As cities become increasingly vulnerable to sea level rise, coastal erosion, and extreme weather events due to climate change, Rebuild is exploring whether it makes sense to move away from areas that are most at risk. So-called adaptive migration or coastal unbuilding is an adaptation strategy that calls for relocating people and unbuilding land in order to create intertidal zones that could lessen the effects of future flooding and storm surge.
Rebuild is surveying communities in Staten Island, Long Island, and New Jersey that have opted to have their homes bought out, communities that are in the process of lobbying for a buyout, and communities that have chosen to rebuild in place. It will use this data to compare outcomes over time related to residents’ mental, physical, social, and financial health, and analyze the effectiveness of adaptive migration.
A survey process is underway and analysis will be released later this year.