Coastal Land Use Management Methodologies under Pressure from Climate Change and Population Growth

Document Type



Throughout history, humans living in the coastal area constantly adapt to the natural environment and create a changing environment. The rapid coastal development occurred in the mid-19th century and peaks in the mid-20th century, which was a common process in most industrialized areas. With increasing population growth and urban sprawl, many coastal lowlands are unprecedently vulnerable to climate change impacts such as sea level rise, increasing extreme storm events, and coastal flooding. Under the influence of urban revitalization and conservation, the landward shoreline movement accelerated and coastal land shrank, accompanied by community retreat. This research focuses on the importance of incorporating an understanding of the changing coastal land-ocean interaction into adaptive management strategies by illustrating the relationship of land use change, social-economic development, and climate change. Typical coastal changes in Connecticut were selected: New Haven Harbor reflects a dramatic seaward land accretion under industrial and transportation development, New London downtown waterfront reveals a trend of building retreat under industrial and commercial transformation and coastal hazard, New London Ocean Beach indicates how overdeveloped coastal low-lying community fully retreat after a natural disaster, and Jordan Cove barrier island shows a highly dynamic coastal land change and proactive management strategy. The results reveal that to cope with a constantly changing shoreline and the challenges of climate change, a resilient management process must incorporate a cycle of learning, experimenting, and creating with the goal of developing new solutions that are able to deal with our ever-changing environment.

Publication Status


Category Tags

Climate Change Impacts and Action; Conservation, Greenspaces, and Urban Ecology; City Planning, Development, and Gentrification

New Haven Neighborhood

Long Wharf; Annex; Fair Haven; Fair Haven Heights