amphibious or waterscape urbanism?

In an article for the Christian Science Monitor, Denis D Gray examines the the cutting-edge field of aqua-architecture. Examining projects in countries including the Maldives, Thailand and of course the Netherlands, Gray discovers that in order to prepare, for the already growing effects of sea-level rise and future climate change, these littoral countries are exploring new models.

To me the idea of a urbanism or architecture that is resilient and flexible enough to absorb/respond to this new situation seems to me more about the middle ground of both earth and sea, thus the use of the term littoral. However, in the article Danai Thaitakoo, a Thai landscape architect perhaps drawing on recent academic currents uses a different term. He explains “Climate change will require a radical shift within design practice from the solid-state view of landscape urbanism to the more dynamic, liquid-state view of waterscape urbanism“.

Yet, for me the term “waterscape urbanism” more readily recalls the post-war dreams of Japanese and Americans architects, for entire marine cities, to which the piece earlier alludes. Although the point, may simply be a semantic one, lost in translation.


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