Weser Estuary, Lower Saxony, Germany (Wadden Sea Region)
Ecopragmatic Vision 2100 for the Weser Estuary
The extreme character of human activities and hard infrastructures in combi­nation with the continuous variation of the climate has triggered an unprece­dented fast rate of alterations in the environment. Hereafter the anthropogen­ically magnified climate change is increasing stress on ecosystems; especially interfaces such as coastal areas are in significant risk. Considering that the North Sea is one of the most urbanized seascapes, we can draw upon its susceptibility to three hazards: inundation, sea temperature rise, and growing harbours. Although an ambiguity will prevail concerning the magnitude and rate of transformations, certainly inundation will cover and drown habitats, as well as move large amounts of formations and sediments; that sea temperature rise will attract invasive species and decrease water quality due to habitat depletion; in addition to the demand on expanding ports which implies more pollution by ship traffic, big industrial areas, spills, and maintenance, hence the accumulation of externalities in the sea bottom. One of the most sensible as well as affected territories concerning these hazards is the Wadden Sea Re­gion, which consists of a large intertidal zone surrounded by high produc­tivity areas and rich marine ecosystems shared by three countries (Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark). Recalibrating the Wadden Sea region could mean enhancing the exhausted North Sea ecology to embrace climatic risk, store externalities, and set an example for the manage­ment of other conservation areas at risk.
Our spatial measures have developed from the exploitation of ecology (1900s) to its conservation (1960s) , currently (2000s) we are looking towards shepherding nature by integrating them into our constructed systems. However this spatial management perspective overlooks the innate benefits resulting from the synergy by co-habitation of human life, non-human life and the environment. The proposed project recommends to look into a partnership with nature to join the intrinsic dynamics this planet offers, instead of trying to dominate them. This suggested co- habitation could be a chance to synchronize with the changing processes of our environment, which might lead us towards adapting progressively to them. The project claims to regenerate the multi- equilibria state of marine ecosystems and develop an evolutionary adaptation through an ecosystem suc­cession approach(Davoudi et al., 2013; Hale et al., 2009; Munang et al., 2013). This entails the grad­ual transformation of constantly obsolete infrastructures towards hybrid evolving systems consisting of Infrastructural Ecologies (Belanger, 2009; Brown, 2019; Reed & Lister, 2014).The idea is to use a mixture of soft and hard infrastructures that reintegrate the biodynamics of ecology, so that it can be colonized by socio- ecological elements. Hence the interplay of the anthropic designs and environmental processes would support the creation of habitats that allow a shared expansion space for dissimilar activities to meet (ecotone enhancement). To propose such infrastructures it was necessary to understand the dynamics of the different marine ecosystems in terms of time cycles, longevity and interdependencies. The consideration of this temporal dimension of socio- ecological elements in the design, allows the proposed changes to eventually be coupled to the pace of environmental processes. Hereafter ecosystems could be able to embrace climatic risk, since they no longer present a hazard, but a trigger of transformation. Sources: Belanger, P. (2009). Landscape As Infrastructure. Landscape Journal, 28(1), 79–95. https://doi.org/10.3368/lj.28.1.79 Brown, H. (2019). Infrastructural Ecology: Embedding Resilience in Public Works. Public Works Management & Policy, 24(1), 20–32. https://doi.org/10.1177/1087724X18784602 Davoudi, S., Brooks, E., & Mehmood, A. (2013). Evolutionary Resilience and Strategies for Climate Adaptation. Planning Practice and Research, 28(3), 307–322. https://doi.org/10.1080/02697459.2013.787695 Hale, L. Z., Meliane, I., Davidson, S., Sandwith, T., Hoekstra, J., Hatziolos, M., & Davidson, N. (2009). Ecosystem-based Adaptation in Marine and Coastal Ecosystems. Renewable Resources Journal, 11. Munang, R., Thiaw, I., Alverson, K., Mumba, M., Liu, J., & Rivington, M. (2013). Climate change and Ecosystem-based Adaptation: A new pragmatic approach to buffering climate change impacts. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 5(1), 67–71. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2012.12.001 Reed, C., & Lister, N.-M. (2014). Ecology and Design: Parallel Genealogies. Places Journal, 2014. https://doi.org/10.22269/140414
Barrier Island Tegel 2100. Ecosystem Assessment
Bremerhaven 2100. Ecosystem Assessment
Barrier Island Tegel 2100. Ecological ecotone
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