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Resilient Cities Run on Climate Alpha

City and county public officials have a historic opportunity to invest in climate adaptation efforts ranging from planting trees to water conservation efforts to relocating vulnerable facilities. But where should they start?

Climate Alpha can help. Our Resilience Index™ offers a comprehensive dashboard of climate risk, vulnerability, and readiness scores for all 40,000+ US zip codes and 3,000 counties. We’re proud to announce special offers for city managers eager to assess risks, map hazards, and design adaptation strategies. Simply create a Climate Alpha account to receive complimentary headline scores, along with heavily discounted access to underlying datasets and indicator explanations.

Armed with these, officials might also leverage the Resilience Index to:

  1. Strategically allocate resilience grants from the federal government
  2. Reform urban and rural land-use policies
  3. Identify relocation sites for public and private facilities
  4. Conduct scenario-based exercises to prepare for extreme disruptions

Visit www.climatealpha.ai/cities to learn more about our special pricing for cities, or visit one of our partners. Mastercard City Possible members receive an exclusive discount code located under the Climate Alpha app in the Insights Marketplace, while Statebook customers will find Resilience Index™ scores integrated into their dashboards.

Together, we’re empowering cities to better understand the risks they face and how to optimally address them. A climate crisis is a terrible thing to waste.    

#climateadaptation #InflationReductionAct #resilience #landuse #managedretreat

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Which “Zoomtowns” are Tomorrow’s Boomtowns?

Which cities possess the right combination of resilience, quality of life, plentiful housing, and accessibility to a major metro (and points beyond)?

Using Climate Alpha’s proprietary Resilience Index™ scores and forecasting tools, we’ve identified five communities across the U.S. poised to reap the long-term benefits of a remote future, ranging from cities such as Portland, Oregon and Colorado Springs to greener pastures in Michigan, Virginia, and Kentucky.

 

 

 

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The First Microgrid Communities in California

KB Home has launched America’s first all-electric, solar-powered micro-grid neighborhoods at its master-planned community in California’s Inland Empire.

Designed in partnership with the US Department of Energy, SunPower, the University of California at Irvine, Southern California Edison, Schneider Electric, and Kia, each home boasts EV charger-ready wiring and batteries connected to a local smart grid.

It’s a win-win for all involved, as residents benefit from a potential 40% reduction in energy use while worrying less about more frequent blackouts. And for homebuilders like KB Home, the combination of rising interest rates, single-family rentals, and zero-energy ready home standards has made it easier than ever to build new, more resilient housing at scale. The only question is where.

And that’s where Climate Alpha comes in. For developers and homebuilders, our suite of analytics can not only identify the optimal regions for homes powered by renewables, but also calculate the risk-adjusted valuations out to 2040 that will help justify these investments in the present.

Visit www.climatealpha.ai to learn more about how our tools will help found the resilient communities of tomorrow.

#realestate #climateadaptation #microgrids #ZERH #SFR #MPC

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When Housing Is for Locals Only, the Whole Country Suffers

“Exclusionary zoning harms the entire nation,” the editors of Bloomberg write. “It relegates the excluded to places with little opportunity and unhealthy living conditions. It aggravates global warming by redirecting population to car-dependent exurbs and relatively energy-intensive locales in the South and Midwest. It makes house prices and rents in desirable locations unaffordable for the typical family — which, in turn, stunts economic growth by preventing people from living where their talents can best be applied.”

These are excellent points, to which we would add another: it prevents new housing from being built America’s most climate resilient regions. Densifying existing cities is not enough — they can’t absorb all of the millions of new units necessary, when water supplies and other stresses are taken into account.

Which destinations have the right combination of affordability, sustainability, and amenities for tomorrow’s generations, and how do we begin clearing the ground for them now?

Climate Alpha’s suite of tools — starting with our Resilience Index™ scores for every U.S. county and our Climate Price™ risk-adjusted real valuations — help investors target the pockets of opportunity where it’s right to build. And where they have the right to build. Visit www.climatealpha.ai to learn more how our tools can help you navigate the intersection of economics, climate, and policy.

