WSP’s climate resilience team has been working to apply these principles and has forged ahead into these challenging topics. The team recently developed a methodology for and conducted a preliminary future gentrification risk analysis in Escambia County, Florida. This study was conducted as part of the Jackson Street corridor improvements master plan.
Jackson Street corridor is at a significantly higher elevation than the surrounding coastal areas of the county. The corridor’s elevation, its predominantly minority and low-income community, combined with potential infrastructure investment were indicators of gentrification risk that prompted us to evaluate further. The gentrification risk analysis included considerations for both market-induced and climate-induced gentrification risk.
There is no available methodology in the planning professional practice to study gentrification risk. So, the team developed a hypothesis of factors that may impact displacement of vulnerable communities. The project team used both qualitative and quantitative analyses to frame the challenge, including leaning on public meetings and site visits to understand the character and culture of the community.
The results of the analysis helped identify the section of the corridor at high risk of future gentrification. Using the information, the team developed countermeasures that ensure housing affordability both remain in-place and allow future generations to stay in place and retain the community identity. The questions that arose during this work challenged us and led us to develop recommendations that were outside of our traditional area of expertise.
This study was a starting point on our climate equity journey. More can be done to improve upon this approach and to adopt the principles we aspire to meet. We will continue to strive to improve our work and challenge our assumptions because we believe that by addressing climate risk with care, innovation and a collaborative creativity, we can prepare for a future that will look and feel substantially different from the world we live in today.
UN Climate Change Conference (Nov. 6-18)
WSP is all in for the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference (COP27) this year in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. The firm’s delegation is working in close collaboration with the UN Climate Champions team and numerous partners, including the International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure, Resilience Rising, Resilience First, the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.
WSP is helping shape the discourse and presenting on a wide range of topics — the future of funding the net-zero transition, realizing infrastructure’s resilience dividend, mainstreaming nature-based solutions and integrating green infrastructure into grey — and supporting the Resilience Breakthroughs implementation labs across the spectrum of impact systems: food & agriculture, water & nature, human settlements, oceans and infrastructure.
Learn more about how WSP is activating its engagement at COP27, hybrid events you can register to attend, and the distinct suite of capabilities that make WSP a leader in climate, resilience & sustainability: https://www.wsp.com/en-us/campaigns/cop27
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