Water World

While certain political leaders aren’t all that fussed about planning for a future with a different climate, it is the only credible consensus among academics and those involved with it’s investigation. A warmer climate, rising sea levels, the disappearance of low-lying communities and even nations… All are prospects on the cards in a warmer future.

Inland cities might be spared the biblical flood, but life would probably be vastly different for a coastal metropolis. Brian Stokle, cartographer running the Urban Life Signs website, teamed up with San Francisco area blog Burrito Justice to create a hypothetical map of the City swamped by a 200 foot sea level rise 60+ years into the future. Quite how Australia would fare under such circumstances would be contentious, seeing as the majority of the population resides in sprawling seaside urban areas.

Image source: @BurritoJustice and @UrbanLieSigns
The output contains a pretty detailed alternate history about how society has evolved (and in some cases, not at all) to meet the sea level change and warmer climate. New place names, food boats instead of food trucks, how a sports franchise wants to relocate, public debate about locating a shipping port, NIMBYs determined to protect flooded and isolated communities… the list goes on.

Ultimately, the exercise puts a much more whimsical, optimistic spin on what is ordinarily portrayed and accepted as a gloomy future. It poses the question: the climate may make us change our habits, but will the way we interact with one another really be that different?

To have a look at the project in more detail, see here: http://burritojustice.com/200ft/

Image banner source: @BurritoJustice and @UrbanLifeSigns


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