Retreat, Repel or Regroup – in action

“Landscape architects are uniquely placed to lead the response to the climate crisis, but they have to earn the right to lead by providing the kind of strategic thinking which encompasses economic and social factors, as well as environmental.”

Bernie Foulkes, Director, LDA Design

For those working in the built and natural environments, the climate emergency is the most pressing challenge. To meet it, a level of collaboration is needed between professions that’s simply not been there before.

According to the UN, rising sea levels could threaten more than 10 per cent of the world’s population who live in coastal areas that are less than 10 metres above sea level. Landscape architects are uniquely placed to play a leading role in formulating a response and to advise and apply their creativity and their understanding of the environment and the forces that act upon in it.

Before the pandemic, a team from LDA Design, led by Director Bernie Foulkes, hosted a two-day design exploration with the Sheffield University Landscape School, looking specifically at how we might respond to climate breakdown.

The focus was on Hull, a city at risk from sea-level rise, and its wider Humber Estuary setting all the way to Spurn Point, an iconic peninsula which curves between the North Sea and the Estuary.

The two-day workshop called on the students to think at both a strategic and detailed design level in response to sea-level rise: to Retreat, Repel or Regroup. This film is a record of those two days leading up to a presentation by the students to LDA Design. It was a great effort and we left feeling the future is in good hands. 

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Special thanks to Andy Clayden, Thom White, Clare Rishbeth and other University of Sheffield staff for organising and orchestrating the event and producing the film. Thanks to all the students who took part with special mentions to Abel McLinden and Emily Amas. Thanks to LDA Design including Bernie Foulkes, Ian Houlston and David Wesselingh.

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