Climate Vulnerability & Community Resilience Strategies

I am collaborating with my talented colleague Dr. Malini Ranganathan on a research project concerning climate change, vulnerability, and community resiliency strategies here in Washington DC. Thanks to the Metropolitan Policy Center for supporting our research with a grant!

Our project, “Tackling Urban Vulnerability: Lessons for Building Community Resilience and Climate Justice in Washington DC” will deploy a causal approach to analyzing social vulnerability in line with the broader goal of fostering climate justice in the DC region. The study will collect both qualitative and quantitative data at micro levels (household, neighborhood, community) to assess why certain populations and areas of the city may be more or less vulnerable in the face of climate events. The hope is to shed light on whether existing strategies around economic displacement and gentrification (for instance, community organizing, educational campaigns, policy, etc.) might be transferable for building climate resilience.

Much of the existing research on social vulnerability to climate change has been examined in the context of the “Third World”. This project seeks to carefully apply the insights and concepts from this literature to assessing vulnerability in a seemingly “First World” context. The findings will be used to inform the literature on global cities,  and strengthen conversations across the North – South theoretical divides.