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Pathways for Coastal Adaptation in
Metro Vancouver
Alexandra Rutledge
a3rutledge@uwaterloo.ca
University of Waterloo
IDRC DAVOS 2016
Outline
 Introduction
 Background
 Research Question
 Research Methods
 Initial Findings
 Summary
 References
 Acknowledgments
Study site: Metro Vancouver
Purpose: to identify the barriers that underpin the
uptake of managed retreat as a coastal adaptation
method to sea level rise and coastal flooding in Metro
Vancouver
Source: metrovancouver.org
Adaptation Options:
 Protect
 Accommodate
 Avoid
 Retreat
Metro Vancouver Municipalities
Managed Retreat
Managed retreat is an adaptation strategy
whereby a planned decision is made to
relocate people or infrastructure in the
anticipation of a coastal hazard (Turbott &
Stewart, 2006)
Managed Retreat
Coastal British Columbia
Source: Ausenco Sandwell. (2011). Draft policy discussion paper .
Provincial Flood Construction Level
recommendations:
– ~0.5m by 2050
– ~1.0m by 2100
– ~2.0m by 2200
Flood Management
challenges
 2003 Local
Government
Act
 4% of dike
segments meet
current
provincial
standard
 71% of dikes
are vulnerable
to failure by Source: Delcan. (2012).
Research question
What are the barriers to managed retreat as
a coastal adaptation strategy in Metro
Vancouver?
Methodology
 Qualitative research strategy
◦ Literature review
◦ Semi-structured key informant interviews
 25 total interviews
 Actors: engineers, planners, academics, politicians,
sustainability managers
Seawall Stanley Park
Dike maintenance in Delta
Key Informant Interview
Hierarchy
Initial Findings
Barriers to Managed Retreat in
Metro Vancouver
 High-value land
 Political will
 Funding
 Loss of sense of place
 No Canadian examples
of retreat
 Complexity of
implementation
 Education of public &
politicians
 Time & uncertainty
 Jurisdictional authority
 Lack of existing policy
Port of Vancouver
Crescent Beach community
Summary
 Managed retreat has not gone beyond a
desk-top conversation
 Short-term economic conditions and
perceived social hardship are strong
barriers
 Managed retreat needs long term
commitment and political and public
support
 Legacy of historic reliance on dikes
continues
 Support needed from higher levels of
Acknowledgements
References
 Alexander, K.S., Ryan, A. & Measham, T.G (2012). Managed retreat of coastal
communities: understanding responses to projected sea level rise, Journal of
Environmental Planning and Management, vol. 55, no. 4, pp. 409-433.
 Ausenco Sandwell (2011). Draft policy discussion paper, BC Ministry of
Environment. British Columbia.
 BC Ministry of Environment (2010). Preparing for climate change: British
Columbia’s adaptation strategy. Ministry of Environment. British Columbia.
 Delcan (2012). Cost of adaptation - Sea dikes and alternative strategies. Ministry
of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. British Columbia.
 Gibbs, M (2013). Asset anchoring as a constraint to sea level rise adaptation,
Ocean and Coastal Management, vol. 85, pp. 119-123.
 Gibbs, M.T (2015). Pitfalls in developing coastal climate adaptation responses,
Climate Risk Management, vol. 8, pp. 1-8.
 Hallegatte, S., Green, C., Nicholls, R. & Corfee-Morlot, J (2013). Future flood
losses in major coastal cities, Nature Climate Change, vol. 3, no. 9, pp. 802-806.
 Lyle, T. S & Mclean, D. G (2008). British Columbia’s flood management policy
window – Can we take advantage? Northwest Hydraulic Consultants Ltd.,
Vancouver, British Columbia.
 Turbott, C. & Stewart, A (2006). Managed retreat from coastal hazards: Options for
implementation. Environment Waikato Regional Council.

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  • 1. Pathways for Coastal Adaptation in Metro Vancouver Alexandra Rutledge a3rutledge@uwaterloo.ca University of Waterloo IDRC DAVOS 2016
  • 2. Outline  Introduction  Background  Research Question  Research Methods  Initial Findings  Summary  References  Acknowledgments
  • 3. Study site: Metro Vancouver Purpose: to identify the barriers that underpin the uptake of managed retreat as a coastal adaptation method to sea level rise and coastal flooding in Metro Vancouver Source: metrovancouver.org Adaptation Options:  Protect  Accommodate  Avoid  Retreat Metro Vancouver Municipalities
  • 4. Managed Retreat Managed retreat is an adaptation strategy whereby a planned decision is made to relocate people or infrastructure in the anticipation of a coastal hazard (Turbott & Stewart, 2006) Managed Retreat
  • 5. Coastal British Columbia Source: Ausenco Sandwell. (2011). Draft policy discussion paper . Provincial Flood Construction Level recommendations: – ~0.5m by 2050 – ~1.0m by 2100 – ~2.0m by 2200
  • 6. Flood Management challenges  2003 Local Government Act  4% of dike segments meet current provincial standard  71% of dikes are vulnerable to failure by Source: Delcan. (2012).
  • 7. Research question What are the barriers to managed retreat as a coastal adaptation strategy in Metro Vancouver?
  • 8. Methodology  Qualitative research strategy ◦ Literature review ◦ Semi-structured key informant interviews  25 total interviews  Actors: engineers, planners, academics, politicians, sustainability managers Seawall Stanley Park Dike maintenance in Delta
  • 11. Barriers to Managed Retreat in Metro Vancouver  High-value land  Political will  Funding  Loss of sense of place  No Canadian examples of retreat  Complexity of implementation  Education of public & politicians  Time & uncertainty  Jurisdictional authority  Lack of existing policy Port of Vancouver Crescent Beach community
  • 12. Summary  Managed retreat has not gone beyond a desk-top conversation  Short-term economic conditions and perceived social hardship are strong barriers  Managed retreat needs long term commitment and political and public support  Legacy of historic reliance on dikes continues  Support needed from higher levels of
  • 14. References  Alexander, K.S., Ryan, A. & Measham, T.G (2012). Managed retreat of coastal communities: understanding responses to projected sea level rise, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, vol. 55, no. 4, pp. 409-433.  Ausenco Sandwell (2011). Draft policy discussion paper, BC Ministry of Environment. British Columbia.  BC Ministry of Environment (2010). Preparing for climate change: British Columbia’s adaptation strategy. Ministry of Environment. British Columbia.  Delcan (2012). Cost of adaptation - Sea dikes and alternative strategies. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. British Columbia.  Gibbs, M (2013). Asset anchoring as a constraint to sea level rise adaptation, Ocean and Coastal Management, vol. 85, pp. 119-123.  Gibbs, M.T (2015). Pitfalls in developing coastal climate adaptation responses, Climate Risk Management, vol. 8, pp. 1-8.  Hallegatte, S., Green, C., Nicholls, R. & Corfee-Morlot, J (2013). Future flood losses in major coastal cities, Nature Climate Change, vol. 3, no. 9, pp. 802-806.  Lyle, T. S & Mclean, D. G (2008). British Columbia’s flood management policy window – Can we take advantage? Northwest Hydraulic Consultants Ltd., Vancouver, British Columbia.  Turbott, C. & Stewart, A (2006). Managed retreat from coastal hazards: Options for implementation. Environment Waikato Regional Council.

Editor's Notes

  1. F