Theses (Historic Preservation)

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Suggested Citation:

Isacoff, Rachel B. (2014). Raised or Razed: The Challenge of Climate Adaptation and Social Equity in Historic Coastal Communities. (Masters Thesis). University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.


Climate change threatens historic coastal communities, and reducing vulnerability through adaptation will not be easy – but it is necessary. Differing values of government agencies and local communities – contingent on attitudes to risk and cultural restrictions on action – may limit the options for adaptation. This thesis analyzes policy constraints for implementing the preventive strategies of constructing levees, elevating buildings and relocating towns in historic districts in the mid-Atlantic coastal region and makes recommendations for proactive, community-based decision-making processes.


climate adaptation, FEMA, NFIP, sea-level rise, TEK



Date Posted: 03 September 2014