Published: March 14, 2021
Karen Bailey

One of ENVS' newest faculty member, Assistant Professor Karen Bailey, has been awarded funding from the Nature Conservancy to fund her project "Understanding Systematic Inequities of Climate Adaptation: an Analysis of Flood Mitigation Policies and Planning In New York State". Climate change is predicted to have significant negative impacts on social, economic and ecological wellbeing of communities around the world. As a result, adaptation planning is an urgent priority for leaders seeking to increase climate resilience of their communities. Land use and infrastructure policies aimed at mitigating sea-level rise is a key component of New York State’s Climate Action Plan. However, climate change and associated adaptation policies have the potential to exacerbate existing social-inequities if they are not designed to specifically yield equitable distribution of adaptation costs and benefits. This project proposes a combination of semi-structured interviews and participatory scenario planning with diverse stakeholder groups to conduct a collaborative equity analysis of existing flood mitigation policies in coastal and riverine communities in New York State. The results of this study will be an important resource for local decision makers as they seek to improve current policies and design more equitable and effective climate adaptation planning in the future. Furthermore, this project will provide a framework for using an equity lens to design and analyze climate adaptation in other geographies.