LSU Geographer to Participate in International Conference on Infrastructure and Equity

08/16/2013 04:17 PM

BATON ROUGE –Craig Colten, Carl O. Sauer Professor of Geography, has been invited to speak at the Infrastructure and Equity Conference in Bogota, Columbia, on Aug. 21. The principal host and organizer is Columbia Humanitaria, a federal agency created in the wake of disastrous La Nina floods in 2010-2011, which guides relief and rehabilitation in the wake of disasters and fosters strong institutional and financial strategies to face future hazard events.  

Co-organizers include the Corporation Andina de Fomento, a banking organization that promotes sustainable development in Latin America, and the Centro de Investigacion Social y Economica, a public policy group that is rethinking the Latin-American development model to include social and economic rights.

The central theme of the conference will be “How can a bigger investment in infrastructure contribute toward greater social equity?” Speakers will consider the costs, challenges and social benefits of a more robust hazard mitigation infrastructure that promotes social equity. The gathering will include government officials and academic researchers from across the region. Key speakers will include Ricardo Lagos, former president of Chile, along with the Finance Ministe of Columbia and Ministers of Infrastructure from Peru and Chile.  

Colten will offer comments on the featured speakers’ presentations. He will also discuss his research on lessons learned from Louisiana’s experience with flood-control infrastructure.  His work on the relationship of levees and minority communities in New Orleans after Hurricane Betsy in 1965 will lend a North American perspective to the event. This will be his second participation with an event sponsored by Columbia Humanitaria.

“This event will offer an excellent opportunity to meet with officials and experts in hazards management from Latin America.  They seem to be pioneering collaborative efforts between private and public sector partners, and we have much to learn from them,” Colten said. “And it will be a chance to introduce them to the work we are doing here at LSU.”

For more information, contact Colten at or 225-578-6180.

Ernie  Ballard 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Friday, August 16, 2013