given the uncertainty of climate change and the high costs involved in achieving resilience?
- Public policy decisions related to climate change must take into account political, economic, and historical realities. Social and environmental justice issues will certainly arise.
- Effective debate on climate adaptation will require a reliance on shared data and forecasts, which may be interpreted differently, but which can provide a believable basis for discussion.
- Agreement depends on finding ways to package multiple issues together so that different groups can secure their highest priorities while relaxing their demands in other areas. Tackling issues separately almost always leads to deadlock.
- The most feasible adaptation measures are those that meet multiple goals, including objectives that are independent of climate change (and all the uncertainties that come with it). We call these no-regrets actions. They can form the core of a more far-reaching response.
This game is one of an initial set of three games that the MIT Science Impact Collaborative has developed to illustrate the need to consider climate change in existing policy debates such as how to improve the condition of a city’s housing stock, rather than only tackling climate change as a separate and comprehensive issue. The other two games written for this series are Water Use and Flooding.
For all parties:
- General Instructions
Confidential instructions to the player negotiating for:
- Mayor J. Gray
- Director of City Planning Department
- Director of Public Housing Authority
- Evantown Homeowners Association
- Senior Citizens Organization
- Evantown Environmental and Social Action
- Construction Industry
- All of the above
- Teaching note
Climate change; adaptation; housing; multiparty negotiating; public dispute resolution;
Heat Islands Attributes
- Time required:
- 1-2 hours
- Number of participants:
- Teams involved:
- Agent present:
- Neutral third party present:
- Teaching notes available:
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If you wish to order multiple copies of a role simulation for use in a course or workshop, simply enter the total number of participants in the box next to “Participant Copies.” There is no need to calculate how many of each role is required; the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center will calculate the appropriate numbers of each role to provide, based on the total number of participants. For example, if you wish to order a 2-party role simulation for use with a class of 30 students, you would enter “30” in the box next to “Participant Copies.” You then would receive 15 copies of one role and 15 copies of the other role, for use with your 30 participants. As another example, if you ordered 30 participant copies of a 6-party role simulation, you would receive 5 copies of each role.
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