• Pomeroy Studio promotes water as the new ‘Urban Frontier’

    6 June 2016

    (3 June 2016) – Pomeroy Studio, the designers and thought leaders of sustainable built environments, celebrated the culmination of a year long research project, with an exhibition and launch of Prof Jason Pomeroy’s latest book, “POG: Pod Off-Grid | Explorations into Low Energy Waterborne Communities,” at the Raffles Design Institute, Singapore. The research responds to some of the pressing issues facing global cities – namely climate change-related flood risks , land shortage in urban centres, population increase and carbon emission woes associated with cities.  

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    With many of the world’s largest cities located near waterfronts, the book seeks to highlight that changing the perception of water-borne communities is a fundamental step in creating more integrated sustainable urban developments. This can potentially help ease the economic pressures of inner city land development whilst tackling sea level rise associated with global warming.

    “Most cities grew as a result of trade via water, hence why the majority of the 35 global mega-cities with over 10 million inhabitants are located by a lake, river, or ocean. As the global population increases and the trend continues towards inner city migration, cities will become denser, and land more scarce – their real estate values soaring ever higher. But with increasing prosperity comes the proportionate risk of more financial as well as physical damage caused by rising sea levels and more frequent flooding” said Prof Jason Pomeroy, the Founding Principal of Pomeroy Studio.

    He added, “By 2050, it is estimated that 40% of the global population will be living in river basins that experience severe water stress, particularly in Africa and Asia. Waterfront cities, like Miami, will become increasingly depopulated or even abandoned, as the traditional, static responses to flood defense (i.e. barriers or raised accommodation) lack adaptability.”

    “As a result, the global population will migrate to cities in higher and cooler plains in the wake of extreme temperatures, food shortages and heightened flood risks. The world’s waterfront cities will need to adapt if they are to continue to provide adequate living standards for their citizens.”

    The book, published by ORO Editions, examines the possibilities of self-sustaining communities on water that push towards zero-energy. Built case studies from around the World, works on the drawing board and future visions explore how to address the sustainability challenges of tomorrow. The projects from the book were further brought to life in the Exhibition, and also featured Pomeroy Studio’s own visionary development anchored in agri-aquaculture and green tourism. The book considers how waterborne communities, made possible by a combination of floating or pier architecture may present an answer to future urban growth that will help alleviate urbanisation pressures in over-populated inner city centres, which, by 2050, will house 70% of the global population.

    Pomeroy, who is an also an academic and TV personality,  commented, “Despite the continued risk of widespread flooding through climate change, living, working and playing on water continues to be a necessity and a way of life for many.”

    “In the context of population increase, rapid urbanisation and technological advancement, can water be a viable alternative to urbanisation? Architects and urban planners have an opportunity to rethink the cities of tomorrow and embrace an element that accounts for two-thirds of the Earth’s surface area. Drawing upon our expertise of zero-carbon developments and coupling this with waterborne research with the University IUAV Venice allowed us to create a vision for future urbanism that has vast opportunities for application in spatially constrained Cities such as Venice and Singapore.”

    Last July, Pomeroy led a group of students from IUAV (Italy), James Cook University (Australia) and Raffles Design Institute (Singapore) for a two-week workshop in Venice to explore approaches to designing zero–carbon waterborne communities that could offer viable alternatives to land urbanisation and be completely self sustaining. Projects were conceived as a series of waterborne structures independent from the grid. Flexibility of adapting to any water surface, driven through a universal design that could accommodate different climate conditions given its architectural kit of parts, facilitated tropical as well as temperate climate application. Solutions also sought to allow infinite number of spatial configurations and economic scenarios, given modularity, adaptability, and diversity, making them deployable more rapidly than conventional development in spatially or historically constrained urban centres.

    Such visionary ideas may soon be realised, given his Studio’s track record in carbon zero developments such as the B House (an award-winning and pioneering carbon negative home completed in Singapore early 2016). One of the featured case studies in the book and Exhibition, Lexis Hibiscus in Malaysia has also been recently opened. Prof Jason Pomeroy, was lead architect and director of the project at his previous firm, and has been invited to the resort for an exclusive book signing and media event on 4th June 2016.

     

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