Climigration Case Studies

In 2010, the city of Constitución, Chile was hit with an 8.8 earthquake. The city was faced with the question of whether and how to rebuild. The development of the reconstruction plan and its rocky implementation offer insight into the variety of forces that affect large-scale community relocation.

In 2010, the city of Constitución, Chile was hit with an 8.8 earthquake. The city was faced with the question of whether and how to rebuild. The development of the reconstruction plan and its rocky implementation offer insight into the variety of forces that affect large-scale community relocation.

Post-Sandy, something within the Staten Island community shifted; many residents, who had in the past firmly advocated for rebuilding, now pushed for a different approach: buyouts. Residents decided to form a committee, which worked tirelessly to realize buyouts for the community of Foxbeach, an approximately 60 acre (27-block) neighborhood of 165 homes within the town of Oakwood Beach.

Post-Sandy, something within the Staten Island community shifted; many residents, who had in the past firmly advocated for rebuilding, now pushed for a different approach: buyouts. Residents decided to form a committee, which worked tirelessly to realize buyouts for the community of Foxbeach, an approximately 60 acre (27-block) neighborhood of 165 homes within the town of Oakwood Beach.

Initially located a reasonable distance from the Ninglick River, coastal erosion has the community of Newtok, Alaska, looking for a new permanent home. This case study shows that even with community willingness and some federal support, there are still institutional barriers to managed retreat. 

Initially located a reasonable distance from the Ninglick River, coastal erosion has the community of Newtok, Alaska, looking for a new permanent home. This case study shows that even with community willingness and some federal support, there are still institutional barriers to managed retreat. 

Nestled between the foothills of the Catskill Mountains and the Susquehanna River, repeated flood events convinced residents of Sidney, New York to plan for relocation. Funding issues and a slow buyout process have thrown a wrench in the successful implementation of the community's vision.

Nestled between the foothills of the Catskill Mountains and the Susquehanna River, repeated flood events convinced residents of Sidney, New York to plan for relocation. Funding issues and a slow buyout process have thrown a wrench in the successful implementation of the community's vision.

Princeville, North Carolina, considered to be the oldest U.S. city officially chartered by African-Americans, has both lots of history and lots of problems. Nearly destroyed by Hurricane Floyd in 1999, town pride in Princeville makes the concept of relocation hard to bear.

Princeville, North Carolina, considered to be the oldest U.S. city officially chartered by African-Americans, has both lots of history and lots of problems. Nearly destroyed by Hurricane Floyd in 1999, town pride in Princeville makes the concept of relocation hard to bear.

Due to severe coastal erosion and flooding, in August 2016, the village of Shismaref voted to relocate the entire community to a location about five miles away. The village has attempted to move two times previously, but the attempt was derailed by several factors including the long-term feasibility of alternate locations. Will the third time be a charm?

Due to severe coastal erosion and flooding, in August 2016, the village of Shismaref voted to relocate the entire community to a location about five miles away. The village has attempted to move two times previously, but the attempt was derailed by several factors including the long-term feasibility of alternate locations. Will the third time be a charm?

As America's fourth largest city, the threat of repeated flooding events in Houston is particularly concerning. Despite this threat, development continues to expand, largely unchecked, which in turn increases flood risks for many. Will the city be able to bring these two conflicting issues into alignment?

As America's fourth largest city, the threat of repeated flooding events in Houston is particularly concerning. Despite this threat, development continues to expand, largely unchecked, which in turn increases flood risks for many. Will the city be able to bring these two conflicting issues into alignment?

Isle de Jean Charles, 80 miles from New Orleans, has what many sinking towns around the U.S. would love: money to relocate. But even now that over half of the families have moved, many of those remaining are reluctant to leave, having put roots in the land over generations. With a September 2022 deadline to spend the $48 million, these residents will have to make a choice soon.

Isle de Jean Charles, 80 miles from New Orleans, has what many sinking towns around the U.S. would love: money to relocate. But even now that over half of the families have moved, many of those remaining are reluctant to leave, having put roots in the land over generations. With a September 2022 deadline to spend the $48 million, these residents will have to make a choice soon.

In
 2007,
 the Papua New Guinea and Bougainville governments agreed to 
resettle the 6000 
inhabitants 
of the 
Carteret 
and three 
other atolls 
to the
 much larger island
 of
 Bougainville due to increasing 
land 
loss, 
salt
water 
inundation, and
 growing 
food 
insecurity. However, relocation has not started in earnest yet because there is not enough funding for building houses on Bougainville.

In
 2007,
 the Papua New Guinea and Bougainville governments agreed to 
resettle the 6000 
inhabitants 
of the 
Carteret 
and three 
other atolls 
to the
 much larger island
 of
 Bougainville due to increasing 
land 
loss, 
salt
water 
inundation, and
 growing 
food 
insecurity. However, relocation has not started in earnest yet because there is not enough funding for building houses on Bougainville.

 
Kiribati, a collection of 33 coral atolls and reef islands scattered across a swath of the Pacific Ocean about twice the size of Alaska, lies about six feet above sea level. With models indicating that sea level rise could reach five to six feet by 2100, Kiribati is in serious danger. With this in mind, Former President Anote Tong led the charge to buy about 6,000 acres in nearby Fiji for what the government termed “migration with dignity.” 

Kiribati, a collection of 33 coral atolls and reef islands scattered across a swath of the Pacific Ocean about twice the size of Alaska, lies about six feet above sea level. With models indicating that sea level rise could reach five to six feet by 2100, Kiribati is in serious danger. With this in mind, Former President Anote Tong led the charge to buy about 6,000 acres in nearby Fiji for what the government termed “migration with dignity.”