Climate Adaptation and Resilience – UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation

Climate Adaptation and Resilience - UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation

This research examined participation by water service providers in collaborative planning forums. Researchers find: participation in regional water planning is associated with perceived risk to water supply from changing climatic conditions, but not with perceived risk from changing patterns of demand.

The researchers argue that good characteristics of coastal adaptation – subtractability, excludability, heterogeneity, joint production, and capital intensity – create political opportunities for application of financing mechanisms such as property taxes, district-level finance, and bonds. Exploring the good characteristics of an adaptation strategy can help communities identify an appropriate and feasible mechanism for financing it.

Researchers: C.J. Gabbe, Evan Mallen, and Alexander Varni

The researchers find that households in detached single-family homes have the lowest heat risk and multifamily renters have the highest heat risk. AC availability is a major contributing factor and there are heat risk disparities for households in neighborhoods with larger proportions of Hispanic and Asian residents.

Researchers: C.J. Gabbe, Jamie Suki Chang, Morayo Kamson, and Euichan Seo
Funder: Santa Clara University Environmental Justice and the Common Good Research Grant

In this study, the researchers identified where unhoused residents in Santa Clara County were disproportionately exposed to heat and how they coped. They found that unhoused participants favored staying in places where they had more stability but these locations tended to have less access to shade and water, thus they faced difficult trade-offs.

High Temperatures and Electricity Disconnections for Low-income Homes in California (2022 journal article)
Authors: Alan Barreca, R. Jisung Park, and Paul Stainier

Evidence suggests that households adapt to hot weather by employing energy-intensive technologies, such as air conditioning. Ensuing energy expenses might cause some low-income households to incur insurmountable energy debt and eventually become disconnected due to non-payment. This study examines this possibility using electricity use and disconnection data for 300,000 low-income households from California 2012–2017. It finds that each additional day with a maximum temperature of 95 °F causes electricity expenses to increase by 1.6% in the current billing period, and the relative risk of disconnection to increase by 1.2% 51–75 days later. In the context of climate change, a back-of-the-envelope calculation indicates the average risk of disconnection would increase by 12% if today’s weather resembled projected weather for the 2080–2099 period.

Households Living in Manufactured Housing Face Outsized Exposure to Heat and Wildfire Hazards: Evidence from California (2022 journal article)
Authors: Gregory Pierce, C.J. Gabbe and Annabelle Rosser

This study analyzes the risk of extreme heat and wildfires on households living in manufactured housing, such as mobile homes. Focusing on California, the researchers examine census tract-level data on housing characteristics, along with hazard measures. The study finds that households in manufactured housing face consistently higher exposure to extreme heat and wildfires. This research underscores the necessity of a joint approach to strengthen the resilience of existing manufactured housing, provide more affordable housing alternatives in less exposed locations and limit the growth of new housing in highly exposed areas.

Form and Flow: The Spatial Politics of Urban Resilience and Climate Justice (2021 book)
Author: Kian Goh

Cities around the world are formulating plans to respond to climate change and adapt to its impact. Often, marginalized urban residents resist these plans, offering “counterplans” to protest unjust and exclusionary actions. In this book, Kian Goh examines climate change response strategies in three cities—New York, Jakarta, and Rotterdam—and the mobilization of community groups to fight the perceived injustices and oversights of these plans.

Extreme Heat Vulnerability of Subsidized Housing Residents in California (2020 journal article)
Authors: C.J. Gabbe and Gregory Pierce

This study examines whether Californians living in subsidized housing are more vulnerable to extreme heat than those living in unsubsidized housing. The researchers find that subsidized housing is disproportionately located in census tracts at the intersection of high projected extreme heat days (in 2040s), heat-sensitive populations, and barriers to adaptation. These findings indicate the need for targeted housing and land use policy interventions to reduce heat vulnerability.

Subsidized Households and Wildfire Hazards in California (2020 journal article)
Authors: C.J. Gabbe, Gregory Pierce, and Efren Oxlaj

This study focuses on the intersection of subsidized housing and wildfire hazards in California. Results show that subsidized housing is less likely than other housing types to be in the wildland-urban interface (WUI) in both metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. However, the magnitude of the overlap between vulnerable households and the WUI — which includes households in over 140,000 subsidized units in the WUI — justifies further research and policy action.

Retreat: Moving to Higher Ground in a Climate-Changed City (forthcoming book)
Author: Liz Koslov

LCI scholar Liz Koslov’s book Retreat: Moving to Higher Ground in a Climate-Changed City is an ethnographic account of community-organized retreat from the coast in New York City after Hurricane Sandy. The book, under advance contract with the University of Chicago Press, highlights Dr. Koslov’s examination of the social impacts of buyouts, a form of property acquisition in which houses and lots are purchased from willing sellers with future development prohibited.