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Greening the Fight against Sea Level Rise: The Value of Ecosystem-Based Approaches to Coastal Flood Resilience in the City of Vancouver

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This paper addresses the issue of sea level rise; contributing a multi-criteria trade-off analysis of five coastal flood resilience investments that could be undertaken in Vancouver, Canada, at the case study site of Kitsilano Beach. The analysis uses mixed methodology (primary expert interviews and secondary benefit transfer valuations) to assess the relative merits and trade-offs between soft, hard, and hybrid approaches to coastal flood resilience. Results suggest that while hybrid infrastructure may require 2 to 3.5 times the capital costs of hard infrastructure, it is equally effective at providing flood-related damage protection from sea level rise, and many times more effective at enhancing aesthetic, amenity, and ecological values. In the near term, it is recommended that the City of Vancouver invest in soft-shore armouring at Kitsilano Beach, as well as commence a technical feasibility assessment for the implementation of a sand dike with sediment fill for future preparedness.
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