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In hot water : explaining Vancouver and San Francisco's responses to the impacts of climate change Robertson, Alexandra Hergaarden 2015

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    IN HOT WATER: EXPLAINING VANCOUVER AND SAN FRANCISCO’S RESPONSES TO THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE   by   Alexandra Hergaarden Robertson   B.A., The University of Toronto, 2013    A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF    MASTER OF ARTS   in   The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies   (Political Science)    THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA  (Vancouver)   August 2015   © Alexandra Hergaarden Robertson, 2015   ii Abstract In the past decade the scientific literature on climate change has increasingly focused on adaptation to climate change-related hazards and vulnerability. Most of the climate change policies designed thus far in North America have been at the municipal level. One of the most visible impacts of climate change will be an increase in frequency and severity of natural disasters like coastal flooding, heat waves, and drought. Although scholars emphasize the importance of community resilience in responding and recovering from disaster, the majority of these municipal climate change adaptation policies have sought to increase physical, not social, resilience. Vancouver and San Francisco are two cities that have recently begun planning for the impacts of climate change, and both are leaders in mitigation and adaptation planning among North American municipalities. While Vancouver has adopted policies to increase the resilience of physical infrastructure, San Francisco has addressed both the resilience of social and physical infrastructure in its climate change adaptation planning. My thesis will explain this divergence in response to the effects of climate change at the municipal level in Vancouver and San Francisco. I find that differing critical events and policy legacies in the area of disaster management in the past have resulted in Vancouver and San Francisco’s divergent responses to the impacts of climate change today.           iii Preface  This thesis is original, unpublished, independent work by the author, A. Robertson. The UBC Behavioural Research Ethics Board approved this study, “In Hot Water: Explaining Vancouver and San Francisco’s Responses to Sea Level Rise.” The UBC Ethics Certificate number was H15-01270.                       iv Table of Contents Abstract …………………………………………………………………………………………………. ii Preface ………………………………………………………………………………………………….  iii Table of Contents …………………………………………………………………………………….. iv List of Tables …………………………………………………………………………………………... v List of Figures ………………………………………………………………………………………… vi Acknowledgments …………………………………………………………………………………… vii Dedication …………………………………………………………………………………………….  viii Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 1 Climate Change Adaptation …………………………………………………………………………. 3  Approaches to Climate Change Adaptation …………………………………………………... 3  Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Management …………………………………….. 5  The Role of Community Resilience and Social Capital in Disaster Management ………… 7 Climate Change Adaptation Planning in Vancouver and San Francisco ………………….. 12  Climate Change-Related Hazards in Vancouver ……………………………………………  12  Climate Change Adaptation Policies in Vancouver …………………………………………  14  Climate Change-Related Hazards in San Francisco ……………………………………….. 16  Climate Change Adaptation Policies in San Francisco …………………………………….. 17 Explaining Vancouver and San Francisco’s Climate Change Adaptation Policies ……… 21  Methodology …………………………………………………………………………………….. 21 Hypothesis One: Differing Levels of Risk ……………………………………………………….  22  Vulnerability to Climate Change Hazards in San Francisco ……………………………….. 22  Vulnerability to Climate Change Hazards in Vancouver ……………………………………  27 Hypothesis Two: Differing Intergovernmental Relations …………………………………….. 34   Intergovernmental Relations in San Francisco and California …………………………….. 36  Intergovernmental Relations in Vancouver and British Columbia …………………………  38 Hypothesis Three: Differing Critical Junctures and Policy Legacies ………………………  41 Critical Junctures and Policy Legacies in San Francisco’s Approach to Climate Change Adaptation ……………………………………………………………………………………….  42 Alternate Influences on Vancouver’s Approach to Climate Change Adaptation ………… 47 Discussion and Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………..  51  Works Cited …………………………………………………………………………………………… 53   v List of Tables  Table 1: Approaches and options for climate change adaptation ………………………………… 4  Table 2: Indicators of social vulnerability in neighbourhood of Bayview, city of San Francisco, and state of California ………………………………………………………………………………... 24  Table 3: Indicators of social vulnerability in neighbourhood of the Downtown East Side (DTES), city of Vancouver, and province of British Columbia ……………………………………………… 30  Table 4: Indicators of social vulnerability in the neighbourhoods of the Bayview (San Francisco) and the Downtown East Side (Vancouver) ………………………………………………………… 30                                      vi List of Figures  Figure 1: Map of heat vulnerability in the Bayview, San Francisco ……………………………… 25  Figure 2: Map of flooding and liquefaction risk in the Bayview, San Francisco ………………... 25  Figure 3: Map of social vulnerability and inundation/storm surge risk under conditions of 4 foot sea level rise in San Francisco ………………………………………………………………………. 26  Figure 4: Map of affected areas in Vancouver under conditions of sea level rise and a severe storm event in year 2100 ……………………………………………………………………………... 29                                         vii Acknowledgments   I would like to thank my supervisor Dr. Kathryn Harrison for her enthusiastic support, sage advice, and constructive feedback throughout the researching and writing of this thesis. I would also like to thank Dr. Paul Quirk for chairing my thesis defence and providing helpful feedback on my work.  I am also immensely grateful to all of the wonderful people I met during my time at UBC. Thank you to all the students, staff, and faculty who enhanced my experience both inside and outside the classroom. I am particularly appreciative of my classmates in the Department of Political Science and School of Community and Regional Planning, with whom I had many challenging and thought-provoking discussions that served to inform this thesis. I am also very grateful to Alison James, Sarah Munawar, and Tania Sawicki Mead for their awe-inspiring friendship and boundless support this past year.   I would also like to thank the interview participants who graciously agreed to answer my many questions: Anne Eng, GL Hodge, Daniel Homsey, Kirstin Jasper, Tamsin Mills, Jeanette Oliver, and Jeffrey Thorsby. Your knowledge, insight and experiences deeply enriched this thesis.                     viii Dedication  To my mom, who has always been my greatest supporter.  1 Introduction Over the coming decades and centuries the projected impacts of anthropogenic climate change — the flooding of low-lying coastal areas, rising temperatures, and extreme weather events, to name a few — will threaten both human and natural systems. Since the formation of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988, the focus of the global community has been on the ratification of a binding international treaty to mitigate climate change.1 Although very significant reductions in greenhouse (GHG) emissions are still required to prevent dangerous climate change, in the past decade the scientific literature has increasingly emphasized the need for adaptation to climate change-induced risk.2 There is consensus amongst climate scientists that, regardless of future emission scenarios, the impact of past human industrial activities on the climate system guarantees that seas and temperatures will rise.  In North America most of the climate change adaptation planning thus far has taken place at the municipal level.3 The majority of these policies have been incremental in nature, with a focus on impact and vulnerability assessment. Some adaptation planning has taken place but, as with other jurisdictions, implementation is often slow on the uptake. The cities of Vancouver and San Francisco are both North American leaders in the response to the impacts of climate change. Vancouver was the first city in Canada to adopt a comprehensive climate change adaptation strategy, while San Francisco has adopted some of the most comprehensive guidelines in the United States for incorporating climate change vulnerability and risk assessment into municipal capital planning processes.                                                 1 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, “First Steps to a Safer Future: Introducing the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,” no date, accessed July 26, 2015, http://unfccc.int/essential_ background/convention/items/ 6036.php. 2 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “Summary for Policymakers,” in Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, ed. C.B. Field et al. (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 4. 3 Ibid., 8.   2 Vancouver and San Francisco face similar climate-change related hazards, including increases in sea level and more frequent and severe heat waves. Both cities also share similar social vulnerabilities to the impacts of climate change, including high concentrations of low-income or otherwise marginalized residents in areas that are prone to such hazards. Though there are many commonalities in the policies adopted by these two cities, there are also important differences. While both Vancouver and San Francisco have adopted policies that increase the robustness of physical infrastructure against the impacts of climate change, San Francisco has also implemented programs that augment the resilience of social infrastructure in the city to climate change and other stressors.  This difference is puzzling in the face of rising evidence of the important role that social capital plays in disaster response and recovery, and the implications of this for effective public management and policy. This thesis will explain this divergence in response to the impacts of climate change in Vancouver and San Francisco. To this end I test and develop three hypotheses, the first concerning dissimilar levels of risk, the second involving differing intergovernmental relations, and the third regarding distinct critical junctures and policy legacies in each jurisdiction. I find that differing critical events and policy legacies in the area of disaster management in the past have resulted in Vancouver and San Francisco’s divergent responses to the impacts of climate change today.            3 Climate Change Adaptation  Approaches to Climate Change Adaptation  Climate change has and will continue to affect all the earth’s continents and oceans, threatening the future stability of both human and natural systems. Some of the impacts already experienced by human communities include reduced crop yields and an increase in extreme weather events like heat waves, droughts, and wildfires.4 While some climate change has been locked-in by past GHG emissions, the future stability of the climate system will ultimately depend on the ability of human societies to dramatically reduce emissions in the coming years and decades. Although models of future impacts vary based on different GHG emission reduction scenarios, there is high scientific confidence that a continuing rise in global temperatures will further increase risk of coastal flooding and erosion, extensive biodiversity loss, extreme weather events, and poor human health outcomes.5  The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines adaptation as the “process of adjustment to actual or expected climate and its effects.”6 In the context of human systems the objective of adaptation is to manage and reduce the risk posed by a changing climate, as well as to seek opportunities to benefit from these changes where possible.7 In its most recent report, the IPCC differentiates between three main categories or approaches to adaptation: 1) structural/physical, 2) institutional and 3) social.8 Structural or physical approaches are focused on engineered and technological solutions, as well as the use of social and ecological services to manage and reduce risk. Institutional approaches identify and exploit opportunities for adaptation with the tools of economic, political, and legal systems. Social approaches involve individuals and communities as agents in climate change adaptation, both in structured and more informal ways. As outlined in Table 1, each of these approaches                                                 4 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “Summary for Policymakers,” 4 – 6.  5 Ibid., 12 – 19.  6 Ibid., 5.  7 Ibid.  8 Ibid., 27.  4 provides a range of options with which to adjust to a changing climate. As is evident from the examples, there is also overlap between categories. For instance, a formal community-based program to manage climate change-induced risk could be both institutional and social.   Category   Options  Examples      Structural/Physical  Engineered and Built Environment  • Sea walls and flood levees • Build codes and practices  Technological • Hazard and vulnerability mapping • Mechanical and passive cooling  Ecosystem-Based • Ecological restoration • Soil conservation  Services • Social safety nets and protection • Public health services     Institutional  Economic • Insurance • Disaster contingency funds  Legal • Land zoning laws • Water regulations and agreements  Policies and Programs • Disaster planning and preparedness • Community-based adaptation     Social  Educational • Education and awareness • Indigenous and local knowledge  Informational • Early warning and response systems • Integrated assessments  Behavioural • Household preparation • Reliance on social networks  Table 1: Approaches and options for climate change adaptation. Adapted from Table SPM.1 in the IPPC Report  Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “Summary for Policymakers.”  While the IPCC’s report is useful in conceptualizing the different options available to policymakers and planners in managing and reducing the risk posed by a changing climate, it does not offer much in the way of guidance or advice on their effectiveness. As both the study and practice of climate change adaptation are still in their infancy, there are not many case studies upon which to assess and evaluate the relative efficacy of the different approaches and options. In order to better understand how effective a particular policy instrument might be in assisting human societies to adjust to the impacts of climate change, it is instructive to review the robust literature in this area from the field of disaster management.   