Greg Lindsay's Blog

August 01, 2023  |  permalink

At What Point Managed Retreat?

Back in June, I was invited to speak on a pair of panels at Columbia University’s “At What Point Managed Retreat?” the premier conference devoted to the policy and practice of managed retreat and climate migration. My first session exploring climate migration and private sector’s role, asking “how did we get here?” was chaired by KM Sustainability/InnSure principal Patrick Marchman, featured the Environmental Defense Fund’s Louisiana state director Liz Russell, Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law fellow Haley Gentry, and StateBook founder and CEO Calandra Cruickshank, with my bringing up the rear. (Watch above.)

The second, which explore how the real estate and insurance industries are reshaping climate migrants’ options — a subject at the top of mind as multiple insurers adopt blanket bans on writing new policies in Florida and California — kept me and Calandra and added Harvard GSD’s Hannah Teicher, the Environmental Defense Fund’s Carolyn Kousky, Stafford Rosenbaum LLP partner Jessica Mederson, and session chair Monika Serrano, the resilience program manager at Turner Construction Company. (Watch below.)

In both sessions, I discussed our mission at Climate Alpha to convince real estate and institutional investors it was in their long term interest to steer growth from high-risk coastal areas toward more resilient regions inland. But old habits are hard to break.



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Greg Lindsay is a generalist, urbanist, futurist, and speaker. He is a 2022-2023 urban tech fellow at Cornell Tech’s Jacobs Institute, where he leads The Metaverse Metropolis — a new initiative exploring the implications of augmented reality at urban scale. He is also a senior fellow of MIT’s Future Urban Collectives Lab, a senior advisor to Climate Alpha, and a non-resident senior fellow of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Strategy Initiative.

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