Tip Sheets

Florida’s growth, financial model falls short in the face of climate change

Media Contact

Jeff Tyson

Hurricane Idalia has made landfall in Florida as a category 3 storm, bringing storm surge and dangerous winds.

Linda Shi

Urban environmental planner and assistant professor in architecture, art and planning

Linda Shi is an urban environmental planner whose research focuses on climate adaptation and land use policies in hurricane prone regions of the country. Shi has gathered in-depth data and developed a storymap on flood risks and land use policies in Florida.

Shi says:

“This storm is yet another reminder that Florida's developmental and financial model is predicated on stable environmental conditions that are now increasingly erratic and dynamic. Our research found that over half of Florida’s 410 municipalities will be affected by sea level rise, placing almost 30% of their local municipal revenues at risk in the form of lost property taxes. 

“Yet, while climate change will stress local fiscal health, we find no relationship between cities’ prioritization of climate adaptation and their fiscal exposure. Cities with high levels of risk are no more likely to plan for sea level rise and flooding than those with little risk. 

“As we will likely see this week, local impacts eventually require state and federal assistance. Florida state government, in particular, could do much more not only to provide infrastructure funding that helps cities stay in place, but also adopt regional tax and land use planning tools that will enable them to adapt to long-term climate change.”

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