Housing and property - latest news and research

Climate change to spur migration from coastal flooding

Will you soon find yourself moving to a more climate-proof locality?

Many of us spend vacations just exploring. “Let’s see the Ozarks this year,” or “Let’s visit Sue in Bozeman. I’ve always wanted to know more about that part of the country.” Over the coming years, in addition to recreation and education you might start using these trips to look for your next hometown.

Thirteen million of us will be migrating inland in coming decades acLooking for a climate-proof hometownsavvyfamilies.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Evaluating-hometowns-768×511.jpg 768w, savvyfamilies.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Evaluating-hometowns-150×100.jpg 150w, savvyfamilies.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Evaluating-hometowns-400×266.jpg 400w, savvyfamilies.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Evaluating-hometowns.jpg 849w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, […]

Agrihoods can help climate-proof the cost of your food

A new type of neighborhood comes with its own farm.

Several new housing developments are moving away from the more traditional centerpieces of a community (golf courses, swimming pools, clubhouses, etc.) and making communal vegetable gardens the heart of the neighborhood. These “agrihoods” allow homeowners to buy into the garden in exchange for cheap produce. As climate change contiAn agrihood can help climate-proof your food suppynues to drive up food costs, this local growing initiative can help climate-proof […]

Teaching how to reduce stormwater pollution

Kids with squirt guns get to pollute their watershed, then learn how unhealthy runoff can be prevented.

EnviroScape modelWe understand that global warming is boosting the frequency and intensity of rainfall (particularly the Gulf Coast, Atlantic Coast and Southwest). If a downpour causes flooding, we see the damage and inconvenience.

What most of us don’t see are the many costs from pollution caused when stormwater overwhelms our sewers, pollutes our streams and beaches, and gets into our drinking water.

Now […]

10-foot sea level rise by 2100. That's tomorrow.

The sooner we build protections, the less we’ll pay for them.

Climate-proof providence from sea level rise

Current hurricane barrier, Providence

For years, Rhode Island planning departments have been using 6.6 feet of sea level rise by 2100. Last month, based on new NOAA estimates, they decided 9 feet 10 inches is more likely. That’s only three more feet vertically, but miles of flooding horizontally!

The announcement came with the comment, “The changes to our shoreline are profound, dramatic, and there is […]

Insure the value of your neighborhood against flooding

A community’s value is more than the sum of its properties. Community flood insurance can help climate-proof a neighborhood.

Some of these homes can’t find the money for repairs. What happens to the neighborhood?

After a flood, property owners benefit from flood insurance. We get cash for our losses. The money comes faster than federal disaster assistance (usually a loan anyway). And quick repairs maintain the value of our property.

But not every owner with a home or business in […]

Climate change is endangering maples and oaks.

Autumn cold puts color on our leaves. This winter’s drought will put holes in them.

Winter moth damage due to global warmingThe unusual drought in much of the Northeast is expected to persist through the winter, posing problems for farmers, private well owners, even ski resorts. If your town has water restrictions that usually terminate with autumn rains and winter snow, they may need to stay in place.

The most noticeable damage from drought, however, may be to maples, oaks, and other […]

Floating structures. Sustainable? Or not so much?

Good: we safeguard them from sea-level change. Bad: it’s like we’re paving over farmland.

screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-11-40-48-amSwale, an open-to-all garden on a 130′ x 40′ barge in Brooklyn, floats in the East River. It not only provides new public space but, because it’s on the water, Swale avoids the city’s prohibition on growing and picking food in public areas.

A 6-mile floating pontoon on the Chicago River is being planned to serve as a bike path.

There are clusters of houseboats in […]

Will Washington still spend for climate resilience?

The federal government may no longer help to slow global warming. Will they continue to pay to prevent its damage?

Raising homes to protect from sea level rise from global warming.The US Army Corp of Engineers is proposing to raise 341 homes and businesses along the beaches and salt ponds of southern Rhode Island.

It may seem wrong to use public money to save private structures, but if we accept that federal and state funds should be used […]

Finally, official flood-mapping looks ahead

Flood maps aren’t just for mortgage lenders anymore. They’re for planners (like you and me).

screen-shot-2016-10-22-at-8-16-32-amThousands of homes were flooded in New York City during Superstorm Sandy – even though they were outside the FEMA-defined floodplain. Since then, the city challenged FEMA to produce maps that are both more accurate for current storms and that take into account higher sea levels in the future.

The result: FEMA agreed to produce maps showing which homes will be at […]

Fighting drought in, yes, New England

Drought from falling aquifers is mostly in the West, right? Not this year! Check out some solutions.

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-10-26-14-amNew England got about half the rain it needs last summer. Much of northeastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire are in an extreme drought, and wells are going dry all over the place. The drought is expected to last through the fall. On top of problems for agriculture, a shortened fall foliage season could really hurt tourism as well.

There’s no immediate solution, but many […]