Considerations on Sea Level Rise and the future of our old coastal cities
In the world within 2050, about 550 million people are expected to live only in coastal cities. By the end of this century, many of the dense urban tissues will in fact be invaded by seawater, with serious consequences for both the anthropic and natural system. The consequences for ecosystems will vary, depending on the severity and extent of manifestation of the phenomenon. Already the expected minimum lifting threshold (about 0.20 m) will be enough to paralyze some essential systems for city operation: pipelines, traditional supply systems (water, gas, electricity …), public and private mobility, forcing to rethink the different levels of urban design, etc.. In Europe, the most vulnerable cities are those facing the Atlantic, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. The peculiarity of the Mediterranean area is linked to the presence of some of the largest and oldest coastal cities on the planet such as Cairo (7.9 million inhabitants) and Istanbul (about 15 million).
What will we do to prevent coastal cities, inhabited for millennia and guardians of our history? What should we do to ensure the survival of coastal cities on acceptable terms by transforming the threat into a development challenge and a positive reorganization opportunity?