Sea Level Rise

Man vs. Nature

November 7, 2018
Can engineering save Louisiana’s coastline?

Down at the southern tip of Louisiana, on a barrier island called Grand Isle, the stilts holding up the houses are getting taller. There are about 20 feet of air between the ground and the top of the pilings holding up a new two-story house on the island’s main drag, running parallel to the Gulf of Mexico. Its neighbors, a few hundred single-family homes and weekend getaways with house names on wooden signs, are almost all raised up off the ground. C’est La Vie is propped about 8 feet up. The Salty Oyster: 12 feet. Riptide: about 15.

How a Design Competition Changed the US Approach to Disaster Response

January 18, 2017
the story of Rebuild By Design, a competition – and now its own organisation – based on taking a more proactive approach to disaster response in cities; but how far can you prepare for the effects of climate change?

Ten years ago, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg released a plan to create what he called “the first environmentally sustainable 21st-century city”. The blueprint, known as PlaNYC and released on Earth Day, outlined more than 100 projects and policies to create that sustainable city by 2030.

It set a precedent for local action on climate change; cities around the world began drafting their own sustainability plans. But then in October 2012, it got a harsh reality check.

BayArc, a Tidal Responsive Barrier - Architect Magazine 2016 R&D Awards

July 15, 2016
To counter the havoc that storm surges can wreak in coastal areas along the San Francisco Bay, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill zeroes in on the source of the problem.

Rising sea levels are a worldwide problem, but for the approximately 500-mile shoreline of the San Francisco Bay, one partial solution may lie in something that is actually quite small: the 1.5-mile-wide mouth of the bay, where the Golden Gate Bridge crosses. If water could be stopped from surging through that opening, the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) reasoned, much of the Bay Area could be saved from flooding.