Rising Seas: Coastal Adaptation to Climate Change
Science tells us that we are close to the irreversible tipping point into an unknown climate of the Anthropocene in which humanity has no option but to adapt or to be destroyed. Human influence is changing the earth and a major factor is urbanisation. Cities are one of the largest contributors to global climate change.
This thesis develops a design-led research methodology and approach that develops alternative, speculative landscape intervention strategies to bridge the gap between climate change science and the landscape and the residents of Island Bay, in the city of Wellington, New Zealand. This research aims to take full advantage of new technologies and systems to provide resilient social, ecological and physical solutions for the coastal neighbourhood in the face of climate-related change. These solutions form a comprehensive framework and tools that anticipate a foreseeable future of saturated landscapes. It is a strategy that builds the adaptive capacity of the coastal zone, enhances existing natural systems, accommodates a variety of best coastal management practices and integrates alternative concepts in the coastal neighbourhood adaptation management plan.
These solutions address the unpredictable issue of rising sea levels, storm surges and coastal inundation. In addition, the approach fosters urban environment solutions at various scales, such what a property owner can do and what public/private cooperation can do. Overall, this new integrated system approach has the potential to recalibrate urban coastal environments, catalyse resiliency and provide a robust model for designing mitigative, adaptative coastal communities in response to rising sea-levels and to support a new set of relationships between nature and urbanity.