Welcome to the first of our Cal Poly Pomona Coastal Resiliency posts featuring 4th year undergraduate students in the Landscape Architecture program.
The students are barreling toward mid-terms (such is the student life in a quarter system), having completed their initial research and visited the project area in Long Beach. As these students learn and process the problems of sea level rise to a coastal community, their first impressions of the class are ones of almost awe and reverence at the issues at hand:
Student Elise A. writes:
“When I think of Long Beach, I think of the bright sun light and the spectacular cityscape along the seashore, and that is pretty much it. Even though I have been aware of the issue of sea level rise, it is still hard to imagine some local and historic parts of the city submerged in water in less than 100 years.
Even though regretful, I am excited at the same time to see what landscape architects, along with urban planners, civil engineers, architects and other professionals can do to mitigate this inevitable situation in a regional if not global scale. I can already see the more sustainable and responsive shore of Long Beach, transformed by innovative designs and renewable energy sources.”
The effects of climate change remains for many a completely theoretical or even fanciful thought. It is only when you begin to dig into the practicalities of something like sea level rise does the precarious situation of coastal living finally sink in.
A Ryagada writes:
“Sea Level Rise (SLR) is a trend that will be very detrimental to our environment. We need to develop strategies that will respond to its effects. Per scientific projections, the City of Long Beach is greatly at risk of being flooded from sea level rise. As a studio, we have been organized in teams to research a range projects for strategy inspiration. We are currently in the process of looking for zones that are most at risk, as well as finding spaces where potential strategies can be applied. The scientific projections are alarming, and have certainly sparked my awareness.
As landscape architects, we can collaboratively develop strategies that will mitigate sea level rise and enhance our environments, rather than allowing natural disasters to take over.”
Global disasters are train wrecks in slow motion. The effects of sea level rise will only be felt by communities three or four generations into the future. However, course corrections can be made now that will allow us to mitigate some of the worse effects, and possibly even enhance the lives of our children’s children’s children. It will be through the commitment and creativity of students like the ones featured here that will allow us not only to survive but thrive.