In Ashley Dawson’s Extreme Cities, his argument in the resilience chapter concludes by suggesting “retreat” as the alternative to resilience. That is, instead of building sea walls on Manhattan that sort of stem the tide for a few lucky people for a short time, why not start at least contemplating retreat.

It’s such an epic proposal. In Kim Stanley Robinson’s New York 2140 there is no retreat, but dwelling in a flooded city.

The logistics of retreat are something that Dawson does not need to consider given the terrain of his argument. The 99% Invisible Episode “Managed Retreat” gives a good example of the logistics of moving extant infrastructure – but in comparison to a whole city it is small fry.

I wonder how many more examples there are of managed retreat out there?


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