As climate change has driven increasing sea level rise, hurricanes, and floods, coastal communities have had to come up with new, innovative ways to adapt to their changing environments. One such idea has been around for millennia: stilt houses, or houses build on elevated platformed raised by pillared scaffolding. Stilt houses can reduce flood risk, and even offer better ventilation, local tourism revenue, and in the Arctic, less risk to the permafrost beneath them. But stilt houses have challenges to overcome, from vulnerability to wind, earthquakes, and permafrost thaw to inaccessibility to social stigmas. Today, we explore what opportunities stilt houses present, what issues they face, and what needs to happen for this climate solution to live up to its full potential. With special guest Dr. Thang Dao: Associate Professor of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alabama.
The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise.
This episode is the first in our four-part series collaborating with the Gulf Climate Listening Project covering environmental issues on the Gulf Coast. If you are interested in learning about stopping LNG exports and creating a better future on the Gulf Coast, visit GulfCoastMurals.com.
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Writers: Olivia Amitay, Madeleine Salman, Mo Polyak, Ethan Brown
Fact Checker: Owen Reith
Editor: Ethan Brown
Producers: Ethan Brown, Hallie Cordingley, Shannon Damiano
Ad Voiceover: Mo Polyak
Music: Brett Sawka
The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.