5 Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Management  Climate change adaptation and disaster management are natural bedfellows. The increased frequency and severity over time of natural hazards like coastal flooding and heat waves are now, and will continue to be, some of the most visible impacts of climate change.9 As Shaw, Pulhin and Pereira argue, many of the mechanisms through which disaster risk reduction is achieved are similar to those used to make societies more adaptive to climate change, including flood protection and drought proofing.10 Efforts in one area should thus inform efforts in the other, not simply to reduce redundancies, encourage efficiencies and promote co-benefits but also to encourage policy learning and adaptive management in both fields.11  A similar argument should be made for the importance of applying the vast quantity of scholarship in the area of disaster management to the more nascent field of climate change adaptation. It is a common viewpoint within the disaster management and risk reduction literatures that disasters are not the inevitable outcome of natural hazards. As Shaw, Pulhin and Pereira explain it, “it is the combination of an exposed, vulnerable, and ill-prepared population or community with a hazard event that results in a disaster.”12 For this reason the authors argue that climate change contributes to the frequency and severity of disasters not only by increasing the number and intensity of extreme weather events, but also by exacerbating existing vulnerabilities through the degradation of the environmental resources and ecosystem services upon which human communities rely.13 As risk is ultimately a function of hazard and                                                 9 Rajib Shaw, Juan Pulhin, and Joy Pereira, “Preface,” in Community, Environment and Disaster Risk Management, Volume 5: Climate Change Adaptation and Risk Reduction: An Asian Perspective (Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2010), xxi. 10 Ibid. 11 David Etkin, Jacqueline Medalye, and Kaz Higuchi, “Climate Warming and Natural Disaster Management: An Exploration of the Issues,” in Climate Change 112 (2012): 585 – 586 and Rajib Shaw, Juan Pulhin, and Joy Pereira, “Preface,” xxi. 12 Rajib Shaw, Juan Pulhin, and Joy Pereira, “Introduction,” in Community, Environment and Disaster Risk Management, Volume 5: Climate Change Adaptation and Risk Reduction: An Asian Perspective (Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2010), 2. 13 Ibid.  6 vulnerability,14 when these two variables are amplified by climate change so too is the risk posed to society.  But vulnerability and ultimately risk are not shared equally through a population. Another insight that the literature on disaster management can bring to the study and practice of climate change adaptation are the social, economic and political determinants of vulnerability. At a most basic level are what Wisner et al. term “unsafe conditions,” the proximate causes of vulnerability that include hazard-prone environments, unstable infrastructure, poor employment opportunities, and lack of social support.15 At an intermediate level are the “dynamic pressures” that create and exacerbate these conditions, including poorly functioning public institutions, lack of educational or training opportunities, and destabilizing demographic shifts like rapid population change.16 At the highest level are the “root causes” of these vulnerabilities, including the structure of political and economic systems, and the limited power, resources, and access some people have to these systems.17 It is this structural lack of power, resources, and access, or social vulnerability, that results in certain social groups being more likely to face the unsafe conditions that typify physical vulnerability to hazard, as well as their weakened capacity to respond to or recover from such hazards.   The social vulnerability of particular groups has been empirically demonstrated by Cutter, Boruff, and Shirley in their quantitative assessment of factors influencing vulnerability to environmental hazards. Building on past qualitative and quantitative scholarship on the indicators of social vulnerability, Cutler et al. construct an index to measure these determinants. They then compare response and recovery data for recent disasters in the United States on the county-level with the Social Vulnerability Index (SoVI) data for those same counties. The authors find that personal wealth, age, and race and ethnicity are statistically significant in                                                 14 Ben Wisner, Piers Blaikie, Terry Cannon, and Ian Davis, At Risk: Natural Hazards, People’s Vulnerability and Disasters (London, UK: Routledge, 2003), 49.  15 Ibid., 51. 16 Ibid. 17 Ibid.  7 explaining variance in disaster recovery outcomes at the county level.18 Wealth assists residents in recovering more quickly from the impacts of a disaster, while a lack of such financial resources makes coping with stressors more difficult.19 A higher percentage of elderly residents in a community was also associated with slower response and recovery, given issues with mobility and poorer adaptive capacity.20 Race, particularly for African-Americans, was found to negatively impact resilience to disaster because of the historic and continuing social, economic, and political marginalization members of this group face in American society.21   The Role of Community Resilience and Social Capital in Disaster Management  The benefits of investment in robust physical infrastructure for climate change adaptation may seem obvious. In a powerful storm aging public infrastructure like levees and bridges may fail to protect citizens from dangerous flooding or provide a safe evacuation route. Similarly, investments in heating and cooling systems may offer residents increased protection against heat stress and other heat-induced illness. While disaster risk reduction has traditionally focused on the robustness of physical infrastructure such as levees or cooling systems, as Aldrich and Meyer argue there are several drawbacks to disaster management efforts that rely exclusively on technical or engineered solutions to climate-change induced risk and vulnerability.22  First, while risk can be mitigated through technical or engineered solutions, it cannot be eliminated entirely; some vulnerability to hazard will always remain.23 Secondly, the public investment required for large-scaled engineered solutions to sea level rise and other effects of climate change are dependent on political will, which may be absent despite increasing risk and                                                 18 Susan L. Cutter, Bryan J. Boruff, and W. Lynn Shirley, “Social Vulnerability to Environmental Hazards,” in Social Science Quarterly 84/2 (2003): 251 – 254.  19 Ibid., 251.  20 Ibid., 252. 21 Ibid., 253 – 254.  22 Daniel P. Aldrich and Michelle A. Meyer, “Social Capital and Community Resilience,” in American Behavioural Scientist 59/2 (2014): 2. 23 Ibid.  8 vulnerability.24 Investments in social infrastructure, on the other hand, can increase what Aldrich and Meyer term community resilience, or “the collective ability of a neighbourhood or geographically defined area to deal with stressors and efficiently resume the rhythms of daily life through cooperation following shocks.”25 When risk cannot be mitigated entirely, the ability of individuals and communities to weather the resulting impacts becomes key. As investments in social infrastructure are much less costly than large-scale engineered solutions, it may also be easier to muster the political will and resources needed for climate change adaptation using this approach. Just as social processes can create vulnerability to natural hazards, so too can they promote individual and community resilience. In the past decade the idea of resilience has been widely adopted as a benchmark for disaster risk reduction among both scholars and practitioners of disaster management and planning. In their article on the topic, Norris et al. describe community resilience as the capacity of a collective to adapt to disasters and other stressors that threaten to disrupt the regular functioning of their social systems.26 Based on their assessment of the literature and case studies, the authors argue that the following capacities are essential to community resilience:  a strong and diversified local economy, equitable distribution of resources, robust social capital and support, formal and informal institutions to share information, and the ability to make decisions and act collectively.27 The importance of robust social capital in particular has been emphasized in much of the literature on community resilience. Research has demonstrated that in actuality it is often neighbours, family and friends – not trained professionals – who are the first responders after a                                                 24 Aldrich and Meyer, “Social Capital and Community Resilience,” 2. 25 Ibid. 26 Fran H. Norris, Susan P. Stevens, Betty Pfefferbaum, Karen F. Wyche, and Rose L. Pfefferbaum, “Community Resilience as a Metaphor, Theory, Set of Capacities, and Strategy for Disaster Readiness,” in American Journal of Community Psychology 41/1 (2008): 130. 27 Ibid., 136 – 142.   9 disaster.28 Case studies have also demonstrated that strong social capital can lead to successful response even for communities that may be the most socially vulnerable. During the 1995 heat wave in Chicago, Klinenberg found that there were stark differences in mortality outcomes for members of two neighbouring communities, one predominately African-American, the other predominately Hispanic. While both communities would rank similarly on the Social Vulnerability Index due to low-income levels and racial/ethnic composition, more isolated, elderly residents succumbed to heat stress and other heat-related illness in the first community than in the second on account of its poorer social capital and support, lack of vibrant public space, and lower levels of community organization.29  The capacity for trust and reciprocity amongst members of a community and the ability to deliberate and work together to achieve common ends are thus crucial in the aftermath of a disaster. Strong social networks enable access to first aid, information, financial support, child and elder care, and other forms of assistance post-disaster when emergency and public services may be overwhelmed or even unresponsive.30 For example, in the aftermath of the 1995 Kobe earthquake, the majority of residents who were saved from the wreckage of their collapsed homes were rescued by their own neighbours, not trained disaster response professionals.31 In another oft-cited case study, strong social networks among residents of the Versailles neighbourhood in New Orleans enabled recovery from the extensive damage caused by Hurricane Katrina more quickly than in the recovery efforts of some other communities, including those that were both more affluent and less affected by the hurricane.32                                                  28 United States Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, “Disaster Planning is Up to You,” March 30, 2007, accessed April 8, 2015, https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2007/03/30/disaster-planning-you. 29 Eric Klinenberg, Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002), 86 – 127.  30 United States Department of Homeland Security, “Disaster Planning is Up to You.” 31 Daniel P. Aldrich, “The Power of People: Social Capital’s Role in Recovery from the 1995 Kobe Earthquake,” in Natural Hazards 56 (2011): 597. 32 Christopher A. Airriess, Wei Li, Karen J. Leong, Angela Chia-Chen Chen, and Verna M. Keith, “Church-Based Social Capital, Networks and Geographical Scale: Katrina Evacuation, Relocation, and Recovery in a New Orleans Vietnamese American Community,” in Geoforum 39/3 (2008): 1335 – 1341.  10 Given the benefits of investments in social infrastructure, it is puzzling that more governments do not adopt concrete policies and programs to promote community resilience as part of the disaster management planning process. This is especially the case because in the 72 hours immediately following a disaster, including those brought on by a changing climate, critical infrastructure may fail. If the public and private institutions that provide electricity, water, policing, health and other essential services are nonoperational then residents must meet their immediate needs during this time on their own.33 In order for residents to be self-sufficient during this time, both the Canadian and American federal governments recommend that households have enough food, water, first aid and other essential supplies to last at least three days.34 But many residents may not be able to take care of themselves or their families as a result of lack of preparedness, injury, disability or other vulnerability, and will require assistance in accessing emergency shelter, water, food and other services.35 In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the severity of which has been linked to climate change, over 8 million people in the eastern United States lost power and gasoline was rationed in New York City for 15 days after the storm, limiting the mobility of many residents.36 Many elderly and disabled persons were stranded in their high-rise apartment buildings and low-income residents of the city’s public housing buildings were without power, heat, hot water and elevator service for more than two weeks.37 Knowing that individuals and communities are not able to count on government                                                 33 United States Department of Homeland Security, “Disaster Planning is Up to You” and Government of Canada, “Get Prepared: Before an Emergency,” April 9, 2015, accessed July 26, 2015, http://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/hzd/ bfr-en.aspx. 34 United States Department of Homeland Security, “Disaster Planning is Up to You.” 35 San Francisco Planning and Urban Renewal Association, Disaster Response Task Force, “The Culture of Preparedness: Disaster Planning and Preparedness in San Francisco Neighborhoods,” June 18, 2008, accessed March 25, 2015, http://www.spur.org/publications/spur-report/2008-06-18/culture-preparedness. 36 Kevin E. Trenberth, John T. Fasullo and Theodore G. Shephard, “Attribution of Climate Extreme Events,” in Nature Climate Change 5 (2015): 727 and Kayla Webly, “Hurricane Sandy By the Numbers: A Superstorm’s Statistics, One Month Later,” November 26, 2012, accessed August 10, 2015, http://nation.time.com/2012/11/26/ hurricane-sandy-one-month-later/. 37 Al Huang, Natural Resources Defence Council, “Hurricane Sandy’s Disproportionate Impact on NYC’s Most Vulnerable Communities,” November 15, 2012, accessed August 10, 2015, http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/ahuang/ hurricane_sandys_disproportion.html and Mother Jones, “Hurricane Sandy: Elderly People Trapped, Gas Shortages, and Gridlock,” November 1, 2012, accessed August 10, 2015. http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2012/10/ hurricane-sandy.   11 services or assistance for at least 72 hours after a major disaster, effective public management and policy requires investments in social infrastructure so that neighbourhoods and communities can do the essential and life-saving work that government is unable to.                                                                                                                                                                                12 Climate Change Adaptation Planning in Vancouver and San Francisco Climate Change-Related Hazards in Vancouver Climate change will have wide-ranging effects on the Canadian environment and economy, with specific impacts varying by region.38 In British Columbia climate change is expected to increase the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, including heavy precipitation, heat waves, and drought.39 These weather events may lead to flooding, landslides, water shortages, forest fires, and worsening air quality.40 The anticipated effects of such hazards include property and infrastructure damage, disruptions to local economies, and poorer health outcomes for the province’s residents.41  As a coastal city, Vancouver is particularly vulnerable to sea level rise. In a 2013 study of the 136 largest coastal cities in the world, Hallegatte et al. found that Vancouver ranked 11 in terms of future flood damage, with a projected $107 million (US) in annual average losses by 2050.42 Presentations, reports, and other documents by the governments of Vancouver and British Columbia have also highlighted the increasing flood risk posed to the city and province by sea level rise. A 2011 presentation by British Columbia’s Climate Action Secretariat stated that the province needed to prepare for the increase in sea levels that will inevitably take place as a result of climate change.43 According to projections by the province, Vancouver’s coast will face a 0.89 – 1.03 metre increase in sea level by 2100.44 A study conducted by Bing Tom Architects based on recent municipal land assessment values and the province’s projections for                                                 38 Statistics Canada, “Human Activity and the Environment: Annual Statistics 2007 and 2008,” April 2008, accessed July 14, 2015, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/ pub/16-201-x/16-201-x2007000-eng.pdf. 39 British Columbia, “Climate Change Impacts,” no date, accessed July 16, 2015, http://www2. gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/climate-change/reports-data/climate-change-impacts. 40 Ibid. 41 Ibid. 42 Stephane Hallegatte, Colin Green, Robert J. Nicholls and Jan Corfee-Morlot, “Future Flood Losses in Major Coastal Cities,” In Nature Climate Change 3 (2013): 802 – 803. 43 British Columbia Ministry of the Environment, Climate Action Secretariat, “Managing the Unavoidable: Preparing for Sea Level Rise in BC,” Presentation, Sea Level Rise Workshop, Nanaimo, BC, October 19, 2011. http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/cas/adaptation/pdf/SLR_ webinar_TinaNeale-ManagingUnavoidable.pdf. 44 Ibid.  13 2100 found that sea level rise could threaten real estate in the city worth $25 billion (CDN).45 As part of its public communications regarding sea level rise, the city has released an interactive map on its website that visualizes the impact sea rise will have on Vancouver’s low-lying areas by the year 2100.46 Climate change is also projected to increase annual average precipitation and temperatures in Vancouver.47 Summers will also become more hot and arid. More detailed projections of these other climate change impacts, as well as analysis of the cost they may impose on Vancouver’s residents, businesses, and government, are less readily available than those for sea level rise. This is no doubt a result of continuing uncertainties in climate modelling due to uncertainty about future emissions, as well as difficulties in downscaling global or regional climate models to the local scale.48  The Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium has produced climate models for the Greater Vancouver region over several time scales from a baseline of 1961 – 1990. While mean temperatures are projected to increase from 1 to 2.5 degrees Celsius and snowfall is projected to decrease by up to 50 percent by the 2050s, there is a wide range in projections for precipitation, as well as variability in the projections by season.49 Based on the projected increases in temperature as a result of climate change, the National Roundtable on the Environment and Economy has projected that Vancouver would seen an increase in deaths and illness due to heat and poor air quality, the annual health care costs of which could be between                                                 45 Eileen Keenan and Andrew Yan, “The Local Effects of Global Climate Change in the City of Vancouver: A Community Toolkit and Atlas,” July 2011, http://www.btaworks.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/BTAworks_Local-Effects-of-Global-Climate-Change-Community-Toolkit-and-Atlas_FINAL.pdf. 46 City of Vancouver, “Designing and Protecting Buildings to Withstand Floods,” no date, accessed July 20, 2015, http://vancouver.ca/green-vancouver/flood-proofing-buildings.aspx. 47 City of Vancouver, “Climate Change Adaptation Strategy,” July 25, 2012, accessed October 4, 2014, http:// vancouver.ca/files/cov/Vancouver-Climate-Change-Adaptation-Strategy-2012-11-07.pdf. 48 Maarten K. Van Aalst, “The Impacts of Climate Change on the Risk of Natural Disasters,” in Disasters 30/1 (2006): 8.  49 Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium, Plan2Adapt, “Summary of Climate Change for Greater Vancouver in the 2050s,” no date, accessed July 24, 2016, http://www.plan2adapt.ca/ tools/planners?pr=14&ts=8&toy=16.  14 $2 and $6 million (CDN) by 2050.50 The annual costs of premature mortality for this same time period as a result of increased temperatures and worsening air quality was estimated at $1.3 to $2 billion (CDN).51 Climate Change Adaptation Policies in Vancouver In light of the risks posed to the city by climate change, Vancouver was the first local government in Canada to adopt a comprehensive climate change adaptation strategy.52 As part of the planning process an inter-departmental working group was formed to identify impacts and provide advice on options for adaptation. The strategy outlines a number of priority and supporting actions in areas related to stormwater management, water conservation, urban forest management, and coast flood risk management. Among the range of objectives and actions set out in the document are those to design and implement an integrated stormwater management plan; create a back-up power policy for city buildings and infrastructure; increase the city’s capacity to shelter homeless and other vulnerable residents during extreme weather events; and minimize heat-related deaths and illnesses. Different city departments are responsible for particular priority and supporting actions, with overall coordination and support being provided by the city’s Sustainability Group. Sea level rise is one of the most pressing climate change impacts facing the city and many of the actions in the strategy address this risk. In determining its response to this issue, the city of Vancouver has been guided by four strategic principles:   1. Use best science and learn from others 2. Pragmatic balance of cost and risk 3. Be opportunistic and proactive 4. Take a phased approach, distribute cost of adaptation across time.53                                                 50 National Roundtable on the Environment and Economy, “Paying the Price: The Economic Impact of Climate Change for Canada,” 2011, accessed July 14, 2015. http://www.fcm.ca/Documents/reports/PCP/paying_the_ price_EN.pdf 51 Ibid. 52 Dene Moore, “Vancouver Near Top of List of Cities Threatened by Rising Sea Levels,” The Globe and Mail, August 20, 2013, accessed November 22, 2014, http://www.theglobeand mail.com/news/british-columbia/flooding-due-to-rising-seas-could-cost-1-trillion-by-2050-study-says/article13889544/. 53 City of Vancouver, “Sea Level Rise Strategy,” July 9, 2014, accessed October 4, 2014. http://former.vancouver.ca /ctyclerk/cclerk/20140709/documents/cfsc2-presentation.pdf.  15 In the immediate term, these principles have led the municipal government to increase Flood Construction Levels (FCLs) across Vancouver, assess adaptation options for areas that have already experienced increased flooding, and undertake a Coastal Flood Risk Assessment (CFRA).54 The city is also considering two longer-term initiatives based on the results of the CFRA: location-based adaptation programs for areas that are projected to bear the brunt of future flooding and the use of large-scale infrastructure projects to mitigate the impact of sea level rise. In regards to immediate actions, FCLs in the city were increased from 3.5 to 4.5 metres in 2012 in response to guidelines from the provincial government.55 This was the first time since 1972 that the FCLs had been modified. Based on the methodology used by the provincial government to model the effects of sea level rise for coastal flooding, the city of Vancouver updated its FCLs once more to 4.6 metres in 2014.56 The city is also devising emergency response plans and considering infrastructure investments in areas that have already experienced increased flooding, such as Kits Point and Locarno Beach.57  In regards to longer-term actions, the city has used the Coastal Flood Risk Assessment to identify areas most vulnerable to future flooding as a result of sea level rise. Based on these results, the city is considering location-based adaptation programs, including changes in land use and investments in flood protection, both structural (dykes, flood gates) and non-structural (sand dunes, wetlands restoration).58 The second longer-term policy initiative is to design and implement future large-scale infrastructure projects so that they serve as flood protection for vulnerable areas beyond the year 2100.59                                                  54 City of Vancouver, Deputy City Manager, “Administrative Report: Flood Construction Levels.” May 30, 2014. Accessed October 4, 2014. http://former.vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/ 20140709/ documents/cfsc2.pdf. 55 City of Vancouver, “Sea Level Rise Strategy.” 56 Ibid. 57 Ibid. 58 Ibid. 59 Ibid.  16  Climate Change-Related Hazards in San Francisco As in Canada, the impacts of climate change in the United States will vary according to region. According to the third U.S. National Climate Change Assessment, Climate Change Impacts in the United States, the American Southwest is projected to see decreased precipitation, higher temperatures, and increased drought.60 Both heat waves and wildfires are also anticipated to increase in frequency and severity.61 The effect of these hazards on California’s energy infrastructure is projected to be significant, with wildfires and sea level rise posing a significant threat to large portions of the state’s electricity transmission grid and low-lying power plants respectively.62  Some low-lying areas of California’s coast, including in the San Francisco Bay Area, have already experienced flooding and erosion due to sea level rise in the past century. Previous high tides have resulted in damage to the region’s infrastructure, including flooding of portions of US Highway 101 and saltwater intrusion into some Bay Area sewage systems.63 The third U.S. National Climate Change Assessment highlights the mounting risk that climate change will pose to important infrastructure in the Bay Area, including highways and airports.64 By 2050, sea levels are projected to increase by 11 to 19 inches and by 2100 this figure could rise to 30 or 55 inches, resulting in upwards of $62 billion (USD) in damage to infrastructure.65 Flood modelling by the California Energy Commission’s Cal-Adapt project demonstrates that neighbourhoods in                                                 60 United States Global Change Research Program, Climate Change Impacts in the United States: The Third National Climate Assessment, edited by Jerry M. Melillo, Terese Richmond, and Gary W. Yohe (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2014), 11 and 32. 61 Ibid., 11 and 38 62 Ibid., 115 and 119. 63 Ibid., 469. 64 Ibid., 148 and 149. 65 San Francisco Department of the Environment, “San Francisco Climate Action Strategy: 2013 Update,” October 21, 2014, accessed November 20, 2014, http://www.sfenvironment.org/sites/default/files/engagement_files/sfe_cc_ ClimateActionStrategyUpdate2013.pdf.  17 the city like Mission Bay and Hunter’s Point are already vulnerable to extreme flood events and that this risk increases under scenarios of 19, 39 and 55-inch sea level rise.66  By 2050 annual average temperatures in the Bay Area are anticipated to increase approximately 1.5 degrees Celsius from the year 2000 baseline.67 By the end of the century this increase could grow from anywhere between 2 to 6 degrees Celsius, depending on future greenhouse gas emissions.68 As in Vancouver, climate change impacts in the Bay Area are anticipated to negatively affect human health outcomes. While increases in air pollution, drought, and flooding can all have significant consequences for public health, it is the increase in frequency and severity of heat waves that is expected to have the worst impact.69 By 2050 it is projected that San Francisco could experience 3 or 4 times as many extreme heat days as occur now.70 As such events are historically rare in San Francisco, residents are less able to acclimatize physiologically and there is a lack of infrastructure like air conditioning to mitigate these impacts.71  Climate Change Adaptation Policies in San Francisco  San Francisco was one of the first local governments in the United States to formulate a plan for climate change. While the city’s first Climate Action Plan, released in 2004, focused exclusively on climate change mitigation efforts, the city has since formed a Climate Adaptation Working Group.72 Developed in 2012 as an inter-agency initiative, the working group AdaptSF                                                 66 California Energy Commission, Cal-Adapt, “Sea Level Rise: Threatened Areas Map,” no date, accessed December 4, 2014, http://cal-adapt.org/sealevel/. 67 Julia A. Ekstrom and Susanne C. Moser, California Energy Commission, “Climate Change Impacts, Vulnerabilities, and Adaptation in the San Francisco Bay Area: A Synthesis of PIER Program Reports and Other Relevant Research,” July 2012, accessed July 14, 2015, http://www.energy.ca.gov/2012publications/CEC-500-2012-071/CEC-500-2012-071.pdf. 68 Ibid. 69 Ibid. 70 San Francisco Department of the Environment, “San Francisco Climate Action Strategy: 2013 Update.” 71 San Francisco Department of Public Health. Program on Health, Equity and Sustainability. “Climate and Health, Understanding the Risk: An Assessment of San Francisco’s Vulnerability to Extreme Heat Events.” No date. Accessed July 14, 2015. http://www.sfhealthequity.org/component/jdownloads/ finish/42/269. 