Planning for Climate Migrants and Refugees

Monday, May 8, 2017 | 10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
CM | 1.25
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You'll learn about:

  • Make planners understand that large number of people are going to have to move as a result of climate change and that many of them are likely to come to North America (or change places within it)

  • Showcase some of the different impacts that this massive, un-planned for, influx of people could cause within current planning paradigms

  • Offer some lessons and experiences from those who are already dealing with climate migrants and refugees

  • Inspire discussion around what planners can do at every scale of governance to facilitate these transitions 

With increasing natural disasters, drought, food insecurity, and sea level rise, climate change migrants are a topic of immense and growing importance on a global scale. The critical task of resettling migrants in receiving cities pose several challenges to the planning profession; housing availability, innovative housing models, and strategies for community integration will be in urgent demand. While most observers tend to think of climate change as something that will only negatively impact developing countries, this event aims to highlight the problems North American cities may encounter as a result of these changes, and inspire planners to anticipate and respond to these impacts in innovative ways.

The event will bring together experts from a variety of different disciplines, including diplomats, international legal and policy experts, sustainability technicians, and planning practitioners that have experience working in migrant and refugee resettlement processes. As the panel progresses, participants will gain a better understanding of the broad forces in climate migrants and refugees, consider how their community will be impacted (e.g., will they be a sending or receiving area?), and learn what they can do to prepare for that threat.


Ronald Jumeau , New York , NY (see bio)
Sally Cox , Anchorage , AK (see bio)
Anna Zhuo , Vancouver , BC (see bio)
Cristyn Edwards , Vancouver , BC (see bio)