A new urban design is needed, one that if not climate-determinist, is climate-cognizant. The built environment should be structured and the natural environment must be managed and protected in a way that regards climate forces that if left unchecked will sap the energy, the very existence of the city.7 A new urban design must begin with a statement of clear ends to be achieved, be based upon authoritative scientific, legal and social principles and must be implemented with an understanding of the costs--monetary and socio-political, that are demonstrably justified in the light of the alternatives. The extravagant and pretentious historical course of disasters, irrevocable losses, recovery, new disaster, and more losses is too luxurious to bear in the long-term. In particular, in this paper I explore a long-used tool of urban design--zoning--for resiliency. How it expresses itself on the ground must be left to the planners, architects, and residents; in this article, I strive to lay out the urgency and legal paradigm for use of this tool against increasingly malevolent natural forces.
Part II briefly describes the scientific phenomena and why we should be worried. Part III discusses the particular vulnerabilities of cities to climate change. In Part IV, I discuss the role of urban planning toward resiliency. Part V introduces “resiliency zoning.” Part VI presents ongoing examples of resiliency zoning. Part VII shows the virtues and impacts of this newly configured land use tool. Part VIII proposes a new way of thinking about rights and limits in the Anthropocene era. I conclude with thoughts on going forward with the notions discussed in this paper.
Shelby D. Green, Zoning Neighborhoods for Resilience: Drivers, Tools and Impacts, 28 Fordham Envtl. L. Rev. 41 (2016), http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/1080/.