72 San Francisco Department of the Environment and San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, “Climate Action Plan for San Francisco: Local Actions to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” September 2004, accessed December 4, 2014, http://www.sfenvironment.org/ sites/default/files/fliers/files/climateactionplan.pdf and San  18 includes staff from the city’s environment, planning, public utilities and works, transportation, parks, and public health departments.73 The group’s goals are to foster coordination and collaboration across city departments, increase public awareness of climate change impacts, build capacity amongst the private sector and communities to respond to emergencies, and mainstream climate change adaptation into all of the city’s capital investments, plans, codes, and other standards.74 The working group has identified several impacts to which to direct current adaptation planning: sea level rise; increased flooding due to storm surges and extreme rain events; heats wave of greater frequency and severity; and reductions in coastal fog, which provides an important cooling function for both humans and local ecosystems.75  To assist in planning for future extreme heat events, the Department of Public Health has conducted a heat vulnerability assessment that identifies the groups and communities to which extreme heat events may pose the greatest risk.76 The city has also undertaken a number of initiatives to deal with sea level rise and future flooding. As with Vancouver, some of these initiatives are mainly focused on physical infrastructure. The city has incorporated climate change vulnerability and risk assessments into its capital planning processes, with new municipal infrastructure projects being assessed on the basis on their vulnerability to coastal flooding as a result of projected sea level rise.77 The city has also completed a study on the effects of projected sea level rise on the port. Next steps include an evaluation of options to strengthen the city’s existing flood protections; assessments of non-structural options like wetlands restoration to mitigate coastal flooding and erosion; assessments of the risks posed by coastal flooding and storm surges to the Embarcadero, Financial District, and San Francisco                                                                                                                                                        Francisco Department of the Environment, “Climate Change Adaptation,” no date, accessed October 25, 2014, http://www.sfenvironment.org/article/climate-change/adaptation. 73 Ibid. 74 San Francisco Department of the Environment, “San Francisco Climate Action Strategy: 2013 Update.” 75 San Francisco Department of the Environment, “Climate Change Adaptation.” 76 Ibid. 77 San Francisco Sea Level Rise Committee, “Guidance for Incorporating Sea Level Rise into Capital Planning in San Francisco: Assessing Vulnerability and Risk,” September 16, 2014, accessed October 26, 2014, http://onesanfrancisco.org/wp-content/uploads/Agenda-Item-4-SLR-Guidance-DRAFT.pdf.  19 International Airport; and raising awareness of flood risk and flood insurance opportunities amongst homeowners.78 Unlike Vancouver, however, the city of San Francisco has also worked to make its social infrastructure more resilient to the impacts of climate change. These impacts are some of the many stressors that the city is assisting its residents to prepare through the auspices of the Neighbourhood Empowerment Network (NEN). Run out of the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services and supported by the San Francisco General Services Agency and the Department of Emergency Management, NEN is a network of residents, neighbourhood and business associations, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions.79 Since its founding in 2007, the organization has used capacity building to support the city’s communities meet their local needs.80 In 2012 the organization launched its Empowered Communities Program (ECP), which provides a framework within which community members can determine their shared vision of resilience and how it can be realized. Depending on the neighbourhood and its unique vulnerabilities, this can include working to increase resilience to disasters like severe heat waves or more quotidian stressors like homelessness and social isolation.  The ECP framework has three phases. In the first stage local leaders from the neighbourhood are assembled to begin the community risk and resilience assessment. These community leaders discuss the risks and stressors posed to their neighbourhood, map out its existing resources and other assets in responding to stress, and assess its current capacities for resilience.81 In phase two a community event is held to communicate to residents the hazards facing their neighbourhood, spark discussion amongst community members as to how they envision responding to these stressors, and facilitate goal and objective setting in reaching this                                                 78 San Francisco Department of the Environment, “San Francisco Climate Action Strategy: 2013 Update.” 79 Neighborhood Empowerment Network, “About Us,” no date, accessed October 25, 2014, http://empowersf.org/ about-us/. 80 Neighborhood Empowerment Network, “Empowered Communities Program,” no date, accessed October 25, 2014. http://empowersf.org/ecp/. 81 Daniel Homsey, interview by author, digital recording, San Francisco, CA, June 23, 2015.  20 vision of resilience.82 Phases one and two culminate in the drafting of a resilient action plan for the community. Phase three is ongoing, with annual project planning by the community used to identify specific programs and initiatives that can be implemented to reach its collective goals and objectives for resilience.83 The particular projects planned depends on the nature of the community’s vision for resilience as well as the unique challenges it faces.  In the case of the Bayview, some of the relevant stressors include homelessness, food insecurity, and natural hazards like earthquakes, coastal flooding, and heat waves. One project designed by community members in collaboration with a local nonprofit to address some of these stressors is the Resilient Youth Leadership Academy (RYLA). The purpose of RYLA is to assist young members of Bayview in developing their professional and leadership skills so that they have the knowledge, skills, and experience to 1) achieve the personal and professional goals they have set for themselves, and 2) lead their community in responding to stressors like climate change and economic insecurity.84 Among other outcomes, the academy will provide participants with increased knowledge about the impacts that climate change may have on the Bayview, as well as the kinds of policies and programs that can be used to adapt to this stress.85  The ECP was initially rolled out into three neighbourhoods in the city – Diamond Heights, the Bayview, and Miraloma Park – each with very different demographics, vulnerabilities, and assets.86 Based on the lessons learned from these neighbourhoods, a toolkit is now being designed by the city in collaboration with San Francisco State University’s Institute for Civic and Community Engagement to eventually be used in all the city’s neighbourhoods to building community resilience to disaster and other stressors.87                                                  82 Daniel Homsey, interview by author, digital recording, San Francisco, CA, June 23, 2015. 83 Ibid. 84 Neighbourhood Empowerment Network, “Resilient Youth Leadership Academy,” no date, accessed June 22, 2015, http://empowersf.org/resilient-youth-leadership-academy/. 85 Ibid. 86 Daniel Homsey, interview by author, digital recording, San Francisco, CA, June 23, 2015. 87 Ibid.  21 Explaining Vancouver and San Francisco’s Climate Change Adaptation Policies Methodology As demonstrated in the previous section, the cities of Vancouver and San Francisco face similar hazards as a result of anthropogenic climate change. As was also shown, these two cities have responded to the impacts of climate change in converging and diverging ways. While both municipal governments have made investments in physical infrastructure, the city of San Francisco has also worked to make its residents more socially resilient to the impacts of climate change.  In explaining this divergence in Vancouver and San Francisco’s climate change adaptation policies, I will develop and test three hypotheses. The first is that differing levels of social vulnerability, and thus risk, in the two cities has led to the adoption of different climate change adaptation policies. The second is that legal and institutional differences in municipal-provincial and municipal-state relations led to differing policies in response to the impacts of climate change. The final hypothesis is that differing critical junctures and policy legacies in Vancouver and San Francisco led to their diverging responses to sea level rise, heat waves, and other climate change-related hazards. To test these hypotheses I analyze socioeconomic data, relevant legislation, and past policies in both jurisdictions. I also conducted five interviews in San Francisco and two in Vancouver in June and July of 2015 with government bureaucrats and community members involved in the design and implementation of each city’s climate change adaptation and disaster management policies and programs. The questions I posed in these interviews were focused on the origins and development of relevant policies and programs in each jurisdiction. The findings from these interviews are also used to further assess the validity of my three hypotheses.      22 Hypothesis One: Differing Levels of Risk A plausible explanation for the differences in Vancouver and San Francisco’s responses to the impacts of climate change might be differing levels of risk in the two cities. It is apparent from the overview of climate change impacts projected for Vancouver and San Francisco that the two cities face similar hazards. But, as previously discussed, risk is a function of both hazard and vulnerability. While the hazards are comparable, it may be that the levels of vulnerability and thus risk are not. If one city were significantly more vulnerable than the other to the impacts of climate change, this would magnify risk and may provide greater impetus to adaptation policies that promote social resilience. My first hypothesis is thus that greater vulnerability to the impacts of climate change in San Francisco has led the city to adopt policies that increase the resilience of both physical and social infrastructure, while Vancouver’s lesser vulnerability has led to the adoption of policies that focus on physical infrastructure. This hypothesis regarding differing levels of risk can be assessed using two tests. The first test is if Vancouver and San Francisco face objectively different levels of social vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. The second test is if there are different perceptions of social vulnerability in these two cities. That is, even if objective risks are comparable, one city does not perceive its social vulnerabilities and thus does not implement policies to address them.    Vulnerability to Climate Change-Related Hazards in San Francisco  Following key indicators from Cutter et al.’s index, several demographic, economic and social trends in San Francisco would suggest significant social vulnerability to environmental hazards. Racial disparity in income levels is greater in San Francisco than the United States as a whole.88 While white San Franciscans earn on average $88,266 per year, this number is only                                                 88 San Francisco Human Services Agency, “Demographic and Poverty Trends in San Francisco,” June 6, 2011, accessed April 10, 2015, https://www. usfca.edu/nursing/PCHPE_sf_demographics/.  23 $31,000 for African-American residents and $34,172 for Native American residents.89 While only 9 percent of white residents are classified as poor by the San Francisco Human Services Agency, this number is 29 percent for African American residents and 39 percent for Native American residents.90 Seniors also represent 19 percent of the total population in San Francisco, a number higher than that of the Californian and American populations more generally.91  Recalling Norris et al.’s list of adaptive capacities – equitable distribution of resources, robust social capital and support – other economic and social trends would suggest lower levels of community resilience in San Francisco. Income inequality is greater in San Francisco than in any other major Californian county; it has also risen significantly since 1990 at a rate greater than any other major California county or the United States more generally.92 There has also been a 50% decrease in the number of African Americans living in San Francisco since 1950, with most of this decline having taken place since 1990.93 This rapid out migration may have a significant effect on community cohesion and social capital in the San Francisco neighborhoods in which these residents once lived.94  A study of social vulnerability to climate change in California found that although the effects of sea level rise would be greatest in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles, residents of the Bay Area were more socially vulnerable to this impact because of the location of low-income populations in flood-prone areas.95 This is a result of differences in the spatial organization of vulnerability in the two regions; whereas in LA wealthier populations are clustered on the coast, in the Bay Area many of the most affluent residents live on the hills                                                 89 San Francisco Human Services Agency, “Demographic and Poverty Trends in San Francisco.” 90 Ibid. 91 Ibid. 92 San Francisco Human Services Agency, “San Francisco’s Widening Income Inequality,” May 2014, accessed April 10, 2015, http://www.sfhsa.org/ asset/ReportsDataResources/FamEcon SuccessForum_IncomeInequality.pdf. 93 San Francisco Human Services Agency, “Demographic and Poverty Trends in San Francisco.” 94 G.L. Hodge, interview by author, digital recording, San Francisco, CA, June 25, 2015. 95 Heather Cooley, Eli Moore, Matthew Heberger, and Lucy Allen, California Energy Commision, “Social Vulnerability to Climate Change in California,” September 28, 2012, accessed July 20, 2015, http://pacinst.org/wp-content/uploads/ sites/21/2014/04/social-vulnerability-climate-change-ca.pdf.  24 overlooking the water.96 The report also found a correlation between areas that are projected to experience worsening air quality as a result of climate change and areas with high social vulnerability, including those in San Francisco.  So while the city of San Francisco will face increased hazards due to climate change, these impacts are not equally dispersed and social vulnerability to climate change-related hazards varies greatly between neighbourhoods. One neighbourhood that exhibits both high exposure to hazards and high social vulnerability is Bayview-Hunter’s Point, located in the southeast corner of the city. As demonstrated in Table 2, the neighborhood of Bayview fares worse than both San Francisco and the state of California on a number of indicators of social vulnerability. Bayview has a higher proportion of residents who are 1) persons of colour, 2) under the age of 5 or over the age of 65, 3) unemployed, and 4) under the poverty line. Residents of this neighborhood are also twice as likely as other San Franciscans to have only a high school education or less, and have a per capita income half of that of other city residents. Demographic  Characteristic  Bayview (Neighbourhood)  San Francisco  (City)  California  (State)         Race/Ethnicity  Asian (%) 33 34 14 Black/African-American (%) 32 6 7 White (%) 12 54 73 Other (%) 23 6 6           Age Under 5 (%) 8 5 7 Over 65 (%) 16 14 13             Educational Attainment  High School or Less (%) 56 26 43          Economic Status Median Household Income ($) 43,155 75,604 61,094 Per Capita Income ($) 19, 484 48,486 29,527 Unemployed (%) 14 8 11 Under Poverty Line (%) 18 14 16  Table 2: Indicators of social vulnerability in neighbourhood of Bayview, city of San Francisco, and state of California. Data sources: San Francisco Center for Economic Development, Neighbourhood Empowerment Network and United States Census Bureau.                                                  