PLAN 5880: Climate Change and Coastal Planning
Climate Change and Coastal Planning
The impacts of climate change on coastal communities will be great. A recent study found that at one meter of sea level rise, over 30% of land in one city, Virginia Beach VA will be submerged. Communities that begin planning for these impacts now will be best able to respond to them without sacrificing public safety, quality of life, or environmental quality.
Students in PLAC 5880 examined the implications of climate change on and identified response strategies for the densely urban and coastal community of Virginia Beach. Indeed, a recent study stated that at one meter of sea level rise, over 30% of land in Virginia Beach will be submerged. The range of impacts this will have on people, housing, businesses, tourism, infrastructure, public facilities, and public safety is an enormous planning challenge. Yet the students determined through a combination of mitigation, adaptation, and accommodation strategies, carefully executed through an iterative, comprehensive planning process, the City of Virginia Beach would be better able to confront the impacts that climate change will have on the day-to-day lives of its citizens. They stressed that by tackling these issues now, before the impacts are imminent, the City of Virginia Beach can take a leadership role in climate change planning. The final report from the class was presented to the Virginia Beach City Council at the conclusion of the course.
The class received financial support from the Virginia Sea Grant to complete their study. The final report can be found here.