Rising Tides Lift All Boats — A Plan for Multipurpose Infrastructure that Creates Community Around a new Tidal Bay

This proposal seeks to take advantage of the changes in sea level to create more beautiful and sustainable communities. Our proposal has four key features that will help to take advantage of the rising tides.

1. Water-Centered Lifestyle
The proposal builds community around a new tidal bay that will serve various ecological, protective, and recreational purposes. In addition, each small neighborhood cluster will be built around a bio-pond at its center. Areas that would be subject to flooding in wicked high tides as sea levels rise would become recreational amenities for the community.

2. Stormwater Management System
Keeping some freshwater on land is an important goal of the new stormwater management system. In each cluster of development, the rooftops and paved courtyards drain into central stormwater basins that serve both aesthetic and irrigation purposes. Roads are drained into bioswales that help to purify runoff before it flows into the central channel, where it helps to neutralize the salinity of the bay somewhat, creating a desirable area for various marine life.

3. Triple-duty Wetland
The proposed wetland provides habitat for wildlife, recreational opportunities for residents, and a buffer from hurricanes and storm events. The soft edge ensures that when water rises, different types of habitat zones will remain. An area that serves as a recreational lawn in the early stages of the project will become a tidal wetland area as other wetlands become inundated.

4. Multi-functional Floating Parkway
Morrissey Boulevard is an important arterial that connects the Columbia Points neighborhood to downtown. Much of the road would be flooded by 2115 if current predictions play out. Our plan calls for placing the highway on pontoons that would allow its elevation to adapt as sea levels rise. The new parkway would not just provide a pleasant route for drivers, it would also serve recreational functions. The tops of its supplemental stability pontoons would become waterfront platforms accessible by kayak that can be used for parties and neighborhood events. For occasional larger events, the parkway itself could be closed to traffic, creating an iconic civic space at the center of the community.

Company Name
University of Washington

Team Member(s)
Shu Kuei Hsu, Landscape Architect/ Design coordination and document compilation
Shih Chia Chiu, Landscape Architect/Landscape and open space design
Yu Ting Lin, Urban Designer/Context study and planning strategy
Hao Liang, Architect/Architecture design
Kei Sing Yiu, Engineer/Green infrastructure
Dan Jost, Adviser/Ecological and Social strategy