Webinar Series 2022

Webinar Photo

Rating 2.0: Equity in Action

February 3, 2022
11:00 am – 12:30 pm (EST)

FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is undergoing some major transformations. A key part of this transformation is how FEMA understands and calculates flood risk. Under the prior rating system, NFIP policyholders have been subject to flood insurance premium increases every year. This methodology has not changed since 1970s; since then, technology has evolved and so has FEMA’s understanding of flood risk. The new pricing methodology in Risk Rating 2.0 can help stop this pattern of indefinite price increases by delivering more accurate and equitable rates.  

The goal of Risk Rating 2.0 is to deliver easy-to-understand premiums that are distributed more equitably across all policyholders based on the replacement cost value of their home and their property’s unique flood risk. By addressing the current inequities, Risk Rating 2.0 puts the NFIP on the path towards sound financial footing by creating a more stable program that is accountable to taxpayers and more accurately reflects flood risk.

NVRC is pleased to host Maggie Dunn and Richard Sobata from FEMA Region III for a webinar on how the new pricing methodology will impact our region. 

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  1. Welcome/Introduction 

  2. The NFIP Today

  3. Transforming the NFIP: Risk Rating 2.0 

  4. Risk Rating 2.0 in Virginia 

  5. Questions  


Risk Rating 2.0 NVRC Presentation

Video of Webinar

Video from the webinar is not yet available for the public. When released, the link will be available here. 


Green Design and Planning of Data Centers: The Experiences of Frankfurt, Germany and Northern Virginia

February 23, 2022
12:00 pm – 1:15 pm (EST)

Northern Virginia’s future climate and sustainability planning will rely with greater regularity on the strengthening the ties between sustainable planning, design, construction and operations of large-scale data centers and improved operations, reliability, and profitability.  Looking across the Atlantic and the eco-friendly design and architecture of data centers in cities such as Frankfurt, Germany, is one way to advance this positive work.

For example, Citibank’s Frankfurt am Main Data Center, was the first data center to secure a Platinum LEED certificate.  The building evolved through a multi-disciplinary team that fused ecological landscape plans, passive solar and natural daylighting design features, recycled materials with energy efficient operations and eye to the bottom line of profitability.

Please join NVRC, Virginia Tech and ARUP for a webinar on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, 12:00pm to 1:15pm (EST) in which Mr. Karsten Spengler, director of ARUP Germany’s Advanced Building Engineering operations, will share the evolution of the design, plans and construction of the Citibank Frankfurt am Main Data Center.  Mr. Spengler’s will be joined by Dr. Igor Cvetkovic, Virginia Tech, who will share the work of his team and Institute with energy efficient and green design technologies of data centers in Northern Virginia.  

Sign up Link



12:00 pm (EDT)      Welcome/Introduction

Ms.  Susan Piedmont- Palladino, Director of Virginia Tech’s Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center. 
Dr. Dale Medearis, Senior Regional Planner, Northern Virginia Regional Commission

12:10 pm (EDT)      An Overview of Frankfurt/Hesse

Mr. Karsten Spengler, Director, Science, Industry & Technology Lead, ARUP/Frankfurt

12:35 pm (EDT)      Data Centers’ Ties Between Design & Efficiency

Dr. Igor Cvetkovic, Research Scientist and Technical Director at Virginia Tech’s Center for Power Electronic Systems

1:00 pm (EDT)        Questions and Answers

Facilitated by Ms. Susan Piedmont-Palladino

1:15 pm (EDT)        Close

Video of Webinar

Video from the webinar can be accessed here: https://youtu.be/vyS-WWnEVEs


Habitat Protection Strategies for Northern Virginia:  Creative Innovations From Germany

March 2, 2022 
12:00pm - 1:15pm (EST)

Rapid urbanization across Northern Virginia is moving local governments and small businesses to seek creative programs that limit habitat erosion, destruction of biodiversity and the loss of native species.   

In Dortmund, Germany, one small business entrepreneur works with the local community and government to rehabilitate habits (especially for bees) and biodiversity through practical, small-scale low-cost ways.  Sebastian Everding and the firm with which he now works - “Better World Machines” – partners with local community associations, businesses, NGOs and schools to collect former gumball vending machines for repair and conversion into seed dispensers.  Everding has strategically placed the re-purposed seed dispensers near libraries, office complexes and public transit stations.  At a cost of $0.50, residents purchase seed packets from the dispensers and scatter or plant the seeds at local parks, open spaces or even planters on balconies across the City.  Everding’s work has spread to dozens of other cities in Germany - and Europe.  The evolution is Everding’s business model is a tale of small-scale success fusing creative enthusiasm, low-tech, workforce training, passion for sustainability and biodiversity. Wehrheim, Germany, and the work of Ms. Christina Gruber-Eifert, offers another unique perspective into the applications of Better World Machines and local-level environmental education.

