Urban waterfronts are facing new challenges when dealing with climate change. The problem affects the citizens, the environment and the local economy. Municipalities, stakeholders, Port Authorities and local communities often disagree upon their own needs. S.O.S. – Sustainable Open Solutions for European urban waterfronts aims to develop new solutions that emerge from the present necessities. Why is it urgent to share, systematize and upgrade knowledge on the subject?
The effect of climate change is increasing at an unprecedented rhythm which demands adaptation and transformation of vulnerable territories. In the last years a number of projects were interrupted when they faced strong opposition coming either from public opinion, the media and/or lawsuits. Projects seem to adress sensitive cultural values and consequently face years of discussion, only to be put aside eventually. Such difficulties bring a loss of competitiveness on all sides, as well as decreasing quality of life for their citizens. This represents a problem within the European Community. Data related to historic and geographic records of specific waterfronts are used to construct patterns of development, feed algorithms and integrate the support of artificial intelligence to design future possible scenarios.
S.O.S. Climate Waterfront project gathers ten partners from Portugal, The Netherlands, Turkey, Greece, Poland and Sweden to share their best practices, including research on waterfront projects that merge equipments as well as public spaces and infrastructures, projects that succeed in conquering public support and integrating the signs of the collective identity. Climate change solutions can only be successful in ensuring a resilient city if they also engage citizens, educating them about climate change challenges and solutions, and fostering possible changes in lifestyles.