COSSPP faculty research on sea level rise contributing to gentrification sparks public interest

The Florida Roundup’s Associate Producer Katherine G. Hobbs hosted Florida State University Department of Urban and Regional Planning (DURP) Professor William Butler to discuss how sea level rise contributes to gentrification based on a recent report for FSU’s LeRoy Collins Institute on March 25.

Butler authored the report with FSU DURP Professor Tisha Holmes and current University of Illinois Chicago Professor April Jackson for FSU’s LeRoy Collins Institute looking specifically at Pinellas, Miami-Dade and Duval counties.

In the segment, which begins at 27:39, Butler explained lower-income individuals living inland will suffer from gentrification as wealthy Floridians move inland to avoid rising waters.

Additionally, Jessica Meszaros, All Things Considered host and sustainability reporter for WUSF Public Media and NPR for the Tampa Bay area, wrote an informative story on the topic.

“[The] team identified areas of risk through mapping; analyzed policies to determine how effectively coastal municipalities are planning for sea level rise and how effectively inland municipalities are planning to protect affordable housing; and interviewed policymakers, planners, housing officials, and community advocates.

It’s expected that over the next 50 to 100 years, depending on the pace of sea level rise, many residents will not be able to stay along some of Florida’s highly populated coasts, Butler said.

‘They might move inland to higher ground. When they do so people are already likely living there,” he said. ‘That could lead to a process of gentrification, which is essentially pricing out the people who are there, as land values increase, as densification occurs in development.’ ”

Read Meszaros’ full story here.