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SEA LEVEL RISE AND THE FUTURE OF COASTAL URBANISM
“Climate change, and the inevitability of sea level rise, will require much more of us than simply pulling back from the coastline. The thesis of Weston Wright’s More Water Less Land New Architecture is that we need to start thinking in an entirely different way about the relationship of cities to waterfront sites and of the relationship of buildings to water, which means rethinking many of architecture’s implicit premises. If architecture has been confrontational with water—think bold towers erected beside the sea, as if to dare the water to challenge them—Wright’s argument is that we will need to be modest, accommodating, and accepting of the power and presence of water if our cities are to survive. He knows that nature is stronger than we are, and that best chance mankind has to build successfully will be to build with, not against, the reality of water. This is an important book, not least because its quiet, sober tone balances natural history with architectural history, and reaches across the world to show examples of architecture that accommodates to the water ranging from small vernacular houses on stilts to huge megastructures anchored like islands in the sea. Although Wright’s argument transcends aesthetics or style, his book is, in the end, a case for the strength that comes from restraint, and perhaps even for the lasting power of gentleness.”
The New School’s Joseph Urban Professor of Design
“Weston Wright has put together a truly valuable, thought provoking, and original collection of ideas, stories, and images that are designed to make us more comfortable with living near, on, and with water in the coming decades. He has managed to encapsulate his insights into concise, illustrative presentations that flow into each other, making his book short, compact, and compelling. In this book, Wright is paving the way or rather, building a bridge, into an emerging coastal architecture and coastal urbanism that he already seems comfortable and familiar with, urging us to catch up with him and to sail along for the adventure. This book is a wonderful exhibit of realistic, down-to-earth, evidence-based futurism.”
Professor of City Planning
The Marron Institute of Urban Management at New York University
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