Is Asheville Safe from Climate Change?

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Asheville, situated in Western North Carolina, has become a popular destination for tourists, professionals who can “work from anywhere”, and retirees alike. While there’s no true way of knowing what areas will remain comfortable to live in as climate change continues to impact our planet, the Asheville area is gaining attention for being a possible “safe haven” from the effects of climate change. Here are the four main reasons why this could be the case:

1 - Location

Asheville is located in the Blue Ridge of the Appalachian Mountains. The mountains are thought to provide a natural barrier against extreme weather events that often accompany climate change. According to Sally Younger at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, sea levels on “U.S. coastlines could rise as much as 12 inches (30 centimeters) above today’s waterline” by 2050.  At around 2,200 feet above sea level, Asheville is situated at a higher elevation than many other cities in the southeastern United States, which means it may be less susceptible to the impacts of rising seas.

2 - Sustainable Practices

The City of Asheville is committed to sustainability and has adopted multiple measures since 2009 toward climate change action. The Municipal Climate Action Plan continues the city’s efforts toward renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainability, and waste reduction; including an effort to reduce the city’s emissions by 80%.

3 - Local Agriculture

The Asheville area has a thriving agriculture scene, giving residents access to fresh, local food that doesn't have to travel long distances to reach their plates. This reduces the city's carbon footprint and makes it more resilient in the face of climate change.

4 - Community Engagement

Community engagement in Asheville is strong. This helps boost the city’s resilience in the face of climate change. Local organizations and residents continue to work together to implement sustainable practices and prepare for the impacts of climate change.

As the effects of climate change continue to impact the livability of cities throughout the world, we believe Asheville will continue to be a safe place to call home.