The Tidal City: Walking on a Flooded Past


Paul Sündermann, German

Maja Leichtner, German


-EDITORIAL PICK of Street of Tomorrow Competition


Climate change is the main force that is shaping our future. Studies calculate that major coastal cities like Amsterdam or New York City will fall below sea level by as early as 2050. Using this dystopian foundation, we designed a future where climate change could not be stopped, and humanity adapted to a sunken world. In this future, cities gradually adapted to rising sea levels, using the old architecture as a foundation for a new pedestrian utopia.

The new streetscape is organized vertically to separate functions. The lowest level is a wide public space that acts as a sponge when water levels rise. Above that are recreational spaces for communication. The next levels are built high enough to be avoid flooding and houses commercial functions and serve as main connecting paths. On top of this valley sit the living and working areas. The fluctuating water levels flood lower public spaces when it rains but does not impact the city’s functions.

Our imagined neighborhoods create self-sufficient energy cycles powered by hydropower plants and solar power. Courtyards function as agricultural platforms cared for by the whole community. The necessary fresh water is collected on tilted roofs and distributed equally among the residents.



From the brief:

  • CO2 emissions & energy consumption
  • Public Space, pedestrianization and street front

From our project:

  • Climate change and relocation
  • Self-sufficiency and life cycles
  • Urban community

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