MVRDV, Adrian Lahoud and HCH Develop Tools and Strategies to Show Adaptations to Climate-Induced Threats

MVRDV, Adrian Lahoud and HCH Develop Tools and Strategies to Show Adaptations to Climate-Induced Threats

Architects, urban planners, and researchers from around the world are working on solutions to address the rising threat of climate change and climate-induced rise in sea levels and storm surges. Among them, MVRDV, as part of the North Creek Collective, has released a series of proposals for the city of Vancouver, mapping out possible adaptations of waterfront buildings, landscape, and infrastructure. On a similar note, a group of researchers led by Adrian Lahoud has developed the Second Sea Calculator, a digital tool that estimates the financial damages owned to coastal cities by different nations, while Human Climate Horizons has developed a platform for visualizing how different levels of global heating will affect people’s lives.

MVRDV, Adrian Lahoud and HCH Develop Tools and Strategies to Show Adaptations to Climate-Induced Threats - Image 2 of 10MVRDV, Adrian Lahoud and HCH Develop Tools and Strategies to Show Adaptations to Climate-Induced Threats - Image 3 of 10MVRDV, Adrian Lahoud and HCH Develop Tools and Strategies to Show Adaptations to Climate-Induced Threats - Image 4 of 10MVRDV, Adrian Lahoud and HCH Develop Tools and Strategies to Show Adaptations to Climate-Induced Threats - Image 5 of 10MVRDV, Adrian Lahoud and HCH Develop Tools and Strategies to Show Adaptations to Climate-Induced Threats - More Images+ 5

Sea Level Rise Catalogue / MVRDV

MVRDV, Adrian Lahoud and HCH Develop Tools and Strategies to Show Adaptations to Climate-Induced Threats - Image 4 of 10© MVRDV

In response to the Sea2City Design Challenge, MVRDV has presented a series of proposals for Vancouver to investigate the urban future of False Creek, a body of water in the center of the city. The project resulted in a comprehensive catalog of solutions and adaptations that can be employed by seafront buildings and infrastructures to create resilience in the face of rising sea levels.


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The Sea Level Rise Catalog offers examples of adaptations of existing buildings as well as developing new structures to work with the changing conditions of coastal cities. It includes flood-adaptive townhouses with community terraces, mid-rises reduced to their structural skeletons to accommodate flexible public programs, and high-rises that can serve as mobility hubs to connect land and water-based transportation methods. Floating habitat islands, adaptive houses, sports, and cultural facilities are also part of the catalog, all designed to increase flood resistance by incorporating permeable ground coverings and rainwater buffers.

MVRDV, Adrian Lahoud and HCH Develop Tools and Strategies to Show Adaptations to Climate-Induced Threats - Image 2 of 10© MVRDV
MVRDV, Adrian Lahoud and HCH Develop Tools and Strategies to Show Adaptations to Climate-Induced Threats - Image 3 of 10© MVRDV

Second Sea Calculator

MVRDV, Adrian Lahoud and HCH Develop Tools and Strategies to Show Adaptations to Climate-Induced Threats - Image 7 of 10Courtesy of Second Sea

On the occasion of COP27, a team of researchers led by Adian Lahoud developed the Second Sea app to assess the climate reparations owned to coastal cities due to rising sea levels. The app uses data from 136 cities, generating invoices to detail the predicted cost of damages by the year 2100. The costs are influenced by CO2 emission responsibility, highlighting wealthy countries’ obligations for climate reparations, and addressing the historical imbalance. Through this initiative, the researchers aim to promote climate action by making the data tangible and comprehensible.

Human Climate Horizons

MVRDV, Adrian Lahoud and HCH Develop Tools and Strategies to Show Adaptations to Climate-Induced Threats - Image 5 of 10Courtesy of Human Climate Horizons

Developed with the United Nations Development Program, Human Climate Horizons is a data visualization platform that reveals the human impacts of climate change and its effects on human security across the world, bringing into focus which regions and locations are most at risk. The platform includes the Average Annual Temperature along with localized temperature projections to reveal patterns of future warming, data to show the impact of energy consumption and how it relates to warmer temperatures and the ways in which these changing conditions affect people’s ability to work, with a focus on weather-exposed industries like agriculture, construction, mining, and manufacturing. The platform aims to provide open access to data about the present and future impacts to help inform decision-makers and play a role in changing the conversation.

MVRDV, Adrian Lahoud and HCH Develop Tools and Strategies to Show Adaptations to Climate-Induced Threats - Image 8 of 10© Holi

Cities across the globe have also begun to develop strategies to help mitigate the adverse effects of climate change and to create better and safer environments for their citizens. As the month of July 2023 has been declared the hottest month ever recorded, the urgency of these strategies cannot be overlooked. Besides Climate Action Planning, cities are also applying site-specific measures, including the provision of climate shelters, expanding the green infrastructure, employing reflective surfaces, or providing water features and public pools for their citizens.

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