PART I: INTRODUCTION
Introduction to Part I
The coastline is a contested site. Due to climate change, the sea is encroaching on our coastal cities, and designers face the challenge of future scenarios with the increasing presence of water and other interconnected issues, such as biodiversity loss and increasing water pollution due to anthropogenic activities. The complex entanglements between land and sea and human and nonhuman agencies pose challenges that require a new way of thinking and doing in increasing transdisciplinary complexity in the Anthropocene. In response, this research develops a critical proposition and initial hypothesis called Urban Seascaping, which seeks to engage with and integrate a designed response to nature-based approaches to coastal development as an integral part of place-making. Urban Seascaping is a new neologism that refers to a set of propositions and a concept to present seaweed as one of the potential main representatives of the marine world to bridge the physical and cultural chasm that currently segregates our cities from their marine environments. I develop a case for seaweed as a potential actor for re-envisioning waterfront developments and coastal adaptation strategies. The research is a response to a gap in knowledge, thus, an original contribution. Seaweed will be the focal lens (albeit not the only one) to navigate the complexity surrounding the research by presenting opportunities and barriers for integrating seaweed.
Part I serves as an introduction to my research's foundational context and overarching position departing from the initial PhD call by the Aarhus School of Architecture and the development of the call into three research questions. The research is situated in its broader context through the relevant global and local events, policy changes, and developments that have informed and influenced my research, especially within the past three years of this PhD. Second, I address my intention to investigate my research questions through a single case study site of Vejle in Denmark. I was able to be involved with Vejle Municipality’s recent nature-based design competition that became a critical part of my research data, which sought to rethink the boundary between the city and the fjord to protect the city from future sea-level rise and storm surges.