Shifting landscapes of coastal flood risk: environmental (in)justice of urban change, sea level rise, and differential vulnerability in New York City
Climate-driven changes in coastal flood risk have enormous consequences for coastal cities. These risks intersect with unequal patterns of environmental hazards exacerbating differential vulnerability of climate related flooding. This study analyzes differential vulnerability of coastal flooding in New York City, USA, as an environmental justice issue caused by shifts in flood risk due to increasing floodplain extents. Overall flood risk increases regardless of increases in the updated floodplain extent, as do floodplain property values. However, variability is high between community districts; in some cases, increases in exposure coincide with decreases in vulnerability due to shifts in racial demographics and increases in income, while others experienced increases in exposure and vulnerability. These findings highlight that the dominant drivers of coastal flood risk in NYC are ongoing real estate development and continued increases in sea level rise and storm severity, both of which have explicit implications for flood vulnerability.