Friday, April 25, 2014

Civil Engineering and the Future of Managed Retreat

This is a must read on the Atlantic Cities website - Post-Sandy, Designers Are Forced to Imagine Asking People to Move.  The Era of Climate Change and the Era of Choices are trending together - - in many cases we will be the professional party that breaks into two camps - - one being defend at all costs against the forces of mother nature and the other thinking it is not sacrilegious to imagine that sustainability and greater resilience will require us to contemplate retreat in some cases.

From the article:

"The idea of forcing people to move after they’ve suffered life-altering trauma has been anathema. Voluntary buyouts are expensive, and uprooting holdouts may require condemnation, which is expensive, time consuming and — in the minds of many — a violation of private property rights. (New York’s Governor Cuomo won’t expand the $400-million Sandy voluntary buyout program in New York City after approving the purchase of only a few hundred homes.) At the same time, taxpayer commitment to rebuilding is fading as costs exacted by predictable disasters like Sandy reach the tens of billions each, and people get subsidized to rebuild repeatedly in areas of known danger."

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