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Cedar Island
Cedar Island

Stunning news via The Associated Press. Undeterred by the stories of Dubai, the global financial apocalypse, a shaky national political system, the occasional war and sectarian violence, the Beirut-based developer Mohammed Saleh wants to develop “a 3.3-square-kilometre, artificial island shaped like a cedar tree as a major attraction off Lebanon's coast.”

This US$8 billion “paradise” would be aimed primarily at “Lebanese expatriates who have nostalgia for their country and would like to invest in it.” For reasons we can't yet process without experiencing cognitive failure, this marketing strategy will somehow insulate the project from the economic crisis.

In any case, if ever some reclusive billionaire who fantasizes about being the Rockefeller of archi-bloggers and then actually doles out patronage to these outsider spatialists, including us, we would like to use our grotesquely plump fellowship to create a sort of travel guide to the world's artificially terraformed coastlines. In the same illustrative vein as John Briscella's The Urban Gridded Notebook and Work AC's 49 Cities, we'll document with near encyclopedic breadth the fluctuating peripheries of Manhattan, Chicago, Singapore, Dubai, Tokyo and whatever cities that have undergone coastal expansion. San Francisco was once imagined with twin peninsular augments. What other cities were planned to be implanted with geological prosthesis? And what urban (hi)stories can one gleaned from these littoral recontouring?

It will be an antipode history to the future extractive history of sea level rise.

We Are All Doomed
  • rob70
  • April 28, 2009 at 12:41:00 PM CDT
  • There is an off the wall plan to build the San Diego airport out of the ocean, but it's going no where.

    Coastlines every where are artificially extended beyond the erosion line through the creation of seawalls. With the effect of killing the beaches they stand in front of.

  • Blaize
  • April 28, 2009 at 12:56:00 PM CDT
  • If you build it, they will come and then get swamped in the collapse of the polar ice shelves.

    San Francisco as is (even without the augmentation) looks very different from its pre-colonization state. What I love is how rectilinear the SF fill is (, and the fact that part of it is made up of buried ships.

    The curvy fake-natural outlines of the new "island" architecture--especially in its mimicking of wild forms (palm tree, Cedar of Lebanon--don't change the fact of artificiality, but they sure try, don't they?

  • Anonymous
  • April 28, 2009 at 3:02:00 PM CDT
  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
  • Alexander Trevi
  • April 28, 2009 at 3:30:00 PM CDT
  • greengoblin,

    The link is wonderful, and I thank you for it, but you're doing a disservice to it by spamming it around. I'm leaving one of you comments undeleted in Tele-Hydrology, because the link is at least hydrological. I'll even tweet it and save it on, but please try not to splatter it all over the place here.

  • Georgia
  • April 28, 2009 at 7:00:00 PM CDT
  • Boston of course: Gaining Ground: A History of Landmaking in Boston (Nancy Seasholes).

    Am still amazed whenever I read about the mid 20th century move to fill in (all of) the SF Bay!

    Berkeley's fill resulted in great public open space.

  • alt/urbs
  • May 2, 2009 at 1:24:00 PM CDT
  • Land reclamation is a contagious attraction! But Why?

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