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5.4 Future research avenues

In this penultimate section, I briefly address some of the viable research avenues and unexplored research gaps I chose not to cover in my research.

5.2.1 Potential role of local 1:1 scale implementation and adaptive architecture 


One of the main limitations of this research is that the main framework, i.e. that of Urban Seascaping, has mainly been explored through projective works, especially by exploring the entries for Kanten/The Edge design competition. There is a limit to understanding the actual real-world impact of these interventions. This analysis considered the ecological, sociological, cultural and economic impacts of the projects, especially on a local level. Fortunately, Vejle Municipality has plans to follow up the winning entries from the competition into a 1:1 scale-built project[273]. In turn, a physically built Kanten/The Edge proposal would open up the scope for investigating more measurable and tangible impacts, for instance, the capacity for nature-based solutions (NbS) to provide effective coastal protection and enhance biodiversity. What type of marine nature might return and live in the new Kanten/The Edge? The 1:1 built project could provide grounds for understanding the public’s (residents and tourists) response to these new blue urban commons, as public opinion was not included during the deliberation process. Furthermore, any unintended consequences or unexpected shortfalls would be important to understand to ensure what works in the local Vejle inner fjord context. 

     Moreover, a potential larger-scale NbS could be tested further out in the mid to outer Vejle fjord, such as the floating kelp system, to understand the impacts of water filtration, wave attenuation, mitigating coastal erosion and as a sustainable source of food, fuel and feed. A 1:1 scale is one of the most realistic ways to test how different forms of integrating seaweed could impact the way residents view the fjord as a new form of a seascape or whether it will be dismissed as an eye sore (refer to section 1.5.3). Nevertheless, the emphasis here is to ensure that these efforts from Kanten/The Edge competition go beyond the projective realm to the next phase of a realised project to understand the context-sensitive real-world implications of such interventions.

   While the majority of this research has been focussing on larger-scale landscape-seascape potentials of urban transformation at the coast, there is ample scope to study the different types of adaptive buildings that could safely occupy the risk zones[274]. For instance, there are existing examples of innovative ways to occupy the waterfront, such as temporary structures that could easily be dismantled and moved to a safer location (refer to Figure 84) that is not destructive nor obtrusive to the marine life below. Individual buildings' role is important to provide indoor space to host various activities at the waterfront in colder and wet climates like Denmark, where outdoor public spaces are seldom occupied during colder months resulting in dead, unused, unlively areas. Therefore, the role of adaptive and resilient architecture that can host various activities (i.e. marine education centres) will enhance the livelihood of the waterfront area to bring people into these areas where Kanten/The Edge projects are to be implemented. Furthermore, multispecies coexistence indicates the idea of cohabitation and bringing together the current nature-culture divide at the coast, albeit in a more symbiotic way. In that regard, it would be important that these buildings do not resort to the status quo of unsuitable, unsustainable and unadaptable buildings criticised in Part III.

[273] Vejle Municipality currently plans to finish the construction of Kanten/The Edge’s Nature zone around 2024/2025, which is beyond the timeframe of this research.

[274] For instance, ground floors and basements of buildings can be repurposed for car parking structures that can withstand flooding with relatively minor damage, while the more valuable shopping or commercial functions can be placed above the flood level (while residential areas in the risk zones are relocated). For e.g. in the Netherlands, underground parking areas double as water storage to hold excess water during flood events (Pilkey, Pilkey-Jarvis and Pilkey, 2016).



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