Cities Facing Rising Waters

An event of Bloomberg Center for Cities

crawford and slade

12:00 p.m.
Bloomberg Center for Cities, Taubman Third Floor, Harvard Kennedy School

About the Event

Guest Speakers

  • Susan Crawford, John A. Reilly Clinical Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
  • Shannon Slade, Harvard Graduate School of Design MDes 2022 and Bloomberg Harvard City Hall Fellow, Charleston, South Carolina

How can cities respond to rising sea levels threatening their most vulnerable residents? Prof. Susan Crawford will discuss findings from her book “Charleston: Race, Water, and the Coming Storm” with Shannon Slade, whose work as a Bloomberg Harvard City Hall Fellow in Charleston focuses on flooding and civic innovation.

Lunch will be offered and registration is requested.

This event is open to all Harvard University ID holders.


We welcome individuals with accessibility needs to participate in our events. Contact us at to request accommodations or if you have questions.​


HLS professor Susan Crawford teaching

Susan Crawford

John A. Reilly Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School

Susan Crawford is the John A. Reilly Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. She previously was President Barack Obama’s special assistant to the president for science, technology, and innovation policy and co-led the FCC transition team between his and the Bush administrations. Earlier in her career, Crawford was a partner at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. As an academic, she teaches courses about climate adaptation and public leadership. Crawford is the author of several books, including “Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age” and “Fiber: The Coming Tech Revolution and Why America Might Miss It.” Her latest is “Charleston: Race, Water, and the Coming Storm.”

Shannon Slade

Shannon Slade

MDes 2022, Harvard Graduate School of Design Bloomberg Harvard City Hall Fellow, Charleston, South Carolina Mayor’s Office of Innovation

Shannon Slade is a current Bloomberg Harvard City Hall Fellow through the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative. She works in Charleston, South Carolina with the Mayor’s Office of Innovation, and partners with city leadership, staff, and residents to prepare for more frequent and severe flood impacts. Shannon’s projects include implementing data-driven measures into the city’s performance management platform, designing pilot programs targeting flood risks, and supporting citywide outreach and communications.

Shannon’s interest in more equitable and resilient cities underlies both her academic and professional work. While at Harvard, her graduate thesis examined how California’s housing policies would impact renters after a seismic event. She also assisted Professor Diane Davis with courses on both urban governance and planning in crisis zones. Prior to graduate school, Shannon worked on global mixed-use architecture projects for Gensler.

Shannon holds a Master’s in Design Studies in Risk and Resilience (with Distinction) from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Washington University in Saint Louis.

Stay up to date on our latest work to improve cities