Fish Below Your Feet
May 21, 2019 11:18 AM   Subscribe

Solutions for a Living Harbor: In Seattle, Singapore, and other waterfront cities around the world, engineers are creating life-enhancing designs to encourage marine biodiversity.

I’m swimming under a sidewalk. The cantilevered slab of concrete is a couple of meters over my head, part of Seattle’s Central Waterfront area that is famous for Pike Place Market and the tourist stroll of chowder houses and souvenir shops. It’s not your average sidewalk: it’s been embedded with translucent glass bricks that allow light to hit the seawater. Like many of the other enhancements to the recently rebuilt sea wall, it’s an act of eco-engineering intended to improve marine habitat in the waters of Elliott Bay, in Washington State.

posted by poffin boffin (10 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
The Billion waster project is doing something similar.

A Hudson Bay and New York sound teaming with oysters and kelp acts as a baffler to incoming Storm surges and flooding
posted by The Whelk at 11:29 AM on May 21 [3 favorites]

Still reading this but just wanted to say that this post makes me think of that floating city in Waterworld where Kevin Costner uses dirt to buy water. Like, I don't want that nightmare situation and I applaud these city planners and engineers for trying to pro-actively work to avoid that scenario, but I don't have a lot of faith in our political leaders. I guess this is where my responsibility as a citizen comes in. Thanks for the post.
posted by Fizz at 11:36 AM on May 21

At this point my ideal city planning for nyc harbor is making it attractive to kraken and then electing a kraken as mayor.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:56 AM on May 21 [20 favorites]

Huh...I’m just watching the documentary series “Sinking Cities” on PBS. They just showed an episode based in London, with some interesting floating buildings/cities, as well as the interesting sustainability effort in dealing with flooding in and around London. Worth checking out!
posted by darkstar at 11:57 AM on May 21

Release the mayor Kraken!
posted by The Whelk at 12:20 PM on May 21

The Kraken 2020
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:45 PM on May 21 [1 favorite]

This is so interesting, thanks for the post.
In Copenhagens harbor, people are growing seaweed and shellfish, so the thing about cleaning up mentioned a couple of times in the article can be achieved. But there are so many other interesting aspects, I'm going to take it up either for teaching or research already.
posted by mumimor at 2:47 PM on May 21 [1 favorite]

And isn't this post a bit eponysterical?
posted by mumimor at 2:48 PM on May 21

I recently added the Hakai magazine podcast to my listening queue and it's really lovely, a good mix of eco-engineering stories from all around the world. The seaweed engineering story and the whale recording one was good too.

I kept thinking of the man who swims to work in Germany because their rivers are so clean.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 3:44 PM on May 21 [3 favorites]

With the debris of crushed buildings dusting his cavernous maw he turns one massive bulbous eye in a slow wet wink, finishing the campaign ad with his tag line: "You've waited long enough, New York," his ocean roar of a voice bellows out across screens state wide: "Let's Get KRAKEN!"
posted by freebird at 11:21 PM on May 21 [5 favorites]

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