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Planning for Climate Change on the Shores of the Great Lakes

Two academic researchers explain the planning and landscape architecture opportunities offered by the "dramatic fluctuations" and "emergent shorelands" of the Great Lakes Coasts.
March 25, 2015, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Karen Lutsky and Sean Burkholder write about the impact of climate change on coastlines along the Great Lakes. The potential impacts of rising sea levels on cities like New Orleans, Miami, New York City, and San Francisco have been well documented, of course, "[b]ut climatic volatility also affects the Great Lake Coasts," write Lutsky and Burkholder, "where the ice cover last winter was lower than it has been since reliable records began, and the shores are battered by more frequent and more intense storms."

Lutsky and Burkholder acknowledge that the impacts of climate change on the Great Lake Coasts is less predictable and that the tendency could be for planners and environmental managers to view the "cyclically emergent" lands along the Great Lakes Coasts as nuisance zones. But, according to Lutsky and Burkholder, "the very factors that make these lands difficult to appropriate also make them well suited for habitat provision, water quality management, and other beneficial uses."

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Published on Monday, March 16, 2015 in Places Journal
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