As we contemplate the future effects of climate change, often low-income communities and poorer nations are feeling the effects today. As wildfires destroy homes and rising sea levels push people out of their communities, those with less financial stability are the most vulnerable population to climate change and often the first to feel its effects.
Here’s your news round-up on how climate change is displacing low-income communities:
A history of climate migration can provide context to this growing issue. Basically: We’ve been doing this throughout human history. Changing climates and the quest for better living conditions enabled us to move all across the globe. But in modern times, often less wealthy countries are also the most vulnerable to climate change — where cities and entire nations need to be evacuated as a result of climate change.
In the wake of Camp Fire, the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history to date, there were 14,000 residences destroyed; 52,000 people evacuated; and a new population of displaced people joining the state’s already overwhelming homeless community, according to this New York Times article.
“Now, almost a month after the fire erupted, with the weather worsening and evacuation shelters closing or relocating farther away, tensions are growing between those who were already homeless and the newly homeless, as each group reaches for the other’s resources.”
As rising sea levels creep in on beachfront properties, investors and wealthier homeowners are looking towards higher ground — areas that were originally unattractive and housed more low-income communities. Although we want to design in a more resilient and safe way, this will directly impact the low-income communities that have made their homes here.
BONUS PIECE: Sinking Cities “Miami” is one major example of climate gentrification on the city’s famous beach properties.
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