Reading and interpreting Portuguese Atlantic seashore streets in sea level rise context
ABSTRACT: The lead role and the morphological diversity of streets, avenues and seashore drives that conform the articulation line between city and water on Portuguese coastal settlements is acknowledged. The dynamic inherent to the urban object underlines the fact that the present state is just a transitory moment in the evolution of these elements. In this context, several studies on climate change acknowledge the gradual but inevitable sea level rising, and warn on its effects on urban and humanized areas. The convergence of research units of the University of Lisbon on urban morphology and on climate change allow stemming from the morphological knowledge on the origin, evolution and current state of the diversity of Portuguese Atlantic Seashore Streets, for the design of innovative solutions of adaptation measures and pathways to an expected and urgent scenario of sea-level rising. The research main goal is building a reference framework for interventions in each case, therefore site specific, with attention to the cultural and patrimonial values that make up each context, but with potential to define a methodology of approach and to typify operations or actions adaptable to similar contexts. The present state of these elements is understood as the result of a sedimentary evolution process in time. Therefore, the ongoing first phase of the research project on Portuguese Atlantic Seashore Streets deals with the interpretative reading through systemic decomposition of layers underlining Form, Function and Role of the state of evolution of each element and its relation to the urban settlement and to the sea. Departing from a generic characterization of the origin and evolution of these elements, the present paper uses the current pilot case studies of Sesimbra and Cascais to demonstrate the instrumental role of drawing for reading and interpreting the selected seashore streets.
KEYWORDS: seashore streets, climate change adaptation, sea level rise, urban morphology, systemic decomposition.
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