Visualizing Relocation on a Spatial Spectrum: Organizing Refuge Alongside Community


At What Point Managed Retreat?: Habitability and Mobility in an Era of Climate Change

New York, NY


Laura Durgerian

Date & Time:

06.21.2023 | 10:30 am–12:00 pm (Eastern Time)

Join Mithun senior associate Laura Durgerian for “Visualizing Relocation on a Spatial Spectrum: Organizing Refuge Alongside Community” to explore how relocation processes—which often perpetuate existing inequality—can strengthen place attachments and build collective capacity to address ongoing climate shocks and stresses. The session will discuss spatial concepts developed as part of the Equitable Managed Retreat Mithun R+D study, as well as the Sea2City Design Challenge—a collaboration between Mithun, One Architecture, the City of Vancouver and other partners to rethink the future of the False Creek shoreline.

Conceptual illustrations of the varied forms that managed retreat could take across land ownership and spatial scales—within a single parcel, incrementally across a block, or at a community scale—allow community collectives to consider how climate adaptation and relocation intersects their wider constellation of needs and priorities. Using these visualizations as prompts, coalitions of community-based organizations and designers can together define a contextually nuanced vision for sending and receiving sites that responds to local hazards, place-based identities, access to jobs and social capital, resilient shared infrastructure, and other community priorities.

Sea2City offers an example translation of these concepts into a multi-phased site-specific vision that overlays multiple stakeholder priorities, including a commitment to decolonizing the design process, protection of sending site housing stock within its lifespan, restoration of pre-colonial shoreline habitat, co-stewardship of sending sites with First Nations, and alignment with city-wide planning efforts.

Both in-person and virtual registration is available via

Date Posted: 06.21.2023