Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Cyborg Landscapes: Using Rising Sea Levels as the Catalyst for Integrating Clean Technologies into Public Recreation Spaces

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posted on 2022-07-28, 02:17 authored by Palmer, Madeleine

As the world progresses towards a precarious future, humanity has the option to adapt or perish in our changing climate. Certain scenarios are definite such as increasing technological advances, rising seas and a growing urban population, however the time frame around these changes are uncertain.

Designing for a new normal, this research is testing how public recreation spaces within an urban environment can be integrated with clean technologies to create a resource producing space. Adopting the framework of a cyborg landscape, which uses technology to enhance existing natural processes, this new type of landscape is designed to coevolve with the changing needs of the city and a new future amidst climate change.

Defining essential resources for a city as energy, food and clean water, ideas have been explored through perspective and section on Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter. With the added implications of sea level rise, various scenarios have been tested to portray how different technologies may coexist within a public recreation space, not only hidden by the design interventions but fully emerged into the landscape. As the sea level rises, the opportunity is created to form a new reality focused around clean technologies and public recreation space.

With Auckland Waterfront posing its own problems regarding recreation, especially water based and inaccessibility to the water’s edge, a rising sea could provide the opportunity for this to begin to improve. An approach has been taken which explores the blurring of landscape and building. Instead of the building infrastructure requiring protection, the landscapes have now become the commodity, due to the production of resources. As the sea rises the landscape creates the buildings, producing new potentials for spaces. By implementing clean technologies into these recreation spaces, food, energy, and water security can be achieved in an uncertain future.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Landscape Architecture; Architecture

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Marques, Bruno