#nimbyism #yimby #zoning #resilience #affordability

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After Ian, Where Should Fort Myers Grow?

Even as insurers continue tallying their losses from September’s Hurricane Ian — Swiss Re’s latest estimate is $50-$65 billion, second only to 2005’s Hurricane Katrina as the most destructive storm of all-time — residents and elected officials in southwest Florida have already begun debating how best to build back better. But they haven’t addressed the question of where to rebuild.

To answer that, we harnessed Climate Alpha’s Resilience Index™ to calculate a risk, vulnerability, and readiness score for every county in south Florida, then used our patent-pending Scenario Forecaster to project both the baseline and climate-adjusted Climate Price™ down to the zip code level. The results underscore how unevenly the effects of climate change are likely to be felt. Even in a state as vulnerable as Florida, some places are more vulnerable than others.

Image generated by Climate Alpha Resilience Index™

For example, Lee County — home to Fort Myers and Cape Coral, which lay directly in Ian’s path — is among the climate-riskiest in the state, second only to Miami-Dade. The three counties least at risk, owing in part to their higher elevation and being inland, are the less built-out Hardee, DeSoto, and Glades — implying the state still has plenty of room for safe(r) development.

The picture changes somewhat when the metric in question is vulnerability, which takes socio-economic and political factors into account alongside climate models. Lee County — along with Sarasota and Hillsborough (home to Tampa) — remain among the lowest scorers, but less so compared to south Florida’s Atlantic coast. DeSoto and Glade counties remain among the highest scorers, but are joined this time by Okeechobee, which lies on its namesake lake’s northern shore.

Image generated by Climate Alpha Resilience Index™

A more radical shift occurs when we start to calculate readiness — the ability to mitigate and adapt to climate disasters — rather than risk or vulnerability. Although no south Florida county scores highly in the scheme of things, Sarasota and Charlotte County (north of Fort Myers) leap to the top alongside Hardee, underscoring local resources and preparations to address their inherent vulnerability.  

Image generated by Climate Alpha Climate Price™

Taken together, what does this mean? From a real estate appreciation perspective, the prognosis for greater Fort Myers in a south Florida context is… not great. The safest zip codes from a depreciation standpoint lie immediately to the north, in Sarasota and Bradenton, underscoring the financial resources and political will available to invest in future adaptation efforts and disaster recovery. If this seems obvious, perhaps it should be — both path dependency and inequality will play roles in deciding which places are protected.

Image generated by Climate Alpha Scenario Forecaster™

Zooming into the Fort Myers area, our Climate Price™ analysis platform first highlights zip codes projected to appreciate faster under a current “business-as-usual” scenario out to 2030. Darker shades indicate faster growth, in which case 33917 and 33905 — encompassing North Fort Myers and Buckingham — are projected to gain and retain value more than low-lying coastal areas such as Cape Coral.

Image generated by Climate Alpha Climate Price™

This dichotomy is shown in even starker relief when our Scenario Forecaster swaps business-as-usual for one with more severe climate impacts. Once again, 33917 and 33905 are projected to out-perform formerly desirable coastline locations, now joined by 33913, containing Southwest Florida International Airport and mostly undeveloped land.

The takeaway is this: If southwest Floridians want to build back better following the most destructive hurricane ever to hit the state, they (and investors) would be smarter to rebuild ever-so-slightly inland to mitigate the worst effects of storm surge and sea-level rise while retaining access to their coastal lifestyle. That’s where the smart money is headed, anyway. 

To learn more about Climate Alpha, check out https://climatealpha.ai/products/

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How to Build a Better Future

#COP27 won’t save the world, Climate Alpha’s founder and CEO Dr. Parag Khanna writes for Semafor, and neither will any of its successors: “Every minute spent at such summits is therefore a distraction from the only two tangible activities that demonstrate genuine commitment to a better future: Moving people to resilient geographies or shifting technologies to people in need.”

