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Water-Related News

Study: Sea level rise may gentrify Florida’s inland regions

Lower-income households or renters living inland would be the most impacted by sea level rise displacement, and they tend to be those with the least capacity to move and adapt, a FSU researcher said.

A recent report on climate change examines how sea level rise could cause gentrification, as wealthy residents along Florida's coast move inland. Researchers have highlighted the need for clear policies to address the looming issue.

The LeRoy Collins Institute at Florida State University funded the study that looked specifically at Pinellas, Miami-Dade and Duval counties.

“We were really looking for relatively high population, relatively high-density, variation in terms of coastlines, and also variation in terms of demographic and population,” said William Butler, a professor within the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at FSU, who was part of a team working on the study titled Addressing Climate Driven Displacement: Planning for Sea Level Rise in Florida’s Coastal Communities and Affordable Housing in Inland Communities in the face of Climate Gentrification.

His team identified areas of risk through mapping; analyzed policies to determine how effectively coastal municipalities are planning for sea level rise and how effectively inland municipalities are planning to protect affordable housing; and interviewed policymakers, planners, housing officials, and community advocates.