Managed retreat is a reality for many places globally- what can be learned from the current examples?

Columbia University is organizing an online conference “At What Point Managed Retreat? Resilience, Relocation and Climate Justice”, June 22- June 25, 2021. UEP group leader Sirkku Juhola will be a co-host in a session about managed retreat as a protective measure in climate adaptation.

Managed retreat, considered as the purposeful, coordinated movement of people and assets out of harm’s way, has been overlooked, as much of the focus in both research and policy so far has been placed on protective measures, such as flood barriers, for example. Instead of protecting existing infrastructure and dwellings, managed retreat in practice means relocation and more importantly implies that there is a process for a political decision to abandon some areas.

These issues will be further discussed in the session titled Transdisciplinary science insight for understanding managed retreat across hazards, scales and geographies of the Columbia University Conference  “At What Point Managed Retreat? Resilience, Relocation and Climate Justice”, June 22- June 25, 2021

Sirkku Juhola and Reinhard Mechler (IIASA), who co-lead a working group in the Knowledge Action Network on Extreme Events & Emergent Risks will be hosting a session together with colleagues from the Flood Resilience Alliance, IDMC, IFRC, University Zurich, LSE, and UCL.

Inter-and transdisciplinary research is increasingly turning to the issue providing relevant and innovative inroads into science and policy debates, acknowledging that this is not a technical or a bureaucratic issue alone. This panel demonstrates the value of these types of approaches by bringing together research and stakeholders from practice and policy to discuss how these types of approaches can further shed light on the complexity of managed retreat as both outcome and process. In particular, the panel discussion will tackle key prospects and challenges including.

Presentations from Bina Desai (IDMC), Christian Huggel (Univ. Zurich), Reinhard Mechler (IIASA), Tiziana Bonzon (IFRC), Stefan Hochrainer-Stigler (IIASA), Swenja Surminski (LSE) and Elisa Calliari (UCL) highlight the different aspects of managed retreat and its implications for society at large.

More information here: