At What Point Managed Retreat? Resilience, Relocation and Climate Justice Conference

Lead PI: Dr. Radley M. Horton , Dr. Alexander de Sherbinin , Hayley Martinez
June 2021 - June 2021
Project Type: Outreach

DESCRIPTION: Building on the success of the 2019 conference on Managed Retreat, the 2021 conference addressed a range of scientific, social, policy and governance issues around managed retreat (also known as strategic realignment and planned relocation). The conference, a major initiative of the Columbia Climate School and its Earth Institute, brought together over 900 stakeholders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors, together with academics, scientists, and community representatives, to help develop a common understanding of this complex issue, and move the needle toward equitable solutions. A major emphasis was on issues of environmental justice, in recognition that the people most impacted by decisions around retreat have a key role in these conversations.



resilience climate change adaptation climate change climate justice managed retreat environmental justice


Modeling and Adapting to Future Climate


View 2021 conference recordings.


Jul 06, 2023

Anticipating and Tracking Climate Refugees in a Warming Africa

Researchers are looking at what drives climate migration, and how it might best be handled.

Jun 23, 2023

New York’s Climate Buyout Plans Must Put Communities First, Experts Say

At the Managed Retreat conference, hosted by Columbia Climate School, researchers emphasized the need to work together with communities on climate adaptation.

Jun 14, 2023

Adapt or Retreat? Conference Will Explore Questions of Habitability in a Changing World

At Columbia Climate School’s Managed Retreat conference, local and international academics, scientists, and community members will join representatives from different sectors to discuss managed retreat, habitability, and climate justice.

Jun 07, 2023

State Farm’s California Pullout: What It Means for Climate Adaptation and Communities

Do decisions like State Farm’s aid in moving people out of harm’s way? Climate School experts discuss.

Jul 01, 2021

What is Needed for Fair and Equitable Managed Retreat?

Self-determination, recognition of historical drivers of climate risk, and a new approach to buyouts, according to participants at a recent conference.

Jun 29, 2021

Are Buyouts a Viable Tool for Climate Adaptation?

At this year’s Managed Retreat conference, experts discussed the limitations and future potential of government buyout programs.

Jun 17, 2021

Which Areas Will Climate Change Render Uninhabitable? Climate Models Alone Cannot Say

Understanding how people will respond to climate dangers depends not only on top-down data, but also on bottom-up community engagement.

Jun 03, 2021

Conference Will Discuss Retreat From Rising Seas and Other Climate Hazards

From June 22 to 25, the Managed Retreat conference will examine the thorny questions around relocating homes and communities away from growing threats.

Sep 18, 2019

The Tribe That Brought a Damaged Shoreline Back to Life

How the Shinnecock Indian Nation Tribe in Long Island, NY, transformed a desolate and barren stretch of shoreline to protect their land from erosion and sea-level rise

Jul 17, 2019

Conference Raises Tough Questions About Retreat from Rising Seas

Hundreds of experts gathered on campus to discuss possibilities for protecting coastal communities and withdrawing when we can no longer safely inhabit our coastlines.