Before the Flood: Urban Geographies of Transformational Climate Adaptation

Before the Flood: Urban Geographies of Transformational Climate Adaptation

Project Team: 

Zachary Colbert, Assistant Professor, Carleton University Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism     

Monika Emery, PhD Candidate, Department of Geography 

Matthew Nestico, M.Arch Alumnus, Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism 

The Cliff Team has received a SSRCH Explore Development Grant.  

Prof. Colbert is the Principal Investigator for the grant and this research postulates that the economic impacts of climate change in the built environment (increased energy costs, flood remediation, accelerated degradation of municipal infrastructure, construction of new sea barriers, climate migration, etc.) will be felt unevenly, creating a new set of economic and societal pressures that will amplify or alter pre-existing forces of gentrification, urban renewal and housing security in Canadian cities. Cataloguing and visualizing data related to these potential multi-family housing market impacts of climate change will contribute to public discourse surrounding urban development practices in Canadian cities and to the epistemology of climate change adaptation. This research will develop both qualitative and quantitative data sets, visualized as maps, of the potential impacts of climate change on patterns of gentrification and housing security in the low-lying community of Richmond, BC.  Specifically, GIS data visualization and public consultation will be utilized to examine the intersections between climate change adaptation, property values and multi-family housing policy in Richmond.  Richmond is likely to be greatly impacted by climate change. It has a population of nearly 200,000, has the highest immigrant population in Canada, is located on a floodplain, is on average one meter above sea level, and numerous new multi-family housing developments are currently being planned. This research will be used as a model for further external funding application for similar studies on other Canadian urban environments.