Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Ocean As Place For Urban Life: Building on Water to Combat Urban Congestion & Climate Change

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posted on 2023-03-14, 23:30 authored by Bowman, Piers Brereton

Coastal cities form some of the largest and most important cities in the world. The unique character of these cities has been shaped and moulded by the coastal environment. As powerful as these cities seem they have became vulnerable. Coastal cities face the need to expand with rapidly growing populations, also, sea level rise has been increased by climate change, which threatens this expansion and the city itself. This thesis explores how the effects of climate change and urban congestion can be mitigated through architectural development, incorporating a flexible framework for housing and the adaption of the urban fabric to living on water. It seeks to change the perception of buildable space and adapt to the changing face of the coastal city and its environment. The research finds that responses to the coastal city problem exist only as separate projects independent of one another. A unified solution is needed to mitigate these issues between all coastal cities. This can be resolved by combining strategies within further inner city developments. The project responds to coastal city issues as well as adapting to current city inhabitation. Modern city life is one of change and movement. Travel between cities is frequent due to changing lifestyles and job opportunities. Developing on this lifestyle, the project successfully investigates a solution to help protect and improve the life of the coastal city, addressing the problems of tomorrow, today.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Brand, Diane; McIntosh, Jacqueline