Portsmouth is a low lying island city that is extremely vulnerable to coastal inundation from climate change induced rises in sea level.
It has the highest population density in the UK after London and its open space is largely provided along the seaside or on the sea.
The city faces risks, also emerging elsewhere in the UK, and these risks are similar to those found in the Netherlands.
A pressing need now exists to reinforce the coastal defences of Portsmouth to address climate change induced rise in sea levels.
Better more integrated solutions are being sought to add value to this public investment, leverage private engagement and gain popular public support from better interrogation of the design issues.
The challenge is to posit, through this design research competition, ambitious propositions through strategy and detail which can advance knowledge and inform practice in this location, whilst informing on-going UK wide design strategies that address climate induced rises in sea levels in other seaside locations.
The aim is to achieve a better design synthesis between the coastal defences with land-side public realm improvements that can enhance the environment, amenities and economy through better integration of the infrastructure
The Elephant Cage programme will engage with these opportunities to develop solutions from the holistic integration of engineering, architecture, landscape, ecological and economic issues to benefit the city, its public realm and amenity.
The promoters of The Elephant Cage are:
Competitors will have opportunity to present their outputs to local stakeholders, their representatives and the city authorities on conclusion of their work in Portsmouth.
Proposals developed at the Portsmouth Elephant Cage will also be widely disseminate to stakeholders and the public, both locally and nationally following the event. This will include public exhibition in Portsmouth, national publication by our media partners, and web dissemination.
The event will also be written up in English and Dutch by the University of Portsmouth School of architecture and Architectuur Lokaal.
We would be happy to provide further information, or should you wish to host a detailed presentation or exhibition please get in contact.
The current coastal defence designs have a budget of approximately £60m. The allocation for this basic works remains largely fixed. However the projected central government funding excludes areas of public realm to the immediate rear of the sea wall.
The generation of ideas and visions focused upon the public realm relating to the sea wall are a unique opportunity for design research, knowledge exchange and networking to inform progressive development. A challenge in this competition therefore is to also reflect upon the business case for financing the public realm design issues, and exploring how benefit and value might best be achieved in the context, for which there is currently no budget.
Gallery of images of the Portsmouth Southsea frontage along with supporting information including drawings of the current sea front defence proposals and Portsmouth Seafront Masterplan SPD - April 2013, Portsmouth Landscape Character Assessment - Portsea Island Coastal Defence Flood Risk Areas , Southsea Seafront Strategy 2010-2026
© island city papers