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Managed retreat of coastal communities: understanding responses to projected sea level rise

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Listed:
  • Kim S. Alexander
  • Anthony Ryan
  • Thomas G. Measham

Abstract

Managed retreat -- the relocation of homes and infrastructure under threat from coastal flooding -- is one of the few policy options available for coastal communities facing long-term risks from accelerated sea level rise. At present, little is known about how the Australian public perceives policy options to mitigate sea level rise risks. This paper explores a range of different decision-making criteria used to assess a managed retreat scheme. A metatheoretical social functionalist framework is used to make sense of personal concerns elicited from an online survey asking respondents to consider a managed retreat scheme. The framework proposes that people can act intuitively as scientists, economists, politicians, prosecutors and theologians, when considering a complex topic such as managed retreat policy. The research found that the survey respondents are more likely to consider the topic of managed retreat from multiple functional perspectives than from a single functional perspective. The type of social functionalist frameworks that people used to assess the Conditional Occupancy Rights scheme was found to be influenced by their perceptions of sea level rise risk. The findings have implications for public debates about the long-term risks of sea level rise and for engaging with the community about managed retreat policy options.

Suggested Citation

  • Kim S. Alexander & Anthony Ryan & Thomas G. Measham, 2012. "Managed retreat of coastal communities: understanding responses to projected sea level rise," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(4), pages 409-433, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jenpmg:v:55:y:2012:i:4:p:409-433
    DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2011.604193
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/09640568.2011.604193
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew Macintosh, 2013. "Coastal climate hazards and urban planning: how planning responses can lead to maladaptation," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 18(7), pages 1035-1055, October.
    2. Beatriz Azevedo de Almeida & Ali Mostafavi, 2016. "Resilience of Infrastructure Systems to Sea-Level Rise in Coastal Areas: Impacts, Adaptation Measures, and Implementation Challenges," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(11), pages 1-28, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics

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