Please join the NVRC and the George Mason University School of Business for a webinar on March 2, 2022, in which Sebastian Everding and Christina Gruber-Eifert, will share the evolution of their work and the business, training, education and business lessons models.  A discussion will follow about the potential for replication of this work across Northern Virginia. 

Sign Up Link   



12:00pm (EST)      Welcome/Introduction

Dr. Lisa Gring-Pemble, George Mason University School of Business
Dr. Dale Medearis, Northern Virginia Regional Commission

12:05pm (EST)      

The case of the “Better World Machines”

Mr. Sebastian Everding, “Better World Machines” 

The case of Wehrheim, Germany

Ms. Christina Gruber-Eifert, Wehrheim, Germany

12:55pm (EST)      Question and Answer

Dr. Lisa Gring-Pemble, George Mason University School of Business
Dr. Dale Medearis, Northern Virginia Regional Commission

1:15pm (EST)         Close

Video of Webinar

Video from the webinar can be accessed here: https://youtu.be/I4avl1Fu6A0


Watershed Resiliency Planning: Lessons from the Danube

Office of Science and Technology Austria & Northern Virginia Regional Commission

Date: March 29, 2022. 12:00 PM — 1:15 PM (ET)

The foreseeable increase of more intense storms, major weather events, and sea-level rise will result in higher levels of flooding across the greater Washington DC region.  This is especially the case for communities of the region located directly along the Potomac River.  The union of these phenomena will compel local governments of the region to think, plan, and implement more holistic and creative resiliency strategies.  

For over 40 years, the City of Vienna, Austria, has pioneered a holistic approach to managing the Danube River that has made the city and region a global pioneer in flood management, resiliency planning, and livability.  A consensus-based approach that fuses applied science, political compromise, and convergence of gray and green infrastructure planning has helped transform the Danube River from an environmental threat to an asset.

Please join the Office of Science and Technology Austria and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission for a webinar on March 29, 2022, from 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM (ET).  A panel of Austrian and U.S. scientists, researchers, and local technical experts will share their work to promote climate-resilient planning on the Danube and Potomac rivers – and potential lessons to be exchanged between the two concerning climate resiliency.

Sign Up Link 



12:00pm (EST)      Welcome/Introduction

  • Dr. Johannes Aigner, Director, Office of Science and Technology, Embassy of Austria
  • Dr. Dale Medearis, Senior Regional Planner, Northern Virginia Regional Commission

12:05pm (EST) “Overview of urban development and urban planning in Vienna.”

  • Prof. Andreas Voigt, Professor of Spatial Development, Technical University of Vienna, Austria

12:25pm (EST) “Vienna, a visionary example of dealing with urban floods.”

  • Prof. Bernd Scholl, Professor Emeritus, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

12:45pm (EST)  Observations from the U.S. (facilitated by Dr. Dale Medearis)

  • Mr. Daniel Medina, City of Alexandria
  • Mr. Matthew Meyers, Fairfax County
  • Dr. Celso Ferreira, George Mason University

1:00pm (EST) Question and Answers

  • Dr. Johannes Aigner, Director, Office of Science and Technology
  • Dr. Dale Medearis, Northern Virginia Regional Commission

 1:15pm (EST)         Close

Video of Webinar

Video from the webinar can be accessed here: https://youtu.be/SekGZ9d_YI8


WEBINAR - Cross-National Perspectives About Local Emergency Response: The Experiences Between the Fire Departments of Arlington County, Virginia and Aachen, Germany

Date: May 18, 2022
12:00 P.M. – 1:30 P.M. (EST) 


Global engagement by local governments is now a necessity, not an option. Like no other time before, the scale of global climate change, health pandemics, trade and investment, and other issues compel the strategic involvement of local governments. This is especially the case now with public safety and emergency response.

For approximately five years, the Arlington County Fire Department has pursued a special form of global engagement with counterparts from Aachen, Germany. Through peer-to-peer and technical exchanges, Arlington County has studied and learned about the potential applications of emergency response policy and technical innovations from counterparts in Aachen, Germany – Arlington County’s sister city. Several practices that the Arlington County Fire Department employs today are like those seen in Aachen and other fire departments in Europe. 

The goal of the webinar is to explore and continue the conversations and research to determine if and how to implement European methods and practices into National Capital Region firefighting and emergency medical response services. Arlington County is now looking to further this learning to support its work and understanding about the convergence of emergency response and climate change – especially regarding storms and associated flooding, which pose an increasing threat to jurisdictions in the National Capital Region and require comprehensive and cooperative efforts to mitigate.


