Climate change is encouraging homeowners to rethink old cities

Millions of Americans live in communities with uncertain climatic conditions, in homes that feel overpriced.

However, there is a solution for many of these people: Move to one of the so-called climate paradises.

Climate paradises or climate destinations are located in places that avoid the worst consequences of natural disasters and have the infrastructure to support a larger population. Many of these ancient cities are located in the northeast.

Possible climate ports


Jesse Keenan, associate professor of real estate at Tulane University, named the following cities as possible climate paradises:

  • Asheville, North Carolina
  • Buffalo, New York
  • Burlington, Vermont
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Duluth, Minnesota
  • Madison, Wisconsin
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Rochester, New York

Anna Marandi, who served as program manager for climate resilience and sustainability in the National League of Cities, added two other places to the safe harbor list: Ann Arbor, Michigan and perhaps surprisingly Orlando, Florida.

Orlando is making the cut, Marandi said, because the city has put in place measures to decarbonize. While the natural environment, such as being a non-coastal city, is an advantage, cities can “earn” the term by working to provide benefits such as affordable housing and be committed to economic sustainability.

“I see climate migration as an opportunity for these cities to avoid the mistakes of urban sprawl,” Marandi said. “They often have a lively, gifted center that may just need a little bit of revitalization.”

Keenan also stressed that climate paradise cities must help their own residents, which in turn will attract more climate migrants.

“It’s not that we have to build a community for tomorrow,” he said. “We need to build a community for today. And that will be the foundation of building a community for tomorrow.”

Watch the video to learn more about what life is like in cities with climate paradise and how this new migration pattern can help grow local economies.

Correction: Anna Marandi of the National League of Cities added two other places to the list of climate paradises: Ann Arbor, Michigan, and perhaps surprisingly Orlando, Florida. An earlier version misunderstood the cities.

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