Can America Adapt Its Waterfronts Before They Drown?

America's voracious appetite for waterfront development continues, even as a future filled with rising seas and extreme storms becomes more evident. The most proactive coastal areas have begun planing for adaptation, but are they doing enough?
June 24, 2013, 7am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Even as seas have risen over the past century, Americans have rushed to build homes near the beach," says The Economist. "Storms that lash the modern American coastline cause more economic damage than their predecessors because there is more to destroy. The Great Miami Hurricane of 1926, a Category 4 storm, caused $1 billion-worth of damage in current dollars. Were it to strike today the insured losses would be $125 billion, reckons AIR Worldwide, a catastrophe-modelling firm. In 1992 Hurricane Andrew, a Category 5 storm, caused $23 billion in damage; today it would be twice that."

"A survey by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found cities in America among the least likely, globally, to have plans for adapting to changing weather. But some, at least, are starting."

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Published on Saturday, June 15, 2013 in The Economist
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