Adaptation Toolkit: Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Land Use

The Adaptation Tool Kit explores 18 different land-use tools that can be used to preemptively respond to the threats posed by sea-level rise to both public and private coastal development and infrastructure, and strives to assist governments in determining which tools to employ to meet their unique socio-economic and political contexts.

To this end, the tool kit also provides policymakers with a framework for decision making. Each tool is analyzed by (1) the type of power exercised to implement it (planning, regulatory, spending, or tax and market-based tools); (2) the policy objective that it facilitates (protection, accommodation, planned retreat, or preservation); and (3) the type of existing or potential land uses that the tool can be used to adapt (critical infrastructure, existing development, developable lands, and non-developable lands).

A top level analysis of the trade-offs between tools - the economic, environmental, and social costs and benefits, and the legal and administrative feasibility of implementing each tool - is also provided.

Publication Date: October 31, 2011

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  • Legal Analysis
  • Policy analysis/recommendations

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User Comments:

  • March 1, 2017
    John Porterfield, Volunteer & Initiator Planning Organization Project at Citizens' Climate Lobby

    I seek to learn total cost to provide optimal investment in climate resilience, given lack of action by legislative officials to mitigate greenhouse gas pollution through (Pigovian) pricing. I also search for template that will avoid investments in resilience that will likely prove futile. The Sea-Level Rise document makes strong statements supporting the above realities; e.g., p30 “requiring applicants to address how [SLR] will affect their project, include design features that will ensure that the project objectives are feasible and that the project will not be rendered unusable or inoperable over its lifespan."