Duluth Climigration

Flag of City of Duluth, Minnesota


Current climate migration ("climigration") discourses tend to focus on displacement and not necessarily the economic mobility associated with changing consumer preferences. In one iteration of a climate future, Duluth (MN.) may be well positioned to accommodate a diverse influx of people, culture, and capital associated with a national redistribution of people and places. The question for Duluth moving forward is whether strategic economic development and marketing can be mobilized under a set of community-driven values that, together, paint a vision of a shared climate future. This research project engages climate adaptation planning, demography, market analysis, design research, and infrastructure analysis to explore a range of scenarios for the physical adaptation of Duluth. Thereafter, climate imaganiries and physical planning are synthesized within an advertising campaign that seeks to target pre-selected mobile market segments--from across an income sprectrum--with the intent of projecting Duluth as a climigrant friendly city for all.

Project Team

Alex DiStefano, Project Manager

Don O'Keefe, Design, Branding & Vexillology

Andreea Vasile Hoxha, Visual Advisor

Sam Adkisson, Architecture & Urban Design

Jennifer Kaplan, Urban Planning, Demography & Economic Development

Maura Barry-Garland, Urban Planning, Climate Planning & Impact Analysis

Sydney Pedigo, Urban Planning, Health Care & Economic Development

Runjia Tian, GIS Assistant

Dr. Jesse M. Keenan, Principal Investigator

Project Website


Project Launch

Video: Marshall Performing Arts Center, March 20, 2019

Project News Coverage

New York Times (April 15, 2019). Want to Escape Global Warming? These Cities Offer Cool Relief.

Reuters (April 6, 2019). Cool U.S. Cities Prepare as Future Climate 'Havens.'

The Weather Channel (April 17, 2019). It's the Year 2100 and Everyone is Moving to Duluth.