The recent spate of hurricanes saw one of them, Hurricane Irma, cause 1000s of mobile homes and trailers to be severely damaged or lost in the Florida Big Pine Keys area. Due to building regulations in the county, owners of such homes are prohibited from repairing the damage caused and thus, are faced with the need to find new accommodation. However, since this tends to be more costly than what they can afford, they are being pushed out away from the waterfront and are being replaced by wealthier residents moving into newly built and more expensive houses, a trend recently named “climate gentrification”.
In other parts of the country, a recent Harvard study found that demand is rising for housing on higher elevations, as worries over sea level rise become more real.
The trends and research findings cited suggest that the impacts of climate change through increased storms and sea level rise will not only be physical, but will be observed societally, especially in the demographic make-up of certain areas.
This is likely to create further economic and social problems, such as a fall in a large proportions of people who contribute to the local economy through their workforce. Further, it is likely to exacerbate social inequality and divisiveness between geographical areas, which could contribute to the disintegration in social cohesion.
Is this a trend exclusive to coastal areas? What can national governments and local authorities do to prevent these trends from exacerbating? What are some other consequences of climate gentrification on local communities and whole countries?