Dubbed a “climate haven,” a North Carolina community braces for change

From wildfires racing through the drought-stricken west, to heavy flooding in the central and eastern regions of the United States, extreme weather events are spurring many Americans to seek refuge in more environmentally stable cities, so-called “climate havens.”

On top of a list of identified ideal destinations is the town of Asheville, North Carolina, a community of roughly 100,000 people located in the western part of the coastal state amid the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The climate haven label implies that the city is relatively more resilient to climate change than other places across the country, a reassuring safe space in the face of uncertainty.

And indeed, Asheville’s location in a mountainous region of North Carolina does make it less vulnerable to extreme heat impacts, and it is sufficiently inland to avoid hurricane winds and oceanside erosion issues.

There is great interest in growth in and around Asheville, according to Amanda Martin, chief resilience officer of the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency.