For centuries, cities have grown and expanded onto previously saturated grounds; "reclaiming" land from estuaries, marshes, mangroves, and seabeds. While these artificial coastlines are sites of tremendous real estate, civic, and infrastructural investments, they are also the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
Terra-Sorta-Firma documents the global extent of reclaimed coastal lands, and provides a framework for comparison across varying geographies, cultures, and histories. It renders visible the ubiquity and precarity of urban coastal reclamation in an age of increased environmental and economic indeterminacy. It challenges designers, developers, policymakers, engineers, and urbanists to reconsider the design and construction of land itself, and to re-imagine this most fundamental of all infrastructures along a gradient of inundation.
DIGITAL ATLAS: https://littoralgradients.daniels.utoronto.ca/
Masoud, Fadi. (ed) “Terra-Sorta-Firma: Reclaiming the Littoral Gradient.”
Actar: Barcelona – New York (2021)
Terra-Sorta-Firma: Developing the Littoral Gradient is a critical and interdisciplinary exploration of a continuously urbanizing and expanding littoral edge. The illustrated and edited volume documents urban waterfronts on “reclaimed” land and examines these pervasive environments through their dynamic past and uncertain future. For centuries, cities expanded onto previously saturated grounds; “reclaiming” land from estuaries, mangroves, and sea-beds. Today, the majority of global populations live along a continuously urbanizing and expanding coastline. While these artificial coastlines are sites of tremendous real-estate, civic, and infrastructural investments, they are also the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. As such, this expansion's precarity is dramatically increased by the method in which it is constructed.
Terra-Sorta-Firma renders visible the ubiquity of this condition as the very first act of understanding the endemically dynamic nature of coastlines and their uncertain future. The book's four parts question urbanism’s political, economic, and physical relationship to land in a permanent state of flux. It challenges designers, developers, policymaker, engineers, and urbanists to reconsider the design and construction of land itself and re-imagine this most fundamental of all infrastructures along gradients of inundation.
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