The tempered edge : waterfront development in an age of climate change.
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Citation:Bradbury, M.A. (2015, June). The Tempered Edge: Waterfront development in an age of climate change. A. Hatakka and J. Vehmas (Ed.), Proceedings of the Sustainable Futures in a Changing Climate Conference (pp.373-386)
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/3378
Urban waterfront development has followed the Baltimore waterfront model since the 1970s. This model is characterised by the formation of a thin promenade of public space with carefully choreo- graphed event architecture, behind which lies retail, commercial and residential development. The sustainability of this model has recently been called into question by the consequence of climate change manifested in recent storm events such as Hurricane Sandy. This paper proposes an alternative waterfront design model, one that builds environmental resilience into the typical waterfront development while still generating the expected real estate returns. The author expounds a development methodology using hydrologically modelling tools to measure the production of urban stormwater within the larger urban catchment. Modelling different scenarios, especially the implications in the increase of pervious surfaces, suggests a way in which the contemporary waterfront can become more resilient to the consequences of climate change while at the same time retaining an expected commercial return. A test case site is used to model the proposed methodology. The results show that to accommodate the hydrological consequence of climate change a radically reconfigured master plan must be adopted.