Science fiction writer, Donna McMalton’s fictional predictions around rising sea levels in Vancouver are alarmingly close to home. Vancouver is the Canadian city most at risk for economic devastation in the event of sea level rise. In response the city has developed a series of sustainability plans including a climate change adaptation strategy. For engineer Carrie Brown, the first step in city planning is to identify and consult with community leaders. Environmental lawyer, Deborah Carlson, explains the complexity of protecting a shoreline that is under various legal jurisdictions and that a single coordinated authority or better coordination will be critical in the coming years. Civic historian, John Atkins points out how much the shoreline has changed over time and leads walks, pointing out key turning points in the city’s history as well as a series of public artworks designed to raise awareness around sea levels. Dave Flanders explains that most Vancouver residents think of Bangladesh or the Sunderbans when they think about sea level rise and is developing the very first sea level rise video game as a way to get his neighbors, Delta residents, to recognize sea level issues in their own backyards. Melanie Schamback makes collaborative art projects to raise awareness of the impact of fossil fuels on coastal communities. Collaboration is also key for Melina Miawapan Asamona who advocates that allies support but not speak for communities most impacted by climate disasters and she works hand in hand with storyteller Mandy Nahanee working to protect Vancouver’s shorelines from the threats of oil expansion.
STORIES FROM VANCOUVER