Sea level rise is coming – how much depends upon the extent of melting glaciers and coastal inundations. Coasts often harbor cities: the earliest urban centers developed because of sea access. By 2050, 68% of the world will live in cities, many of them ports. How can coastal cities prepare for sea level rise? The Netherlands has long led the world in city design for low-lying coastal areas. Now, many cities are considering preparation for rising seas. Here are some examples.
Seoul announced plans for a floating public swimming pool and art pier space, featuring a concert hall and a marina. Designed for Inchon Han River Park, the 5,000 square meters development will feature the Han River by floating upon its coastal waters. Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon announced the budget of $30 million (30 billion won).
Copenhagen inspired Seoul’s Mayor Oh, who announced Seoul’s new vision while visiting the Danish capital’s Harbour Bath. Denmark also built Havnebadet Islands Brygge, a floating public swimming pool that opened in 2003. Copenhagen worked on another project with Bjarke Ingels Group to build “Urban Rigger,” a floating residential district.
New York suffered $19 billion in damage after Hurricane Sandy (2012). A new city design for lower Manhattan followed. Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) is presently developing a future vision for New York City. The BIG U proposes a protective system around the area of Manhattan from West 57th Street, down to the Battery, and then up again to East 42nd Street. The area is vulnerable to sea level rise. New York may consider options for aquatic construction as well as protective barriers. Will Wall Street soon float more than bonds and floating rate funds?
Marcus, L. “South Korean capital announces plans for ‘floating’ swimming pool and art pier.” 22 March 2023. https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/south-korea-han-river-art-pier-plans-intl-hnk
Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG). https://big.dk
Rebuild By Design. “BIG U” proposal. https://rebuildbydesign.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/675.pdf
Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G. Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 U