Coastal Development, Climate Change and Sustainable Tourism in Costa Rica: The Use of Second Life as a Planning Tool (PPD 531L)University of Southern California
School of Policy, Planning and Development
Professors Grace Dyrness and Chris Steins
Second Life) where they will learn how to use this tool in developing a site studied in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica has paved the way in Latin America and elsewhere in the world on establishing a plan for eco- and sustainable tourism yet much work still needs to be done to prepare for the future. Climate science tells us that the impacts of global climate change will increase over time and that major effects such as melting of ice sheets will occur further into the future. Particularly susceptible are coastal regions in the less developed world. Predicting impacts and projecting adaptations will be vital for future development, particularly for tourism.
A recent report by The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / World Bank states that coastal zones are home to an ever growing concentration of people and economic activity, yet they are also subject to a number of climate risks, including sea-level rise and possible increased intensity of tropical storms and cyclones. These factors make adaptation to climate change critical. The report shows that coastal adaptation costs are significant and vary with the magnitude of sea-level rise, making it essential for policymakers to plan while accounting for the uncertainty.
This studio will help students develop a tourism scenario for the site in Second Life based on the results of the Fall 2009 Planning Studio in Costa Rica and using the conclusions and recommendations developed then. The course is experimental, and will involve learning how to use the technology in the context of sustainable tourism. Students will have the opportunity to meet Costa Rican policymakers and developers in a virtual world as they design a site that predicts and adapts to global climate change.