Climate Change Is Bankrupting America’s Small Towns

A recent article in the New York Times highlights the financial crises that small towns, particularly in low-income areas, are experiencing in the face of climate shocks. Without the financial ability to rebuild and recover from natural disasters, communities enter into a downward spiral of shrinking populations and declining revenues; furthermore, those who stay in damaged communities find themselves unable to sell their homes at a price that would enable them to relocate somewhere safer.

People keep moving to the worst places for climate risk

A recent article in FastCompany highlights the troubling trend in U.S. Census data of people moving to areas of high climate risk -- such as the drought and heat-stricken Southwest or the flood-prone Florida coast-- rather away from them. The data, which show that climate change may not yet be top of mind for Americans as they decide where to live, underscore a problematic trend and a potentially important area of focus for the federal government in the future. 

Urbanist Richard Florida on the overblown tech exodus and how cities will regroup post pandemic

Urbanist Richard Florida recently appeared on the GeekWire podcast to discuss the future of cities after the pandemic. The interview is highly relevant to the Bay Area, where significant attention has been given to the Covid-spurred "tech exodus" occurring in the region-- an idea that Florida largely dismisses. 

"Net-net, it doesn’t look like we’ve had a great urban exodus," says Florida.

The ‘Old American Dream,’ a Trap as the Floods Keep Coming

An article in the New York Times highlights the experience of homeowners in Houston's poorest neighborhoods as they struggle to bounce back from climate-related natural disasters. As frequent flooding, and most recently last month's winter storm, have continued to hit communities, low-income communities are the slowest to bounce back, if they do at all.

High ground, high prices: How climate change is speeding gentrification

A recent article in CNN highlights how climate change is accelerating gentrification as wealthier people seek to move to neighborhoods of lower climate risk, such as those situated on higher elevation and less prone to floods. The article highlights gentrification in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina, where the share of Black population in Census tracts with the highest median elevations — those a meter or more above sea level — fell by more than a third between 2000 and 2019.

Real Estate Investors Want to Know What Cities Are Doing About Climate Risks

An article in Bloomberg CityLab highlights how real estate investors and developers are increasingly taking into consideration climate risk factors in deciding whether to purchase land, including looking at what local governments have done to prepare for climate change. The article underscores the fact that the real estate industry is increasingly recognizing that the long-term viability of investments will be dependent on factors such as climate predictions, critical infrastructure investments, and fiscal policy constraints.