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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Following the lead of several other Bay Area cities, Oakland and San Jose this week adopted bans on natural gas in the construction of most new buildings. Last July, Berkeley became the first city in the nation to ban natural gas. Other Bay Area cities, including San Francisco and Richmond, followed suit in subsequent months.
A recent article in Politico highlights the massive risks that climate change poses to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the federal home lending entities.
A new article in the New York Times highlights the nearly quarter-million flood insurance policies that are in violation of a simple rule: if you want publicly-subsidized flood insurance, you cannot build a home that is likely to flood.