Prestigious Waterfront Homes Now in No-Go Zones

Some areas of Queensland are so flood-prone they should never have been built on and should be declared no-go zones, according to an international disaster expert, Professor Ed Blakely, who says extreme weather events are becoming increasingly more frequent and far more devastating. While the Institute for Sustainable Development’s Professor George Earl says the flooding disaster underlines the need for adequate infrastructure to deal with the effects of climate change. “Areas which were prestigious in previous generations now are those very properties which are at most risk because of climate change and rising tidal waters”.

Professor Ed Blakely will keynote at the Healthy Cities Conference in Noosa in June 2011

Karen Kissane in The Age (15 January 2011):

An economist on Queensland’s Gold Coast says the Brisbane floods have highlighted the challenges that can confront waterfront property owners. Riverfront homes were among the thousands of properties inundated in south-east Queensland last week.  Around 180 real estate professionals from around the world are discussing the impact of climate change on property developments at a conference at Bond University this week.

The director of the Institute for Sustainable Development at Bond University, Professor George Earl, says the disaster underlines the need for adequate infrastructure to deal with the effects of climate change. “Areas which were prestigious in previous generations now are those very properties which are at most risk because of climate change and rising tidal waters etc,” he said. “I don’t think they will become less desirable or even less valuable – I think what it will do is heighten the emphasis on sustainable infrastructure. “There are some areas which have gone under in the last few days up in Brisbane which are quite OK to be built on.

“It is just that in fact we have to understand the infrastructure that’s needed not to protect just them, but the city in general has to be upgraded. “We have to do more significant work in terms of understanding the issues of climate change on real estate.” However, he says last week’s floods will not cause long-term damage to Brisbane property values. Professor Earl says the damage will not make south-east Queensland any less desirable to home-buyers or dramatically reduce prices. “In the short-term, it will probably stagnate them and probably make them go back somewhat,” he said. “But I think that as we start handling better the issues of climate change and real estate and urban planning, Brisbane and the Gold Coast will still be beautiful places to live.

By Charmaine Kane for ABC (17 January 2011):

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