96 Cooley et al., “Social Vulnerability to Climate Change in California.”  25 In addition to these social vulnerabilities, Bayview also faces greater exposure to the impacts of climate change than do other areas of the city. Figure 1 shows heat vulnerability in Bayview-Hunter’s Point, with dark green representing low vulnerability, light green low-medium, yellow medium, orange medium-high, and red high. Figure 2 demonstrates flooding and liquefaction risk in Bayview, with blue representing the 100-year flood hazard zones and purple representing the 100-year flood hazard zones with additional risk of wave action. It is important to note that both of these figures represent current risk; Figure 3 shows how projected sea level rise might further threaten the neighbourhood. The map shows zones that risk inundation and storm surges under conditions of 4 foot sea level rise, which is within the range of projections for year 2100, with corresponding level of social vulnerability. Areas at risk from sea level rise are marked in yellow, orange, and red, with yellow signifying low social vulnerability, orange medium social vulnerability, and red high social vulnerability. As is evident from the map, the areas of the city in which highly socially vulnerable populations are at risk of sea level rise are concentrated in Bayview.                  Figure 1: Map of heat vulnerability in the Bayview, San Francisco. Inset map demonstrates relative heat vulnerability in San Francisco neighbourhoods as a whole. Source: Neighbourhood Empowerment Network. Figure 2: Map of flooding and liquefaction risk in the Bayview. Inset map demonstrates relative flooding and liquefaction risk in San Francisco neighbourhoods as a whole. Source: Neighbourhood Empowerment Network. 26    Figure 3: Map of social vulnerability and inundation/storm surge risk under conditions of 4 foot sea level rise in San Francisco. Adapted from Climate Central’s “Surging Seas: Submergence Risk Map” for San Francisco, CA.  As demonstrated by the above data and figures, climate change poses significant risk to San Francisco due to worsening natural hazards like coastal flooding and heat waves, as well as the social vulnerability of some of the city’s residents to these hazards. The city’s 2013 update to its Climate Action Strategy explicitly states that demographic characteristics, like age, race, and income make some groups more vulnerable to the effects of heat waves, and that certain neighbourhoods will be disproportionately affected due to their greater physical hazard and social vulnerability.97 The use of the Empowered Communities Program to address some of these problems also indicates that the city perceives these risks as such. As Daniel Homsey, Director of Neighbourhood Resilience, contextualized the need for the program:  Over 60 percent of San Franciscans have moved out since 1992, do the math on the social capital on that. We’re living in a city that speaks 85 languages, we’re in a city that 65 percent of residents are not from California, 32 percent are not even from the                                                 97 San Francisco Department of the Environment, “San Francisco Climate Action Strategy: 2013 Update.”  27 United States, 70 percent are renters. I mean it is really more of a cruise ship than it is a traditional city and this is a very perplexing, big challenge for us.98  Vulnerability to Climate Change-Related Hazards in Vancouver    Having established both the objective and perceived risk associated with the impacts of climate change in San Francisco, I will now test whether the actual and/or perceived risks posed to Vancouver are comparable. Some key economic, social and demographic trends suggest significant social vulnerability to environmental hazards in Vancouver. The city is one of the few in Canada to have seen a continuous increase in the percentage of low-income households over the past 30 years.99 A study by the Cities Centre at the University of Toronto attributes this trend to the increase of recent immigrants to the city during that same time. The income of recent immigrants to Vancouver was only 52 percent of that of non-immigrant workers in 2005, a decline of 35 percent since 1980.100 There are also stark differences in employment and income statistics for indigenous and non-indigenous residents of Vancouver. Unemployment rates for indigenous residents were double that for the city overall in 2006.101 Indigenous residents in Vancouver are also more like to live in poverty than other groups, with one-third falling below the low income cut-off versus one-fifth of the city’s general population.102 Other trends would suggest lower levels of social capital and community resilience in Vancouver than in other British Columbian or Canadian cities. Average levels of household income inequality in the city have increased since the 1980s, according to three different measures of income inequality.103 In 2005, the last year for which reliable census data is available, Vancouver had the highest rate of income inequality out of Canada’s three largest                                                 98 Daniel Homsey, interview by author, digital recording, San Francisco, CA, June 23, 2015. 99 Alan Walks, Cities Centre, University of Toronto, “Income Inequality and Polarization in Canada’s Cities: An Examination and New Form of Measurement.” 2013. Accessed July 28, 2015. http://neighbourhoodchange.ca/ documents/2015/02/income-inequality-and-polarization-in-canadas-cities-an-examination-and-new-form-of-measurement.pdf. 100 Ibid. 101 Statistics Canada, “2006 Aboriginal Population Profile for Vancouver,” March 24, 2010, accessed July 30, 2015, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-638-x/2010004/article/11085-eng.htm. 102 Ibid. 103 Walks, “Income Inequality and Polarization in Canada’s Cities.”  28 Census Metropolitan Areas.104 When the Vancouver Foundation polled charitable organizations and community leaders in 2011 about the social and political problems in the city they deemed most important, respondents stated they were more concerned about social isolation and disconnection than any other issue, including poverty and homelessness.105 The respondents said that the city’s residents are increasingly separated by culture, language and income; that participation in community and public life was on the decline; and that this deepening isolation and lack of care makes it difficult for the city to act on significant social and political issues like poverty and homelessness.106  As in San Francisco, some neighbourhoods in Vancouver are more physically and socially vulnerable to the impacts of natural hazards than others. Modelling by the provincial government has demonstrated that the DTES is among the city’s neighbourhoods most physically vulnerable to future flooding as a result of sea level rise.107 Figure 4 shows areas in Vancouver that may be affected by coastal flooding under the province’s projections for sea level rise in 2100 and a severe storm event, with the DTES outlined in black. This impending risk is identified in the city’s plan for the DTES, which notes that projected sea level rise and more frequent extreme storm events may result in street flooding.108 Other city documents have highlighted the flood risk to infrastructure and housing in this community in the coming decades.109                                                  104 Walks, “Income Inequality and Polarization in Canada’s Cities.” 105 Vancouver Foundation, “Connections and Engagement: A Survey of Metro Vancouver,” June 2012, accessed July 24, 2015, https://www.vancouverfoundation.ca/sites/default/files/ documents/VanFdn-SurveyResults-Report.pdf. 106 Ibid. 107 City of Vancouver, “Sea Level Rise Strategy.” 108 City of Vancouver. “Downtown Eastside Plan.” March 15, 2014. http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/ downtown-eastside-plan.pdf. 109 City of Vancouver, “Downtown Eastside Local Area Profile 2013.”  29   Figure 4: Map of affected areas in Vancouver under conditions of sea level rise and a severe storm event in 2100. Adapted from Keenan and Yan’s “The Local Effects of Global Climate Change in the City of Vancouver: A Community Toolkit and Atlas.”  Using Cutter et al.’s Social Vulnerability Index, a study by Fox of social vulnerability to earthquakes in Vancouver found that of the five census tracts ranked most vulnerable, three were in the Downtown East Side (DTES) area.110 As the following data demonstrate, this social vulnerability extends to the impacts of climate change-related hazards as well. Table 3 compares the DTES, city of Vancouver, and province of British Columbia on a number of indicators of social vulnerability. The Downtown East Side ranks more highly than the city and province on almost all of these indicators, including percentage of residents who are of historically marginalized groups, older than 65, and living below the poverty line. DTES residents make on average only one-third of the income of other Vancouverites and are almost twice as likely to be unemployed than other residents of the city or province.  Table 4 provides an overview of how some of these indicators of social vulnerability in the Downtown East Side compare with those in the Bayview neighbourhood of San Francisco. Many of the indicators of social vulnerability are comparable in the two neighbourhoods,                                                 110 Jana Christine Fox, “Vulnerable Populations: A Spatial Assessment of Social Vulnerability to Earthquakes in Vancouver, British Columbia,” (Master’s thesis, University of British Columbia, 2008), 30.  30 although the DTES in Vancouver fares significantly worse in the areas of median household income and percentage of residents living under the poverty line than does the Bayview.  Demographic Characteristic  DTES  (Neighbourhood)  Vancouver  (City)  British Columbia (Province)         Race/Ethnicity  Indigenous (%) 10 2 5           Age Under 5 (%) 2 4 5 Over 65 (%) 21 13 15             Educational Attainment  High School or Less (%) 61 41 38          Economic Status Median Household Income ($) 13,691 47,299 52,709 Unemployed (%) 11.3 6 6 Low Income Cut-Off (%) 53 21 17  Table 3: Indicators of social vulnerability in neighbourhood of the Downtown East Side (DTES), city of Vancouver, and province of British Columbia. Data sources: City of Vancouver, BC Stats, and Stats Canada.  Demographic  Characteristic  Bayview  (San Francisco)  DTES  (Vancouver)           Age Under 5 (%) 8 2 Over 65 (%) 16 21                                                                  Educational Attainment  High School or Less (%) 56 61            Economic Status Median Household Income ($) 43,155 (US) 13, 691 (CDN) Unemployed (%) 14 11.3 Under Poverty Line (%) 18 53  Table 4: Indicators of social vulnerability in the neighbourhoods of the Bayview (San Francisco) and the Downtown East Side (Vancouver). Statistics on race and ethnicity have been omitted due to lack of comparable data.  As noted in a neighbourhood profile published by the City of Vancouver, residents of the DTES are faced with many significant challenges, including homelessness, poverty, lack of affordable housing, poor mental health, and high levels of drug use and crime.111 While the neighbourhood has recently seen increased development, its most vulnerable residents are generally not benefiting from the new employment opportunities and economic ventures.112                                                 111 City of Vancouver, “Downtown Eastside Local Area Profile 2013,” November 7, 2013, accessed July 24, 2015, http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/profile-dtes-local-area-2013.pdf. 112 Ibid.  31 Indeed, these trends threaten to further marginalize the area’s most vulnerable residents. All of these challenges have the effect of weakening social capital and community resilience to the impacts of climate change.  Based on the preceding data and figures, it is evident that Vancouver is socially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and, like San Francisco, this vulnerability is not dispersed equally throughout the city. In both cities areas with high levels of social vulnerability are also anticipated to be affected by climate change-related hazards like increased flooding due to sea level rise and extreme storm events. Having demonstrated comparable levels of actual risk in the two cities, the second part of the hypothesis to be tested is whether, unlike in San Francisco, these social vulnerabilities are not perceived as such in Vancouver.   This proves to not be the case. One of the guiding principles of Vancouver’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, in fact, is integrating the “unique needs and conditions of people who are most vulnerable” into the planning process.113 To this end the City of Vancouver identifies a number of populations throughout the strategy to whom climate change-related hazards pose significantly greater risk. These include low-income households, the homeless, and residents living in low-lying coastal areas in the city.114 The strategy notes that while residents living in low-lying coastal areas are physically vulnerable to sea level rise, low-income households and the homeless are vulnerable because of their social position. Many of these residents already lack access to basic services and do not have the resources required to support themselves if critical infrastructure is unresponsive in the event of a storm or other extreme weather events.115 The strategy also highlights the heightened risk posed by heat waves and other weather extremes to groups such as children, the elderly, and residents with existing health conditions.                                                 113 City of Vancouver, “Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.” 114 Ibid. 115 Ibid.  32 So it is clear that both San Francisco and Vancouver recognize the importance of addressing social vulnerabilities in climate change and disaster management policies. The difference is how they have sought to address these vulnerabilities. While the City of Vancouver has explicitly noted the vulnerabilities of different social groups, including low-income persons and the homeless, in its strategy, the solutions provided are focused on strengthening physical systems, like providing greater investment in back-up power for city infrastructure and buildings during extreme weather events.116 While the term “resilience” is found throughout the document, it is generally used in reference to the robustness of physical, and not social, infrastructure – for instance, the resilience of the city’s storm sewer infrastructure against heavy precipitation or the resilience of low-lying infrastructure and assets to coastal flooding.117 That Vancouver has recognized its social vulnerability to climate change is further demonstrated by study it commissioned in 2014 through the Greenest City Scholars Program on building neighbourhood social resilience to climate change-induced disasters in the city. Of particular concern to the city was the report by the Vancouver Foundation that found increasing levels of social isolation and community disengagement amongst residents, both of which were perceived to increase vulnerability to environmental hazards.118 A small pilot project to increase community engagement was designed and implemented in two apartment buildings, one in Kitsilano and the other in the West End.119 However, there are currently no plans to continue the project.120  In sum, Vancouver and San Francisco face similar levels of risk to the impacts of climate change as a result of both physical hazards and social vulnerabilities in the two cities. In fact, Vancouver faces many of the same challenges that San Francisco does, as articulated by                                                 116 City of Vancouver, “Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.” 