A.R. Siders, 2022. “Navigating the middle space—Just transitions for U.S. coastal adaptation”, Shore & Beach, 90(4), 14-17.
Access Shore & Beach Vol. 90, No. 4
ASBPA members have access to a full digital edition of Shore & Beach. Become a member now to get immediate access.
Coastal Forum: Navigating the middle space—Just transitions for U.S. coastal adaptation
University of Delaware, Disaster Research Center, Biden School of Public Policy and Administration, Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences, School of Marine Science and Policy, Newark DE, 19716
Long-term, sustainable climate adaptation — strategies that can be maintained over time without external support and without unduly burdening future generations — is often at odds with short-term development pressures and financial incentives for coastal communities. Adaptive management approaches that iteratively revisit decisions over time are one strategy to navigate the transition between short- and long-term goals, but iterative decisions may simply replicate short-term pressures unless the broader incentive structures also change. Alterations may require systemic transformation to address multiple challenges simultaneously, and transformation will require careful consideration of social justice. In short, coastal adaptation needs a just transition strategy: a plan both to alter political, economic, and social institutions to navigate the middle ground between short-term response and long-term sustainable adaptation and to redress historical injustices through holistic and radically participatory processes. The time to develop such a transition plan is now: while coastal communities are building the future.