woman walking through flooded street

Koslov on the Retreat From Climate-Threatened Zones

Liz Koslov of UCLA Luskin Urban Planning and the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability spoke to Bloomberg CityLab about efforts to protect people from the risks of climate-related disaster through “managed retreat.” Communities threatened by flooding, wildfire and other emergencies face choices that can be emotionally and logistically difficult: Should they fortify their homes to withstand climate perils or retreat to safer locations? Koslov conducted extensive research into how this debate played out in coastal New York after Hurricane Sandy in 2012. With a National Science Foundation grant, she is now studying effective and equitable climate strategies for residents of areas with the highest wildfire risk. Coastal and wooded areas present different challenges, Koslov said. “With fire, a big contributor to fire risk is a lot of flammable overgrowth. If you just do a buyout with no attention to what happens to the land afterward, [you] could increase fire risk rather than reduce it.”


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