117 Ibid. 118 Tamsin Mills, interview by author, digital recording, Vancouver, BC, July 3, 2015. 119 Eliana Chia, Greenest City Scholars Program, “Building Neighbourhood Social Resilience,” August 29, 2014, accessed July 26, 2015. http://sustain.ubc.ca/sites/sustain.ubc.ca/files/ Sustainability%20Scholars/GCS%20reports %202014/Neighbourhood%20Social%20Resilience%20-%20Final%20GCS%20Report.pdf. 120 Tamsin Mills, interview by author, digital recording, Vancouver, BC, July 3, 2015.  33 Daniel Homsey. Like San Francisco, Vancouver is dealing with an affordability crisis that threatens to drive lower- and middle-income residents from the city.121 A 2015 survey on international housing affordability has found that Vancouver ranks second least affordable major metropolitan market in the world, with San Francisco coming in fourth.122 Like San Francisco, Vancouver is culturally and linguistically diverse, which can pose challenges for increasing community resilience. Once again, Vancouver actually ranks higher than San Francisco on this front, with 40 percent of residents in the Metro Vancouver area being foreign born.123 This indicates that not only are levels of risk similar but that Vancouver could actually learn from the example San Francisco has set in investing in social infrastructure to mitigate the impacts of climate change and other stressors.                                                             121 Roslyn Kunin and Associates, Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, “Help Wanted: Salaries, Affordability, and the Exodus of Labour From Metro Vancouver,” May 2015, accessed July 28, 2015, https://www.vancity.com/Shared Content/documents/News/Help_Wanted_ May_2015.pdf. 122 Wendell Cox and Hugh Pavletich, Demographia, “11th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey: 2015,” January 19, 2015, accessed July 28, 2015, http://www.demographia.com/dhi.pdf. 123 Statistics Canada, “Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity in Canada,” January 14, 2014, accessed July 28, 2015, http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2011/as-sa/99-010-x/99-010-x2011001-eng.cfm.  34 Hypothesis Two: Differing Intergovernmental Relations My second hypothesis is that differing intergovernmental relations have led to divergent responses to climate change adaptation at the municipal level in Vancouver and San Francisco. In assessing the effect of intergovernmental relations, I will focus on the legal and political institutions that structure the relationship between municipalities and provincial or state governments in British Columbia and California. The hypothesis that distinct municipal-provincial and municipal-state relations explain these policy differences can be tested by examining if policymaking was encouraged, constrained or otherwise influenced by higher levels of government in one case, but not in the other, as a result of 1) state or provincial legal jurisdiction or 2) state or provincial political intervention. There is a growing academic literature on the effects of intergovernmental relations on municipal climate change policies and programs. A common argument, made by Kousky and Schneider, and Bulkeley, among others, is that provincial, state, and federal governments place constraints on the legal and political powers of municipalities which limit their ability to implement policies that would effectively mitigate climate change.124 There is also the effect of public management reforms that have altered the responsibilities, but not capacities, of local governments. Bulkeley and Kern, for instance, argue that public management reform in the European Union over the past several decades has created barriers to effective climate change policies at the local level because municipalities lack key capacities like the coordination of governance functions over a wide range of public and private actors.125 A similar intergovernmental hypothesis has been used by Jones to explain divergent climate change mitigation policies at the municipal level in Vancouver, New York, and Melbourne. He argues that the federal systems of Canada, the United States, and Australia                                                 124 Carolyn Kousky and Stephen H. Schneider, “Global Climate Change Policy: Will Cities Lead the Way?” in Climate Policy 3 (2003) and Harriet Bulkeley, Cities and Climate Change. London, UK: Routledge, 2002. 125 Harriet Bulkeley and Kristine Kern, “Local Government and the Governing of Climate Change in Germany and the UK,” In Urban Studies 43/12 (2006): 2251.    35 structure municipal-provincial or municipal-state relations in such a way that local governments in these three countries have differing levels of political authority, responsibility and capacity.126 In both Canada and the US provincial or state governments have constitutional responsibility for the municipalities in their jurisdiction, but provinces and states structure their relationships with municipalities in different ways.127 Local governments in Canada, for instance, have no autonomous legal or political authority under the Canadian constitution; any power enjoyed by a municipality has been devolved to it by the province.128  The same is true within the American federal system, although there is greater variation in the powers delegated to local governments in the US than in Canada. The governments of many large cities in the US have been afforded “home-rule” powers by state governments, meaning that they have greater autonomy in legislative and financial matters.129 Jones argues that these differences matter greatly in the context of climate change policy because they may “determine where a city government can introduce regulations, provide support programmes through provisional means such as funding or incentives, or introduce support through enabling initiatives such as information provision and educational programmes.”130 The political authority, responsibility, and capacity devolved to municipalities by provincial and state governments thus “become a central determining factor in the type, shape and scope of climate change policies implemented by city governments.”131 With these differences in mind Jones argues that Vancouver’s “comprehensive action” on climate change is a result of its supportive institutional relationship with the provincial government and strong leadership on the issue by Premier Gordon Campbell.132 Most of the city government’s climate change mitigation policies are closely aligned with those of the province                                                 126 Stephen Jones, “Climate Change Policies of City Governments in Federal Systems: An Analysis of Vancouver, Melbourne and New York City,” Regional Studies 47/6 (2013): 976. 127 Ibid., 977 – 978. 128 Ibid., 977. 129 Ibid., 978. 130 Ibid., 979. 131 Ibid. 132 Ibid., 976 and 986.  36 and neighbouring municipalities, including its targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions, which follow those set by the province in the British Columbia Climate Action Charter, 2007.133 This is contrasted with New York, which Jones characterizes as having taken “independent action” on climate change. Under the City Home Rule Law, 1923, New York enjoys greater political autonomy, legislative power, and financial resources than either Vancouver or Melbourne.134 New York thus has the legal and fiscal capacities required to take strong action on climate change without support of the state government, whose policies have lagged behind those of the city.135 Intergovernmental Relations in San Francisco and California A similar argument could be made to explain the different approaches taken by Vancouver and San Francisco in their climate change adaptation policies. As a “charter city,” San Francisco has greater power devolved to it from the state of California than does Vancouver from the province of British Columbia. This difference in legal and political jurisdiction may explain why key aspects of Vancouver’s climate change adaptation strategy, such as its response to sea level rise, have closely followed guidelines set by the province. Differences in the two cities’ responses to the impacts of climate change may also be explained by greater political intervention on the part of the British Columbia government in Vancouver’s climate change adaption policies than is the case with San Francisco and the state of California.  The city of San Francisco’s legal and political authority is a function of California’s state constitution, which recognizes two classes of municipalities: “general law cities” and “charter cities.”136 General law cities are subject to California state law in all areas of governance, whereas charter cities have autonomy in “municipal affairs,” meaning that any law passed by                                                 133 Jones, “Climate Change Policies of City Governments in Federal Systems,” 981 – 982 and 985. 134 Ibid., 983 and 986.   135 Ibid., 984 – 986. 136 League of California Cities, “Charter Cities – A Quick Guide for the Press and Researchers,” May 9, 2007, accessed November 22, 2014, http://www.cacities.org/Resources-Documents/Resources-Section/Charter-Cities/Charter-Cities-A-Quick-Summary-for-the-Press-and-R.  37 the city government in this area will take precedence over state laws.137 Once incorporated, all municipalities in California are general law cities under the state constitution, but under the “home-rule provision” they may became charter cities through the adoption of charter, a document akin to a municipal constitution.138 San Francisco is a charter city under the San Francisco Municipal Code and thus has similar home-rule powers to New York: greater political autonomy, legislative power, and financial resources.139  While San Francisco enjoys greater autonomy in its political, legislative, and fiscal affairs than Vancouver, this general difference does not explain the specific divergence in approach to climate change adaptation in these two cities. Firstly, both cities have jurisdiction over the legislative and policy tools relevant to climate change adaptation, including the development of land use regulations, building codes, infrastructure projects like flood protection, and educational and awareness campaigns. Secondly, in both British Columbia and California many legal responsibilities for disaster preparedness and response have been devolved from the province or state to the municipalities. These similarities in both legal power and responsibility are demonstrated in the area of flood management, a central component of both cities’ climate change adaptation policies. In the case of California, municipalities have the primary responsibility under the Water Code for flood management and control, which typically involves the implementation by local governments of land use regulations that restrict development on flood plains.140 The Water Code also allows cities to construct works, levees or other infrastructure that prevent flooding.141 Another piece of legislation, the Government Code, requires municipalities to develop a “general plan” for long-term development that includes vulnerability assessments for flood-prone land                                                 137 League of California Cities, “Charter Cities.” 138 Ibid. 139 American Legal Publishing Corporation, “Preamble,” in San Francisco Municipal Code, November 7, 2014, accessed December 4, 2014, http://www.amlegal.com/nxt/ gateway.dll/California/charter_sf/ 1996charter?f= templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:sanfrancisco_ca$anc=JD_Charter. 140 California Department of Finance, Performance Review Unit, “Inventory of Flood Control Agencies,” November 1997, accessed November 20, 2014, http://www.dof.ca.gov/SpecialReviews/documents/floodrpt.pdf. 141 Ibid.  38 and an emergency response plan for flood events.142 Although the state does not conduct formal oversight and enforcement activities, it does assist municipalities in fulfilling their obligations under the Water and Government Codes by providing flood models and other scientific assessments of flood risk to local planning and zoning officials.143 Intergovernmental Relations in Vancouver and British Columbia The powers and responsibilities of local governments in California in regards to flood management are largely mirrored by those of British Columbian municipalities. As Lyle and Mclean characterize it, there has been a “quiet devolution of power” from the province to the municipalities in the area of flood management over time.144 The Municipal Act, 1986 gave municipalities in British Columbia the power to adopt floodplain by-laws.145 Further powers were devolved in the Flood Hazard Statutes Amendment Act, 2003, which gave municipalities the legal and political authority to designate floodplains and build flood management infrastructure like dikes.146 While a great deal of power has been devolved to municipalities in the area of flood management, Lyle and Mclean note that few local governments have taken advantage of this authority because they are not financially liable for the damage incurred by flood emergencies.147 Like those in California, local governments in British Columbia are also responsible for providing the first response to flood emergencies within their jurisdiction under the Emergency Program Act, 1996.148 The Act mandates all local governments to develop and implement an emergency plan that provides for the safety of all citizens and infrastructure within their                                                 142 California Department of Finance, Performance Review Unit, “Inventory of Flood Control Agencies,” November 1997, accessed November 20, 2014, http://www.dof.ca.gov/SpecialReviews/documents/floodrpt.pdf. 143 Ibid. 144 Tamsin Lyle and Dave Mclean, “British Columbia’s Flood Management Policy Window – Can We Take Advantage?” Presentation, 4th International Symposium on Flood Defence: Managing Flood Risk, Reliability and Vulnerability, Toronto, ON, May 6 – 8, 2008, http://www.ebbwater.ca/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/ LyleMcLean2008.pdf. 145 Ibid. 146 Ibid. 147 Ibid. 148 British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, “Flood Planning and Response,” no date, accessed November 20, 2014, http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wsd/public_ safety/flood/fhm-2012/flood_emg_ response.html.  39 jurisdiction in the event of an emergency.149 When warranted by the severity of a flood emergency, its potential impact on other municipalities, or the insufficient response of a local government, the provincial government will also assist in the emergency response.150 When an extreme flood event is predicted, the province provides local governments with information and guidance on emergency response.151 The legislation providing for the devolution of flood management powers and responsibilities in British Columbia is then best described as enabling; it offers greater authority to local governments, but does not prescribe specific actions to be taken by the municipalities.152  There is disagreement, however, as to the legal obligations of municipalities to adjust Flood Construction Levels upon the release of new guidelines from the provincial government.153 When responsibility for flood management was first devolved to the municipalities, the City of Vancouver adopted the provincial standards in this area.154 Vancouver later increased its FCLs in 2011 in response to draft guidelines by the province which suggested municipalities prepare for sea level rise of 1 metre by 2100 and 2 metres by 2200.155 While the City of Vancouver believes it is exercising due diligence, the legal status of these guidelines are unclear and require interpretation. The city’s decision to act in accordance with the guidelines thus cannot be seen as simply a result of coercion on the part of the province.   