Please join the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission on May 18, 2022, from 12:00 P.M. to 1:30 P.M. EST for a webinar that features the best practices and innovations developed through the international partnership between the Arlington County Fire Department and the Aachen, Germany Fire Department. 

This virtual conversation highlights the collaborative work of Sebastian Ganser, a firefighter, paramedic, and fire instructor with Aachen, Germany’s Fire Department, and Justin Tirelli, Fire/EMS Captain II and Water Rescue Program Manager at Arlington County Fire Department. Speakers will share the origins and progress of the unique relationship, the lessons and outcomes of their exchanges, the future of their work together, and the potential to replicate and expand opportunities for capturing takeaways from international public safety agencies back to jurisdictions in the National Capital Region.

Sign Up Link 



12:00 P.M. (EST) Welcome/Introductions

  • Scott Boggs, COG Department of Homeland Security and Public Safety Managing Director
  • Dale Medearis, NVRC Senior Regional Planner

12:05 P.M. (EST) The Origins of Arlington’s Partnership with Aachen

  •  Hanna Eun, Arlington Sister City Association Chair

 12:10 P.M. (EST) The Case of Aachen, Germany

  •  Lieutenant Sebastian Ganser, Aachen, Germany Fire Department (Feuerwehr Aachen)            

 12:30 P.M. (EST) The Case of Arlington County

  •  Captain Justin Tirelli, Arlington County Fire Department

 12:50 P.M. (EST)  Question and Answer with Speakers

  •  Facilitated by Eli Russ, COG Senior Public Safety Planner and Dale Medearis, NVRC Senior Regional Planner

 1:30 P.M. (EST) Closing Remarks

Video from the webinar can be accessed here: https://youtu.be/SiuSKxkMs44


Webinar on Innovative Local-Level Surplus Food Re-distribution: Case of Tafel, Germany

Northern Virginia Regional Commission and Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions

Date: June 9, 2022 - 12 Noon to 1 PM (EST)

The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified food insecurity throughout Northern Virginia.  Disruptions to the operations of food relief operations and food pantries threaten the health and dignity of the sick, elderly and marginalized populations.  Food waste also has a substantial impact on climate change.

As the communities of Northern Virginia work to strengthen surplus food distribution, they stand to learn from the creative work across the Atlantic.  In metropolitan regions such as Stuttgart, organizations such as “Tafel” coordinate volunteers, local charities and food retailers to collect surplus foods and for distribution to those in need.  

Please join us June 9, 2022, from 12:00pm to 1:00pm for a discussion with Bastian Nadj of Tafel, in Stuttgart, Germany about sustainable surplus food redistribution in his region and potential applications of lessons to Northern Virginia.  

Sign Up Link



12:00     Welcome

  • Eric Goplerud, Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions
  • Dale Medearis, Senior Regional Planner, Northern Virginia Regional Commission

12:05     Presentation – “Tafel”

  • Mr. Bastian Nadj, Tafel, Stuttgart, Germany

12:35     Question & Answer

  • Eric Goplerud, Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions
  • Dale Medearis, Senior Regional Planner
  • Debbie Spiliotopoulos, Senior Regional Planner, Northern Virginia Regional Commission

 1:00        Close


“Trans-Atlantic Economy at the Local Level:  The Case of Northern Virginia & Hamburg, Germany”

Tuesday, September 20
11 to 12:45 PM (EST)

Registration Link


Please join the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung USA and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission for an online event on Tuesday, September 20, 2022, 11:00am – 12:30pm Eastern time, that will explore the dynamic of economic engagement between the United States and Germany at the local level through the work of Hamburg, Germany and Arlington County, Virginia.

The United States and Europe remain each other’s most important markets: the transatlantic economy is the largest and wealthiest market in the world with strong ties in foreign direct investment. While there are well documented metrics at the national and state-levels concerning global trade and investment, jobs and tourism, there is practically nothing at the local level. This void make strategic planning and regional marketing difficult for regional and local governments. This discussion will help shed light on experiences in Northern Virginia and Hamburg with foreign direct investment and subnational cooperation.


Mr. Paul Linnarz, Director, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, USA

Mr. Robert Lazaro, Executive Director, Northern Virginia Regional Commission

Overview of the Transatlantic Economy

Dr. Dan Hamilton, Johns Hopkins University, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies

Interpreting Global Economic Engagement in Arlington County, Virginia

Ms. Marian Marquez, Director, Business Investment Group, Arlington County Economic Development

Interpreting Global Economic Engagement in Hamburg, Germany

Ms. Caroline Berg, Project Director of International Investments, City of Hamburg, Germany

Question and Answer/Discussion of Next Steps

Dr. Dale Medearis, Senior Regional Planner, Northern Virginia Regional Commission


Video from the webinar can be accessed here: https://youtu.be/tX8e2xiztuw

You can read a report from the webinar here.