College of Environmental Design faculty members Richard Hindle and Kristina Hill were featured in a newly collection of essays edited by Elizabeth Mossop, a professor and dean of the School of Design, Architecture and Building at the University of Technology Sydney.
Titled Sustainable Coastal Design and Planning (CRC Press, 2018), the collection focuses on how to develop solutions through multidisciplinary design thinking and informs all stakeholders on specific methods and practices that will be needed to work effectively in this dynamic space. With essays by practitioners and academics from across the globe on design and planning for coastal resilience in the face of climate change, it thoroughly explores the questions of coastal change at different scales and provides international case studies that illustrate diverse strategies in different geographies and cultures. Taken as a whole, they canvas a broad palette of approaches and techniques for engaging these complex problems.
Hindle, an assistant professor of landscape architecture & environmental planning, authored the essay “The Hard Habitats of Coastal Armoring.” The essay considers the realm of “hard habitats,” which Hidle defines as “a reconciliation of urban armature and marine ecosystems through the design of advanced structures that protect against rising seas and storms while providing habitat and refuge for marine species.”
Hindle’s essay explores the scale, scope, and future outlook for the design of “hard habitats” in urbanized marine environments and points toward the productive collaboration between marine scientists, materials research, and designers. “For landscape architects and urbanists concerned with the ecology of cities, hard coastal infrastructure provides an exciting frontier through which to explore the built ecologies. For marine ecologists and other scientists, the fabrication of novel urban intertidal ecosystems provides new sites for experimentation and testing,” he writes. Throughout the essay, Hindle goes on to explain the problems associated with extensive coastal armoring and the scope of potential solutions to the issue by pointing to built projects and technological innovation through patents.
Hill, an associate professor of landscape architecture & environmental planning and urban design, authored an essay on resilience and adaptation of coastal cities. “Armatures for Coastal Resilience” explores the meaning of resilience and asks how we collectively can organize ourselves to implement adaptation strategies and what kinds of physical designs and ways of occupying space can help us learn faster.
Using the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand as an example, Hill argues that the question of coastal resilience is significant in relation to seismic events especially in the case of cities like Anchorage, Santiago, Seoul and San Francisco — all major hubs that lie on or near major fault lines. “Because climate change is driving global sea levels higher, coastal resilience is a condition that can no longer exist without adaptation,” Hill writes. “We must be adaptive to long term, permanent changes like higher seas as the foundation for our capacity to be resilient to events.”
Hill concludes that any proposal for resilience that doesn’t consider the need for long-term need for change over the next two centuries is as best “a delaying tactic, and may be actually maladaptive—like the construction of brittle concrete-and-steel walls that can fail catastrophically or will need to be replaced by future generations at great cost.”
Read more about Sustainable Coastal Design and Resilience here.