University of Canberra
Our 'tree-change' and 'sea-change' dreams are under threat as scientists warn about building homes in 'risky areas'
Posted 24 February 2021 2:27pm

In the aftermath of out-of-control bushfires once again devastating parts of Australia, this time in the west, researchers say we cannot continue rebuilding in "at risk" areas.

"Sea-change" or "tree-change" settlements "scattered" along coastlines or into bushland are often more vulnerable to extreme weather events, involve more energy intensive lifestyles, and can stretch emergency services during crises.

The researchers have argued their case in a paper published today in Nature Urban Sustainability.

They say zoning must change to prevent future development in at-risk areas, and planning and rebuilding should focus on community models that can serve as blueprints for our transition to climate-resilient towns and cities.

Barbara Norman, director of Urban and Regional Futures at the University of Canberra, was one of the paper's authors.

Additional articles on this subject can be found at The Conversation and ABC News on-line.


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