Managed retreat is a transformative approach in contemporary city planning to adapt to sea level rise. Instead of focussing on structural barriers to prevent flooding, managed retreat involves the relocation of people, property, and infrastructure away from the floodplain. This research project investigates the consideration of managed retreat as a climate adaptation policy option for the seaside neighbourhood of Crescent Beach, Surrey, B.C. As part of the City of Surrey's Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy (CFAS), managed retreat was initially considered the preferred long-term flood management strategy, or "emerging direction" for Crescent Beach. By the end of the CFAS policy process, however, managed retreat was no longer considered a viable policy option. This study weaves together the relationship between resilience and transformative change and development paths in policymaking to examine the CFAS policy process and the initial consideration of managed retreat in the face of climate change in Crescent Beach.
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Thesis advisor: Holden, Meg
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