A new research piece that aims to address the issue of rising sea levels was launched last week by RIBA.
‘Facing up to rising sea levels’, authored by RIBA’s think tank Building Futures and the Institute of Civil Engineers, proposes three radical strategies to help Kingston-upon-Hull and Portsmouth cope with the extreme effects of rising sea levels.
The three different approaches are as follows:
RETREAT from the rising waters
DEFEND the existing coastal line
ATTACK the challenge head-on
The strategy of retreating involves moving critical housing and infrastructure to safer ground. This is different to abandonment as a long term planned and managed process has been proposed.
The notion of defence ensures that sea water does not enter the existing built environment. This will require built defences to ensure the standard of protection will be met in the distant future as sea-levels rise.
The idea behind the attack approach 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.
The creation of these three broad solutions will ensure that a suitable approach to tackling the inescapable phenomenon of rising sea levels will be able to be implemented in each individual case.