WHEN THE WORLD IS SINKINGNovember,18,2021
Sinking cities are the new global issue for humanity.Treasures of human culture such as Venice and Alexandria,industrial capitals such as Rotterdam,Houston,and Jakarta are risking to be under the water by 2100.
Besides the pre-existing conditions like urban planning and geographical location,the rising sea level highly affects and worsens the inherited conditions.Such effects are easy to illustrate with examples of Jakarta with a huge problem of urban misplanning,Rotterdam–built at very low sea level,Venice–built on the laguna sandy islands.
Despite big initial problem differences,the outcome is the same–the cities placed alongside the coastal area are sinking and falling.In quite the foreseeable future millions and millions of inhabitants are risking their lives and properties due to high waters and land flooding.
A research by NASA has indicated the main reasons for the constant increase of sea levels and sinkage of the coastline:pollution,melting ice,urbanisation,and human activity.
To protect the inhabitants of the coastline cities from the rising sea level,there are currently a few methods that are actively used and developed:
- Adaptation and mitigation(adopted in Rotterdam)
- Mega constructions(methods of Miami and Jakarta)
How do these measures actually bring safety to the houses?Venice is still struggling with the rising sea,and being built at the lagune and on the muddy ground,the measures of adaptation to the sinkage do not help.In recent years,heavier and heavier flood have been recorded,and the construction around the city is becoming less effective.
In wealthier countries such as the USA,the mega construction approach does not help much either.Some states have decided to relocate whole towns to safer land areas.Other states decided to construct dikes and barriers to protect cities like Miami.The taken measures by mega constructions around Miami cannot cope already and risks of flooding are very much present.
In Jakarta,the huge investment into the city’s protection against flooding does not help either.The Indonesian government simply decided to start building a new capital and let Jakarta sink further,without helping the ones with poor financial status to relocate.
Both engineering solutions are dedicated for protection of the cities but somehow don’t concern the inhabitants.Such approaches are extremely irrelevant and the society's safety is often found to be the sacrifice.
This leads to the question of how an individual can save their own life and the lives of their family in case of severe flooding? What should be done to prepare for the worst scenario?
In the case of severe flooding, a boat is always a good solution, preferably one with sufficient space for an entire family. It will provide a shelter and increase the possibility to reach the safe zone for further evacuation. Unfortunately, the financial resources is not enough to aid for such solution in Jakarta. In Polynesia, on the other hand, this method is widely adopted for floating houses.
Similar approaches slowly find their place in Europe, where floating houses become more common as time goes by.
It might be years to come until the cities mentioned above become unlivable, but it is now the time to think of a way out.