Theses Master's

Land Use and Sea level Rise Vulnerability in New York City: Addressing Environmental Justice Through Zoning

Soorenian, Lia

Sea level rise is becoming more of a relevant topic within urban planning as projections for climate change solidify. In addition to these findings, environmental justice literature demonstrates that not all populations will be affected equally: communities of color and lower socioeconomic backgrounds are exposed to greater risks. While urban planners are proposing initiatives ranging from resiliency reports to design solutions, there is little attention towards land use regulations as a way to reduce vulnerability. The purpose of this paper is to analyze how land use affects the social vulnerability of neighborhoods in New York City towards sea level rise. The findings of the quantitative analysis suggest that residential use and industrial use pose a strong relationship with vulnerability towards sea level rise. Through the use of qualitative methods, my research provides policy recommendations that incorporate environmental justice to address risk of those who are most vulnerable. These include considering inequitable zoning in industrial use areas and incorporating sea level rise into different types of residential densities. This framework provides the tools for addressing mitigation strategies through an equitable and long-term perspective.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Wu, Weiping
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
June 28, 2017