Shore-the-line's design suggests a more dynamic shoreline system and integrated urban/nature scape.

overview of the idea

The ick factor of rising tides and storm surges is the impetus of Shore-the-line's proposal. The ick factor is the toxic soup of industrial runoff, sewage and rigid, unselflimiting debris that we will have to contend with unless we recognize the potential impact and take measures to shore ourselves up against it.

The first place we start is the shoreline. Rather than engineering methods to keep rising sea waters at bay, we suggest a strategy of acquiescence and getting out of the way. Acquiescence is developing a more absorptive and dynamic waterfront. Getting out of the way is removing potential hazards, and ourselves to some degree.  

how it works

We cannot predict what will happen in 2100. New Orleans had a 200 year disaster scenario plan, the Netherlands now has a 10,000 year disaster plan, which it is consistently re-evaluating, and New York is reimagining itself. The first advice to anyone wanting to live on a floodplain is “Don't”. Bearing all this in mind, growing a self-sustaining shoreline that can absorb and evolve to advancing and in fluxing waters whatever their degree or force combines risk management with resilience.

In practice this is retreating hard built structures--”removing ourselves”--for the advancement of “soft” natural, filtration and absorptive forms. Not necessarily restoring what was before (image) but integrating the gist of it. That's the fun part. The unfun part of how it works is getting out of the way, in “how community will adapt and thrive”. 

How communities will adapt and thrive

How community will adapt and thrive. Adapting and thriving sounds like more fun than “How it works”, but not in the Shore the line orthodoxy. Adapting and thriving is preceded by surviving and here we address those toxic byproducts of everyday life that may hit us on the head, figuratively and literally, in the event of unplanned storms.

To remove potential hazards: besides cleaning up our shoreline, which, during a storm is an undetermined amount more than high tide, pre-cleaning up our act at industrial source and our community use of those products (reduce), being more clever with byproducts on sight and in house (re-use) and implementing better methods of re-invention (recycle) provide real economic opportunities only if we appreciate their value.  

A potential community adaptation is transferring the value we place on acquisition, to a value placed on tending to what exists and anticipation of what may happen if we don't.  Thriving is participating in a proactive future. These particular measures are beyond the scope of our submission, but in terms of design, begin with a more permeable, self-correcting city scape in general.

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SFU Public Square Founding Council Member

Stephen A. Jarislowsky

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