ATTACK

Facing Up to Rising Sea Levels

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Facing up to Rising Sea Levels

To attack is to advance and step seaward of the existing coastline. There is massive development potential to be gained for coastal cities by building out onto the water. This further reduces the need to sprawl into the countryside and ensures their sustained social and economic vitality. Although it leaves parts of the city still vulnerable to flooding, can the long term benefit of new development outweigh this risk?

We have several means of building out onto the water and they have been practiced for centuries. Stilts that allow waters to rise, fall and surge underneath inhabitable space have been used on piers around the world, as well as individual buildings. Floating structures, from boats to pontoons, have been used for housing and civil infrastructure. Land reclamation is practiced extensively in some parts of the world, creating new land for development.

How can these practices of new maring developments be implemented in a sustainable manner? These strategies of Attack could unlock a vital planning tool and give flexibility to our extremely dynamic 21st century cities. Moreover, it could encourage a new breed of developers to fill this gap as demand for the prime waterfront sites grows. This commercial competition will need to be matched in long-term management and responsibility. If new development in coastal cities starts to prepare for rising sea-levels now, the livelihood of the city could be maintained for generations to come.

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