GeoDesign for Climate Change Adaptation

Designing a more sustainable future

The earth’s climate is changing, leading to serious problems for humanity in areas such as food security, health, and public safety.
As our environment changes around us, we need to adapt swiftly. But where do we start? Should we reinforce or rebuild existing structures? Or should we abandon existing settlements and relocate the population in some cases? And how can mass rebuilding/relocation efforts be best accomplished from human, environmental, and economic perspectives?
GeoDesign is a framework for understanding the complex relationships between human-designed settlements and the changing environment, for quickly planning ways to adapt existing communities and build new ones in a more sustainable manner. This methodology helps us assess risk, identify change, create synergies, develop strategies, adapt to change, and monitor the results. GeoDesign takes an interdisciplinary, synergistic approach to solving the critical problems of future design—to optimize location, orientation, and the features of projects at local and global scales.
By bringing social, environmental, agricultural, meteorological, and other sciences into a common geographic perspective, people can better see the optimal solutions needed for planning and building our future. Governments, NGOs, businesses, and communities already use the GeoDesign approach to minimize climate impacts, increase resiliency, predict cause and effect, calculate sustainability capacity, rank risk levels, allocate resources, and prioritize action.
By incorporating geographic technologies, such as visualization and modeling, into analysis of community development, people can intelligently answer far-reaching design questions such as these.
The GeoDesign framework lets us design and test various alternatives, thereby helping us make the most educated and informed decisions for adapting humankind to a rapidly changing environment and world. It acknowledges the inseparable relationship between humans and nature and lets us take an active role in designing where and how we live.

How can GeoDesign best be applied to climate adaptation in the next 15 years?

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