A home on Staten Island’s Oakwood Beach is demolished in 2014.Photographer: Andrew Burton/Getty Images
A home on Staten Island’s Oakwood Beach is demolished in 2014.Photographer: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

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Liz Koslov for Bloomberg — Who Will Manage the US Climate Retreat?

As climate change intensifies, communities like Oyster, Virginia, grapple with the complexities of relocation amid rising sea levels and frequent extreme weather events. Many wonder whether relocation—or managed retreat—is a sustainable response to climate risk.

UCLA Professor of Urban Planning Liz Koslov shares insights on the challenges of managed retreat in a wildfire context, offering a comprehensive perspective on this climate adaptation strategy in a new Bloomberg article.

“One big issue with that is that in a flood context if you remove development, you’re both reducing exposure and you’re reducing the risk, because you’ve restored a floodplain, or at least it’s absorbent space,” Koslov says. “Whereas with fire, a big contributor to fire risk is a lot of flammable overgrowth. If you just do a buyout with no attention to what happens to the land afterwards, [you] could increase fire risk rather than reduce it.”