REVIEWS OF ADAPTING CITIES TO SEA LEVEL RISE: GREEN AND GRAY STRATEGIES
"Stefan Al provides an accessible overview of typical strategies for designing an urban shoreline to respond to flooding, with a strong emphasis on past and present Dutch approaches. Numerous illustrations make it useful for non-designers, as well as students of design. I recommend the book to planners and designers who are looking for an introduction to strategies for coastal design."
— Kristina Hill, Associate Professor, University of California, Berkeley
"Adapting Cities to Sea Level Rise is a frank typological exploration that synthesizes civil engineering, landscape, and urban design considerations into an accessible reference that highlights the adaptive and maladaptive tendencies of design. Rich with case studies, the book provides critical insights into the nuances shaping the life cycle of design interventions."
— Jesse M. Keenan, Faculty of Architecture, Harvard University, Graduate School of Design)
"With his book, Stefan Al presents an inspiring and extensive toolbox of strategies that cities can embrace to adapt to sea level rise. Al looks across the world optimistically: yes we can do it! And we must, since there is no time to waste. Adaptation is different in every place, and this book shows us how to maximize opportunities if only we work together in a truly inclusive and comprehensive way."
— Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs, Kingdom of The Netherlands, Sherpa to the UN and World Bank High Level Panel on Water, and Principal for Rebuild by Design
In 2012, Hurricane Sandy floods devastated coastal areas in New York and New Jersey. In 2017, Harvey flooded Houston. Today in Miami, even on sunny days, king tides bring fish swimming through the streets in low-lying areas. These types of events are typically called natural disasters. But overwhelming scientific consensus says they are actually the result of human-induced climate change and irresponsible construction inside floodplains.
As cities build more flood-management infrastructure to adapt to the effects of a changing climate, they must go beyond short-term flood protection and consider the long-term effects on the community, its environment, economy, and relationship with the water.
Adapting Cities to Sea Level Rise, by infrastructure expert Stefan Al, introduces design responses to sea-level rise, drawing from examples around the globe. Going against standard engineering solutions, Al argues for approaches that are integrated with the public realm, nature-based, and sensitive to local conditions and the community. He features design responses to building resilience that creates new civic assets for cities. For the first time, the possible infrastructure solutions are brought together in a clear and easy-to-read format.
The first part of the book looks at the challenges for cities that have historically faced sea-level rise and flooding issues, and their response in resiliency through urban design. He presents diverse case studies from New Orleans to Ho Chi Minh to Rotterdam, and draws best practices and urban design typologies for the second part of the book.
Part two is a graphic catalogue of best-practices or resilience strategies. These strategies are organized into four categories: hard protect, soft protect, store, and retreat. The benefits and challenges of each strategy are outlined and highlighted by a case study showing where that strategy has been applied.
Any professional or policymaker in coastal areas seeking to protect their communities from the effects of climate change should start with this book. With the right solutions, Al shows, sea-level rise can become an opportunity to improve our urban areas and landscapes, rather than a threat to our communities.