The host of #COP28 — the United Arab Emirates — at least offers a glimpse of what such a future might look like:  “A melting pot in a melting geography, a mix of sea walls and air conditioning, the UAE is perhaps the foremost template for how more habitable regions will need to reprogram themselves into an archipelago of centers for our future civilization.”

This was the inspiration for Climate Alpha — creating the tools we’ll need to map humanity’s future. Click through to read more of Parag’s vision for tomorrow.

 #climateadaptation #climatemigration #resilientcommunities

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Why Florida keeps rebuilding after storms

Evidence suggests they will quickly forget the catastrophic damages of Ian in favor of focusing on the costs imposed by stronger building codes.

The Miami Herald’s Alex Morris captures this dilemma by exploring the aftermath of 2018’s #HurricaneMichael, which destroyed 93% of Mexico Beach, Florida. 

“Watching a community that learned the hard way and made the right decisions, and then watching them backpedal because their memory became so short, it was just really hard to watch,” floodplain management consultant Del Schwalls told Morris.

“There’s a lot of decisions we made 20 years ago, on Fort Myers Beach that resulted in somebody dying in Ian, that resulted in somebody losing everything in Ian,” he added. “What are the decisions we make today that will save someone’s life 20 years from now?”

At Climate Alpha, our goal is to provide our customers — whether public- or private sector — with the tools necessary to make those life-or-death decisions.

By combining our Resilience Index™ scores for every county in American with our patent-pending scenario forecaster, clients are empowered to explore how and where to best spend their adaptation resources. 

As COP 27 and the elections remind us, the choices we make today will shape the world for decades. Visit www.climatealpha.ai to learn more about how we can help.

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Hurricane Ian is proof: The US needs a national disaster safety board

The Hill discusses how five years after #HurricaneMaria devastated Puerto Rico and destroyed much of the island’s grid, #HurricaneFiona struck, leaving thousands without power. Was this disaster avoidable? Yes, say the founders of Disaster Researchers for Justice, calling on the U.S. Senate to authorize the creation of the National Disaster Safety Board — a new federal agency tasked with learning from climate disasters and recommending policies to ensure they don’t happen again.

“The proposed NDSB,” the founders write in an op-ed for The Hill, “offers the chance to leverage decades worth of data, human capital, and technology to inform its investigative work. In a time when our national risk is increasing due to decades of bad development decisions, centuries of discriminatory policy, and climate change the need to transform how we address disaster is more urgent than ever.”

Whether it be a new federal agency or more local institutions, mounting climate disasters underscore the necessity for governments to stop reacting and start proactively planning for the future. To that end, Climate Alpha has partnered with Mastercard’s City Possible to offer its suite of tools — including county-level resilience scores and its scenario forecaster — at a discount to public sector customers. Visit www.climatealpha.ai to learn more about how we can help you learn from past disasters and avoid the next one.

#climateadaptation #resilientcommunities #climaterisks 

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The U.S. is Running Short of Land for Housing

Improbably, America is running out of land. Developable land, that is.

“Land-use restrictions and a lack of public investment in roads, rail and other infrastructure have made it harder than ever for developers to find sites near big population centers to build homes,” writes Konrad Putzier in The Wall Street Journal. “As people keep moving to cities such as Austin, Phoenix and Tampa, they are pushing up the price of dirt and making the housing shortages in these fast-growing areas even worse.”

Vacant land prices in the Sun Belt have more than doubled in the last two years, even as Austin and Phoenix are becoming markedly hotter and Tampa lies squarely in the path of #HurricaneIan — potentially the worst storm to strike the city in a century.

Torn between the need for land in fast-growing regions and valuations that don’t take climate change into account, developers risk paying a premium today for discounted locations tomorrow. Fortunately, Climate Alpha combines climate, demographic, and economic data for a 360-degree view of the most desirable locations in 2040 and every year in between. Visit Climate Alpha’s Products Page to learn more before it’s gone.

#resilientcommunities #extremeheat #megadrought #climateadaptation #zoomtowns #climatemigration

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