Welcome to our ongoing series of Cal Poly Pomona Coastal Resiliency posts, featuring the observations of 4th year undergraduate students in the Landscape Architecture program.
The students finished their mid-term review last week, presenting their research, inventory, and site analysis for the city of Long Beach. After forming into five teams, each group explored both soft and hard infrastructure strategies, as well as adaptation and mitigation tactics towards coastal resiliency. It is predicted that in 20 years our sea level will rise by 1 foot. How do we prepare our coastal communities NOW to be resilient towards this climate change? We can no longer respond with familiar strategies and technologies, but we also need to explore new solutions that goes beyond our comfort zone by imagining what resilient urban infrastructure can be.
Students researched mitigation strategies such as the establishment of a living breakwater, a structure designed to shield the coastline and offshore breakwaters by slowing and lessening the impact of sea level rise. Techniques range from artificial reefs, oyster-culture, wetland restoration, and artificial tidal pools. Other strategies for adaptation considered by our student-collaborators included the creation of infrastructure to aid communities prepare and integrate rising sea level through natural system barriers such as wetlands; re-thinking our transportation infrastructure by creating canal-oriented communities was another explored possibility.
Alex W. writes:
As landscape architects, we may be able to implement strategies that do not negatively impact the culture of the coast while also mitigating storm surges and tidal incursions to the communities that live along the shore. The research we have gathered individually and as a class has prepared us to step up into the landscape architect’s number one responsibility: safety toward the user. The difficult challenge we face in attempting to meet this goal is facing nature at the height of its intensity. This will be no easy task.”
See our first Cal Poly Pomona Coastal Resiliency post “Sea Level Rise and Foreseeing the Future” here.