So whereas the provincial government has provided guidelines and other information to the municipalities to assist in fulfilling the flood management responsibilities devolved to them in legislation, it has not dictated their policy response. The relationship between Vancouver and the province in the area of flood management is thus very similar to that between San Francisco and the state of California in this area. In both cases responsibilities have been delegated to the                                                 149 British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, “Flood Planning and Response.” 150 Ibid. 151 Ibid. 152 Ibid. 153 Tamsin Mills, interview by author, digital recording, Vancouver, BC, July 3, 2015. 154 British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, “Flood Planning and Response.” 155 Ibid.  40 municipalities for flood management and emergency response. In both cases the provincial and state governments have provided information and guidance to the municipalities, but do not require that the city governments implement a particularly policy instrument or otherwise dictate how they respond to flood management issues. In both flood management and emergency response we thus see a great deal of political authority, autonomy and discretion on the part of municipalities in British Columbia and California. While San Francisco has in general greater political autonomy, legislative power, and financial resources at its disposal than does Vancouver, this cannot explain the divergence between the two cities in their response to the impacts of climate change. While Vancouver’s policies in the areas of sea level rise have largely followed the standards set by the government, this is by choice; it is not dictated by its legal or political relationship to the province or intervention on the part of the provincial government in municipal policy. The hypothesis of intergovernmental relations thus fails to explain the divergence in policy response to the impacts of climate change at the municipal level in Vancouver and San Francisco. In fact, as we will see in the following section, in developing policies to strengthen social infrastructure in San Francisco, officials from the city referenced lessons learned from the abject failure of the New Orleans government to adequately respond to disaster in the case of Hurricane Katrina. This brings us the third and final hypothesis: that divergent policy legacies and critical junctures in the area of disaster management have led to different responses to the impacts of climate change at the municipal level in Vancouver and San Francisco.        41 Hypothesis Three:  Differing Critical Junctures and Policy Legacies Using a historical institutionalist approach, my final hypothesis is that differing critical junctures and policy legacies in the area of disaster management have resulted in Vancouver and San Francisco’s divergent responses to the impacts of climate change in the present. The argument here is that a critical juncture in San Francisco’s history, the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, led to the realization that existing disaster management policies were inadequate. This led to increased investments in physical, but not social, infrastructure. A second, though more distant, critical juncture, the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans in 2005, demonstrated to city officials in San Francisco that disaster management policies needed to involve both government and communities in building social resilience to disaster and other stressors. The resulting Empowered Communities Program (ECP) provides a framework with which communities can identify the stressors most pressing to them and work together, and with the city, to strengthen their social infrastructure. Similar critical junctures and resulting policy legacies are absent in Vancouver’s history of disaster management planning.  As Hall and Taylor describe it in their review of institutionalist theory, critical junctures are “moments when substantial institutional changes take place thereby creating a ‘branching point’ from which historical development moves onto a new path.”156 Critical junctures are often used by political scientists to explain how previous policy legacies are disrupted, making way for different approaches to policymaking in a particular area, but they can also be used to explain the formation of new policy legacies, as novel thinking about a particular issue is institutionalized within government law and policy so it encourages, constrains or otherwise influences future action. This second point has been elucidated by Pierson in his article on path dependence in which he argues that the concept is best understood by use of the economic theory of increasing returns. Pierson explains that “in an increasing returns process, the                                                 156 Peter Hall and Rosemary Taylor, “Political Science and the Three New Institutionalisms,” in Political Studies 44 (1996): 942.  42 probability of further steps along the same path increases with each move down that path.”157 As an actor continues down this route, the benefits of this trajectory increase over time relative to others and the decision to abandon the path for another becomes increasingly costly.158 Similarly, another actor who has not gone down this same path will find it more costly to switch tracks to join the first.  The hypothesis that differing critical junctures and policy legacies explain Vancouver and San Francisco’s divergent responses to the impacts of climate change can be assessed using two tests. The first test is if there were significant events in one jurisdiction, absent in the other, that led to the adoption of new policies in the area of disaster management. The second test is if the new policies resulting from this critical juncture have determined the jurisdiction’s response to the impacts of climate change today, and that these policies differ significantly from those of the jurisdiction that did not experience similar critical junctures.  Critical Junctures and Policy Legacies in San Francisco’s Approach to Climate Change Adaptation The first critical juncture in San Francisco was the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, which injured thousands of people and resulted in $6 billion (US) in damages. While earlier earthquakes, like that of 1906, had alerted the city government to the risk posed by seismic events to infrastructure and human safety, the damage incurred by Loma Prieta reinforced this.159 Following Loma Prieta, the city began amending construction standards to mitigate the risk posed by faults in the area.160 In the past 15 years the Department of Emergency                                                 157 Paul Pierson, “Increasing Returns, Path Dependence, and the Study of Politics,” in The American Political Science Review 94/2 (2000): 252.  158 Ibid. 159 William Siembieda, “Adaptation to Seismic Risk and Climate Change: San Francisco and Berkeley, California, USA,” in Adapting to Climate Change: Lessons from Natural Hazards Planning, ed. Bruce C. Glavovic and Gavin P. Smith (New York, NY: Springer, 2014), 152.  160 Ibid., 157.   43 Management has allocated $10 billion (USD) towards earthquake management policies and programs, with particular emphasis on the retrofitting of public buildings and infrastructure.161  While Loma Prieta reminded the city government of the risk posed by earthquakes to the city, after this first critical juncture the solutions remained focused on physical infrastructure and on a single natural hazard. Then there was a second critical juncture: the immense damage to New Orleans caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the city’s incredibly slow recovery from the storm. While the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services had already been working with the city’s neighbourhoods to build capacity generally, it did not target its programs to disaster response and recovery until after a trip taken by Daniel Homsey, Director of Neighbourhood Resilience, and Ed Lee (then City Administrator, currently the Mayor of San Francisco) to New Orleans.162 The delegation was sent to assist with disaster recovery in spring 2007, almost two years after the hurricane, but the members of the San Francisco city staff observed that little recovery had taken place and likened the continued devastation to a war zone.163 The group was also struck by what they saw as being the fundamental cause of the disaster: not the hurricane itself, but poor emergency management and corrupt social capital.164 A luck of trust and relationships of reciprocity between the residents and their city government, and between the city and other authorities, magnified vulnerability to the hurricane, inhibited an effective collective response, and stifled later recovery efforts.165  The visit influenced decision-makers for three reasons in particular. Firstly, Daniel Homsey and Ed Lee were deeply affected by the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans and that this could have happened to an American city. As Homsey explains it:                                                 161 Tamara Audi, “Study Bolsters View that San Francisco Area is Due for Big Earthquake,” Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2014, accessed March 27, 2015, http://www.wsj.com/articles/study-bolsters-view-that-san-francisco-area-is-due-for-big-earthquake-1413234343. 162 Daniel Homsey, interview by author, digital recording, San Francisco, CA, June 23, 2015. 163 Neighbourhood Empowerment Network, “We’re Off to New Orleans,” July 22, 2011, accessed July 28, 2015, http://empowersf.org/were-off-to-new-orleans/. 164 Daniel Homsey, interview by author, digital recording, San Francisco, CA, June 23, 2015. 165 Ibid.  44 … We were both blown away by it, by the whole experience, to walk through the Ninth Ward and to see photos of what it looked like before and to see what happened to this neighbourhood. And then you hear the stories about seniors swimming for their lives in these torrential rains as houses are floating around, cars are flipping over, you know, boats are crashing into the neighbourhood, destroying buildings, and you’re like, that’s how people died, like that? That’s disgusting. And where did that happen? Did that happen in Haiti? No. Did it happen in Guyana. No, it happened to a city that a lot of Americans have been to and felt was part of the community.166   It is clear that seeing the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina on another American city deeply affected decision makers in San Francisco, who expressed incredulity that something like that could happen in the United States. If a hurricane could devastate New Orleans in the way that it did, it seemed conceivable that a similar event could happen elsewhere. Secondly, as a former community organizer, Lee was quick to acknowledge the limits of government in addressing complex problems like disaster response and recovery without collaboration, assistance and support from the community.167 For this reason, Lee strongly supported NEN’s disaster management program in his role as city administrator and has continued to act as a champion for the organization since his election as mayor in 2012.168 Secondly, as San Francisco had experienced a significant earthquake less than twenty years earlier, Homsey and the others on the trip found it easy to draw comparisons between the effects of the different environmental hazards.169 Earthquake, hurricanes, and other large- and small-scale disasters can all disrupt critical infrastructure and residents’ lives in similar ways.170 While the Loma Prieta earthquake affected the city as a whole, certain neighbourhoods in San Francisco like the Bayview have long dealt with other hazards, like air pollution and environmental contamination.171 This led NEN to adopt an all-hazard approach, in which                                                 166 Daniel Homsey, interview by author, digital recording, San Francisco, CA, June 23, 2015.  167 Ibid. 168 Ibid. 169 Daniel Homsey, “Neighbourhood Extreme Weather Resilience: Daniel Homsey and the ECP Model,” presentation, Faith & the Common Good: Greening Scared Spaces, Toronto, ON, April 14, 2015, https://fcg.adobeconnect.com/p7ow03o0l7e/?launcher=false&fcsContent= true&pbMode=normal. 170 Daniel Homsey, interview by author, digital recording, San Francisco, CA, June 23, 2015. 171 Daniel Homsey, interview by author, digital recording, San Francisco, CA, June 23, 2015.  45 disaster risk reduction is undertaken holistically and comprehensively, in its Empowered Communities Program.  While an all-hazard approach meant that the impacts of climate change were among the many potential disasters that the city was preparing for, this did not compel particular programs or initiatives targeted at sea level rise or heat waves. The ECP provides the framework for neighbourhoods to identify stressors and work towards their vision of resilience, but the programs community members implement depend on the specific problems or hazards they see as most pressing for their community. As with the city’s decision to invest in physical and then social infrastructure, critical events and policy legacies explain decisionmaking at the neighbourhood level as well.  While Providence Baptist Church in the Bayview had previously run some smaller disaster preparedness programs, it was not until Hurricane Katrina that the church and the surrounding community began to work very seriously towards strengthening their resilience to disaster and other stressors. As with the city government, Katrina touched members of the Bayview community in personal ways. Some members of the church owned property in New Orleans and others had family members affected by the flooding.172 The church also hosted a family that survived Hurricane Katrina for over two years as they worked to get back on their feet.173 Hurricane Katrina thus demonstrated to residents of the Bayview how deeply a similar disaster might affect their own community and made them receptive to Homsey’s offer to expand the Empowered Communities Program to their neighbourhood.174 Similarly, the decision to design and implement a leadership program that would educate youth in the Bayview about the impacts of climate change and provide them with the skills necessary to mitigate these effects on their community was a result of a long history of environmental degradation and injustice in the neighbourhood, as well as more recent policies.                                                 