DCxMA Sea Level Rise Strategies

Over ten weeks in the winter of 2017, sixteen BSLA students my LA402L Advanced Landscape Architecture Studio at California State Polytechnic University, in collaboration with AHBE Landscape Architects (Los Angeles), developed site-specific strategies and tactics to assist the City of Long Beach’s efforts to plan for sea level rise (SLR).


Sea Level Rise strategies and tactics identified by the students of LA402L provide a range of short term mitigation tactics of the impacts and/or long-term adaptation opportunities for the community and waterfront. These strategies and tactics can be categorized as:

Centralized: defined by top-down policies or regulations, neighborhood or community-wide deployment, and reliance on public funding to implement.

Decentralized: implementable by individual property owners and occupants to protect a single building, parcel, or block. These strategies and tactics may require changes to the zoning or building code, and/or innovative construction approaches.

Together with the mitigation and adaptation strategies and tactics (below), the matrix of Decentralized/Centralized and Mitigation/Adaptation is abbreviated as “DCxMA”.

Mitigation Strategies:

  • Wave attenuation: living breakwater, sandbars, oyster reefs
  • Coastal armor
  • Tidal/Storm barriers
  • Groundwater injection

05 Mitigation Mid-Review Posters_Page_5

Adaptation Strategies:

  • Amphibious neighborhoods, canalification, floodable buildings, raised buildings, and floating buildings
  • Strategic retreat, eco-retreat
  • Abandonment (leaving all structures standing, removal of the above ground structures, or removal of all structures/foundations/paving)

06 Adaptation Mid-Review Posters_Page_6


LA402L’s report can be accessed here: LA402L_LB_SLR_Report-web 51mb.pdf


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