“Aqualta” – New York and Tokyo, after the flood

After the Flood - New York and Tokyo

Aqualta – New York and Tokyo by Studio Linfors.

Aqualta – a play on Acqua Alta, the increasing high tides flooding Venice – visually explores what a coastal metropolis might feel like a hundred years from now due to rising sea levels. The images illustrate two cultural and financial epicenters – Tokyo and New York – adapting to, rather than resisting, rising waters.

Aqualta imagines city dwellers migrating to higher and dryer elevations as water levels gradually increase. Piers, boardwalks and systems of navigable canals reestablish the transportation network lost below. Residents repurpose rooftops for farms and greenhouses. Wetland ecologies and oyster beds thrive and take root to better protect coasts from future storms. The cities are shown without combustion – engines, power plants, all emissions are rendered obsolete – resulting in cleaner, quieter neighborhoods.

Aqualta reveals an adaptable city infrastructure capable of acclimating to nature.”

It’s interesting that these artist’s conceptions portray New York somewhat prosaically, but Tokyo is an atmospheric, exoticized version of Japanese culture, not to mention that portraying it only at night makes it even spookier. I suppose that habit – orientalism – will never die. But that’s a digression. I’m assuming all of these buildings are abandoned – they’d be unsaveable if swamped in this way, and the water would be entirely contaminated by building materials – so I’m not sure adaptation would happen quite this utopically. Given the inevitable looting and refugee crisis, this post-apocalytpic quasi-pastoral idyll seems an eccentric fantasy. Where is everyone? It seems to be just Jed and Bobby Sue, here, down at the fishing hole. You get a rod and I’ll get a pole… PS. that white dog is a near perfect clone of my dog.

After the Flood - New York and Tokyo

After the Flood - New York and Tokyo

After the Flood - New York and Tokyo

environmental graffiti

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