172 GL Hodge, interview by author, digital recording, San Francisco, CA, June 25, 2015.  173 Ibid. 174 Ibid.  46 Once the home of a large naval shipyard, the water and soil in the area were contaminated by a range of hazardous materials, including petroleum and lead.175 After its designation as a Federal Superfund Site in 1989 and subsequent clean-up by the navy, some of the land was transferred to the city of San Francisco.176 The city is in the process of developing new housing on this land, some of which has already been completed and placed on the market, as well as designating parts of it as public park.177 Because the new housing may be physically vulnerable to future flooding, development at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard has raised public awareness of the impact climate change may have on the area.178 In addition to the risk posed to housing, residents have also raised concerns about the public health consequences of sea level rise in a neighbourhood where parts of the land are still contaminated by harmful materials.179   The abject failure of the New Orleans government to respond to the damage caused by the hurricane led to the realization among city officials and community members in San Francisco that government alone cannot ensure resilience during and after a disaster.180 While Loma Prieta had reminded the city government of its vulnerability to seismic risk, Hurricane Katrina alerted politicians to the danger of relying upon government response alone and of the range of hazards that could inflict similar damage on the city. It was thus two different critical junctures, the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 and Hurricane Katrina in 2006, that led the city of San Francisco to realize that: 1) more effective policies in the area of disaster management were necessary, 2) resilience in the face of disaster requires action on the part of both government and communities and thus investments in social infrastructure, and 3) a wide range of hazards, including those related to climate change, should be prepared for.                                                  175 United States Environmental Protection Agency, “Hunters Point Naval Shipyard,” no date, accessed July 28, 2015, http://yosemite.epa.gov/r9/sfund/r9sfdocw.nsf/vwsoalphabetic/Hunters+Point+Naval+Shipyard?Open Document. 176 Ibid. 177 Anne Eng, interview by author, digital recording, San Francisco, CA, June 22, 2015. 178 Ibid. 179 Ibid. 180 San Francisco Department of Emergency Management, “The Preparedness Movement Communications Strategy,” September 2009, accessed December 4, 2014. http://www.sfdem.org/modules/ showdocument.aspx? documentid=1179 and Siembieda, “Adaptation to Seismic Risk and Climate Change,” 153.  47 As a result of these critical junctures, their lessons for government, and resulting policy legacies, San Francisco has worked to strengthen its social infrastructure to a range of possible disasters and stressors, including sea level rise and heat waves. As these or similar critical junctures – and thus their lessons for government and resulting policy legacies – did not occur in regards to disaster management policymaking in Vancouver, investments in social infrastructure are absent from the city’s climate change adaptation policies.  Alternate Influences on Vancouver’s Approach to Climate Change Adaptation  As we will see in the case of Vancouver, where such critical junctures and policy legacies were absent, policymaking continues to be largely determined by the guidelines provided to the city by the province, current climate science, and the city’s previous commitments to act on climate change. This is particularly clear in city’s response to sea level rise. In a 2014 administrative report to Vancouver’s Standing Committee on City Finance and Services, the Deputy City Manager stated that the recommendations to amend flood-proofing standards were based on “new Provincial guidelines and current scientific consensus” on projected sea level rise in the city.181 The interim Flood Construction Levels implemented by the city in January 2012 were based on provincial guidelines, as are the new FCLs that the city is currently in the process of implementing.182 The provincial government has committed to updating its projections for sea level rise in 5 to 10 year increments, and the city of Vancouver intends to revise its own policies to reflect these new projections as they are developed.183 In a discussion guide created by the Carbon Talks project at Simon Fraser University Centre for Dialogue, it is noted that the city of Vancouver adopted the province’s 2011 interim guidelines for flood management soon after their release for the following reasons: 1) action on sea level rise was a key commitment in the city’s Corporate Business Plan, 2) some developments in the city were already taking into account projections for increased flooding                                                 181 City of Vancouver, Deputy City Manager, “Administrative Report: Flood Construction Levels.” 182 Ibid. 183 Ibid.  48 beyond that specified by the current FCLs, 3) large scale development was currently underway in False Creek, an area extremely vulnerable to sea level rise, and 4) the obligation of the city to implement evidenced-based policy solutions.184 These motivations were confirmed in an interview I conducted with Tamsin Mills, who developed and continues to implement the city’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, with an emphasis on the risk posed to developments in the city.185 In contextualizing the risk posed to the city by sea level rise, the Standing Committee on City Finance and Services report notes that recent climate change-related flooding has resulted in billions of dollars in damage worldwide and that cities vulnerable to increased flooding have adopted new policies and programs to adapt to this risk.186 The report gives the example of Manhattan’s adaptation efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which include a $335 million (US) project to increase shoreline protection.187 The report also notes that Calgary is increasing Flood Construction Levels in response to its 2013 flood, which was the most expensive natural disaster in the country’s history.188  The report states that “the options available to respond to sea level rise include a range of options: raising FCLs; altering shoreline park design; major infrastructure investment such as those New York City, London and Venice are undertaking.”189 We can see then that climate change adaptation policies in Vancouver and San Francisco, in addition to have different impetuses, have also ultimately been informed by the successes and failures of different jurisdictions. While San Francisco looked to New Orleans, Vancouver has learned from the experiences of cities like New York, London, and Calgary.  While the city of Vancouver’s Sustainability Group did pilot a program to increase social resilience to climate change-induced disasters and other natural hazards, it was limited to two                                                 184 Carbon Talks. Simon Fraser University Centre for Dialogue, Flood-Proofing Vancouver: Policies for a Resilient City, October 16, 2013, accessed October 4, 2014. http://resources. carbontalks.ca/reports/CarbonTalks-Dialogue Report-FloodProofing-print.pdf.  185 Tamsin Mills, interview by author, digital recording, Vancouver, BC, July 3, 2015. 186 City of Vancouver, Deputy City Manager, “Administrative Report: Flood Construction Levels.” 187 Ibid. 188 Ibid. 189 Ibid.  49 buildings and residents were reluctant to take initiative to organize the event.190 There were also challenges in broaching the topic of disaster preparedness with the residents.191 Unlike in San Francisco, the primary goal of the building parties was to increase social interaction among neighbourhoods, with community emergency preparedness a longer-term outcome of the initiative if continued.192 As was previously noted, however, the project has not been implemented past the pilot stage.  In another demonstration of the different trajectories taken by the two cities, Vancouver’s Department of Emergency Management is planning to introduce Community Disaster Response Hubs in the fall of 2015, but unlike in San Francisco these hubs will simply be designated spaces in which members of the community can gather after an earthquake.193 There are currently no plans to facilitate the kind of capacity building processes used by the Neighbourhood Empowerment Network in San Francisco to foster community resilience.194 So while the hubs would create spaces for community members to congregate, this plan is more of an investment in physical rather than social infrastructure as it does not work to increase the relationships, networks, and trust pre-disaster that enable community resilience post-disaster. In another departure, whereas San Francisco was influenced by the effect of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Vancouver was introduced to the idea of community disaster support hubs during a trip by city staff to New Zealand after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.195 As with the case studies referenced by the city in its sea level rise strategy, the inspiration for Vancouver’s forthcoming Community Disaster Response Hubs is very different from that for San Francisco’s approach to disaster management.  In the case of San Francisco we saw that the critical juncture of Loma Prieta reminded city officials of the vulnerability of the city to seismic risk, while the second critical juncture of                                                 190 Chia, “Building Neighbourhood Social Resilience.” 191 Chia, “Building Neighbourhood Social Resilience.” 192 Ibid. 193 Kirsten Jasper, telephone interview with author, Vancouver, BC, July 22, 2015. 194 Ibid. 195 Ibid.  50 Hurricane Katrina demonstrated the importance of both government and community preparedness in the face of disaster. San Francisco’s own history of disaster meant that it took lessons from Hurricane Katrina about the importance of community resilience in the face of disaster. As Vancouver did not have a disaster similar to Loma Prieta in its history, it took its lessons about the effects of sea level rise and the appropriate policy response to it from other case studies, in which investments in physical infrastructure were seen to be the appropriate solution to the issue of sea level rise. Vancouver then followed the guidelines set by the province and current scientific consensus on climate change in determining its more structural and engineered response to increasing climate change-induced risk. We see that this history has affected Vancouver’s approach to earthquake disaster management as well. While the city’s planned introduction of Community Disaster Response Hubs would create physical spaces for neighbours to gather after a disaster, it does not support the creation of strong relationships, networks, and trust among community members pre-disaster that enable community resilience post-disaster. Differing critical junctures and policy legacies in the past have thus resulted in Vancouver and San Francisco’s divergent approaches to the impacts of climate change, and disaster management more generally, in the present.            51 Discussion and Conclusion In their recent review of the literature on community resilience and social capital, Aldrich and Meyer argue that investments in physical infrastructure alone cannot mitigate the effects of disaster. Effective public management and policy thus requires government investments in social infrastructure that make communities themselves more resilient to climate change and other stressors. Unfortunately, most climate change adaptation policies at the municipal level – where they exist at all – have been focused exclusively on physical infrastructure. Using the case studies of Vancouver and San Francisco, my thesis answers the question of why municipal governments might choose to invest in physical rather than social infrastructure in responding to climate change, despite increasing academic consensus on the importance of community resilience in effective disaster and risk management.  As demonstrated in this thesis, the response of municipalities to the impacts of climate change is not simply informed by current climate modelling, expert advice, or academic analysis. We see that in the case of San Francisco past critical events and policy legacies in the area of disaster management have influenced the approach taken to climate change adaptation planning today. In understanding how historical and institutional factors affect policymaking in the area of climate change adaptation, we can better understand the opportunities and constraints on government decisionmaking in this area. Only when these constraints on effective policymaking are understood can better responses to the impacts of climate change be developed.  This thesis also gives insight into how accidents of history, like the professional or personal experiences of key decision makers, can influence public policy. In the case of San Francisco, it is highly likely that the experience of Mayor Ed Lee as a community organizer affected the lessons drawn by the city government from Hurricane Katrina concerning the role of communities in disaster preparedness and response. It is also notable that both city staff and community members in San Francisco were personally affected by Hurricane Katrina – through  52 their visits to the city after the disaster or its impact on family members in New Orleans – which was not the case in Vancouver. These personal experiences determine the ways in which critical events are understood and interpreted by relevant actors, and thus whether or not particular events have a significant effect on policymaking.   Lastly, the case study of San Francisco provides an example of government investment in social infrastructure that can be used by Vancouver and other cities in the development of their own policies and programs to build social resilience. As I demonstrated in this thesis, Vancouver is both physically and socially vulnerable to the effects of climate change. While the policies adopted by the city – increasing Flood Construction Levels, a back-up power plan – may mitigate some of this risk, they cannot eliminate all of it, especially for those residents of the city who are most socially vulnerable. Effective public management and policy necessitates investments in social infrastructure by the city of Vancouver in preparation for the impacts of climate change and other disasters and stressors. The creation of Community Disaster Support Hubs in Vancouver offers an opportunity for the city government to work with communities to build resilience, but this opportunity must be taken. To ensure that all of Vancouver’s residents will be resilient in the face of rapid flooding, a debilitating heat wave, or even an earthquake, it is necessary for the city to begin making investments in social infrastructure.           53 Works Cited  Airriess, Christopher A., Wei Li, Karen J. Leong, Angela Chia-Chen Chen, and Verna M. Keith. “Church-Based Social Capital, Networks and Geographical Scale: Katrina Evacuation, Relocation, and Recovery in a New Orleans Vietnamese American Community.” In Geoforum 39/3 (2008): 1333 – 1346.   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