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According to various scientific studies highlighting the exposure of numerous coastal cities to the risk of becoming submerged, in Asia, North America (New York) and Europe (Netherlands), global warming could cause sea levels to rise by at least a metre by 2100. How can these catastrophes be prevented? The answers vary from country to country, from raised housing or dyke construction to the plan to completely relocate the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. Today’s pre-eminent theory is that of urban resilience: rethinking urban planning and living with water rather than fighting against it. The time-honoured model used in the Netherlands is inspiring cities elsewhere, including Hamburg, which is revisiting the concept of stilts, and New York, which has opted for an environmentally responsible collaborative reconstruction programme.


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