Relocating Australian Communities at Risk: About the Project

This collaborative project seeks to initiate a dialogue around the pressing need for a National Planned Relocation Strategy for Australian communities at risk in a changing climate. The website invites you to take a closer look at the dynamic, ever-evolving risks and narratives that shape the complexity of this historically neglected issue.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) contends that further climate change is unavoidable, estimating a likely 1.5°C warming in the near term. A significant portion of the Australian population resides in areas already or increasingly exposed to the effects of escalating climate change, including extreme weather events, riverine and coastal flooding, storm surges, sea level rises, drought, fire and extreme heat. Across Australia numerous communities grapple with the challenging decision of whether to rebuild or relocate to more sustainable locations following climate-related disasters.

While the process of relocation will unfold over decades, the urgency lies in governments, industries, and communities commencing planning now. There is a crucial need to formulate planned relocation strategies for at-risk communities, acknowledging the long-term consequences of climate change beyond currently observable impacts. This involves pre-emptively and strategically planning the intricacies of multiscale relocation in collaboration with affected communities.

This project stems from collaborations initiated at a workshop hosted by the Institute for Climate, Energy and Disaster Solutions at ANU in 2023. It brings together researchers and students from various Australian universities, alongside industry experts in architecture, design, science, disaster science, social science, and logistics.

Above all, it recognises that the challenge Australia faces requires vision and imagination. Developing a relocation strategy for Australian communities at risk requires identifying the starting points for preventative action, and the initiation of a plan that acknowledges and encompasses cultural, social, environmental, economic, political, and institutional complexity.

More Information Coming Soon.