Millions of Americans live in communities with precarious climates, in homes that feel overpriced.
But for many of these people there is a solution: moving to one of the so-called climate oases.
Climate oases, or climate destinations, are located in places that avoid the worst effects of natural disasters and have the infrastructure to support larger populations. Many of these ancient cities are in the Northeast.
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Possible climate oases
Jesse Keenan, associate professor of real estate at Tulane University, identified the following cities as possible climate havens:
- Ashville, North Carolina
- Buffalo, New York
- Burlington, Vermont
- Detroit, Mich
- Duluth, Minnesota
- Madison, Wisconsin
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Rochester, New York
Anna Marandi, who served as program manager for climate resilience and sustainability at the National League of Cities, added two more places to the list of safe havens: Ann Arbor, Michigan, and, perhaps surprisingly, Orlando, Florida.
Orlando is making the cut, Marandi said, because the city has implemented decarbonization measures. While the natural environment, e.g. For example, where a non-coastal city is an asset, cities can earn the label “earning” by working to provide benefits such as affordable housing and promoting economic sustainability.
“I see climate migration as an opportunity for these cities to avoid the mistakes of sprawl,” Marandi said. “They often have a vibrant, walkable downtown area that might just need a little revitalization.”
Keenan also stressed that climate haven cities need to help their own residents, which in turn will attract more climate migrants.
“It’s not that we’re going to build a community for tomorrow,” he said. “We will build a community for today. And that will be the basis for building a community for tomorrow.”
Watch the video to learn more about what life is like in climate-friendly cities and how this new migration pattern can help local economies grow.
Correction: Anna Marandi of the National League of Cities added two more places to the list of climate havens: Ann Arbor, Michigan, and perhaps surprisingly Orlando, Florida. An earlier version incorrectly specified the cities.