In the next 30 years, roughly 30% of Manhattan is expected to sink below sea level, according to a climate study by the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Instead of trying to stop the inevitable, Brazilian architect Walmir Luz focused on embracing it.
After studying climate predictions from the United States Landfaling Hurricane Probability Project and the history of Manhattan's edge, Luz designed a utopian/dystopian future for New York (depending if you're a glass half-full or half-empty kind of person).
Luz's NYC 2050 concept makes flooding a part of city life by taking inspiration from Venice. Luz designed structures as levels that could allow water to move through lower levels as the sea rises. Streets would become permeable so water can wash over the roads instead of flooding them, and more barriers would surround the city's edges.
Luz completed the concept as his thesis for his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University, and won a Silver award in the urban planning and urban design category at the A'Design Award & Competition. He now works as an architect for Gensler.
"It will be soon too late to enact any real design transformation to avoid major consequences," Luz said in a statement regarding his award. "Why not start to accept the doomed future as a starting point?"