“Fight or Flight? Rethinking the Urban Footprint is a six-part series that will address how the urgency of climate change requires design professionals to rethink the built environment. Rising seas, extreme heat, drought, and wildfires are among the environmental stressors that will continue to affect communities throughout the United States and the world. We are now confronted with the urgent need of creating relocation strategies for individual households, communities, and cities.

As architects, planners, landscape architects, and related professionals, it is our ethical responsibility to integrate thinking about relocation into our practices. The economic, social, and environmental impacts associated with climate migration and relocation will be a large part of this conversation, along with equity and environmental justice. We recognize that it is incumbent upon us to find appropriate pathways forward as swiftly as possible. To that end, this series is organized into six sessions:

Climate Justice and Equity

The final program in the Fight or Flight series will focus on issues of climate justice and equity:

  • How can we embed environmental justice and equity issues in climate adaptation actions?
  • What elements of existing systems must we confront first before we can develop equitable adaptation programs?
  • Realizing that we will not be able to fix everything, what should we prioritize to achieve the most equitable outcomes?
  • How should public health outcomes inform adaptation programs?
  • Is there a federal role in overcoming local politics and systems that may not otherwise support equitable outcomes?
  • How do we manage complacency and a false sense that “government” will take care of climate adaptation actions?