Territory as a Design Field( Structure) 01

Presenters: Liam Mouritz, Chang Ting Fu, Xiabin Hu
‘Littoral Negotiations’
Series: Landscape Urbanism Open Lecture Series
Date: 20 October 2015
Time: 14:00
Venue: Soft room

Abstract:

The lecture will present the Littoral Negotiations project thesis part of the AA Landscape urbanism programme:
This project explores the blurred interface between the land and the sea known as the littoral zone. The very matter from which this condition is constructed is wet sand or sediment. This is the material from which we begin to envision alternative design scenarios for the littoral zone of the Mediterranean Sea.

It is often claimed we live in a new geological era known as the Anthropocene; in which human influences characterize a distinct layer of the geologic record. In this new era, humans have the capacity to hack the environmental processes which govern the form of the earth’s surface. In our case, the processes of interest are those which mould the planets shifting, sedimentary coastal zones.
In the Mediterranean Sea, sediment is in short supply, largely due to the damming of its many rivers. The sediment that does make it the ocean flows via littoral cells along the coast, crossing the borders of 25 different nations and affecting almost half a billion people that live along the Mediterranean Coast. This cross-political situation has forced numerous conflicts and cooperation’s, in which any sand extraction or intervention within the coast will invariably have some impact on the downstream region. Despite this, there exists no Mediterranean Scale action plan, framework, or precedents in how to manage sediment, as exists with other important resources and issues such as the management of fisheries, or the management of pollution on a Mediterranean Scale, as dictated by multi-national agreements such as the Barcelona Convention.

Focusing on the erosive littoral zone of Lake Manzala, situated between the mouths of the Nile and the Suez Canal, we have begun to envision scenarios of sediment negotiation and redistribution in which land expansion begins to reconfigure new territory.