Blue is the New Green – Ecological Enhancement of Urban Waterfronts and Coastal Infrastructure
- Co-Founder and CEO, ECOncrete Tech Ltd
With two-thirds of the human population concentrated around coastlines accelerated, coastal development and changes to natural coastlines are inevitable. Over time, natural coastlines undergo severe changes, and in many cases are completely overtaken by industrial facilities, coastal defense measures, and residential properties. These altered coastlines face growing threats from sea-level rise and increased storminess. While coastal infrastructure, such as seawalls, utilize hard substrate that can be colonized by marine organisms, these structures do not support similar species assemblages found in natural coastal and marine habitats. As a result, their ability to provide ecosystem services is severely compromised. This presentation highlights an emerging approach that involves the planning, design, and retrofitting of hard structures to create more multifunctional Blue-Green Infrastructure using ecologically sensitive designs and construction technologies that enhance their ability to provide valuable ecosystem services.
Shimrit Perkol-Finkel is the co-founder and CEO of ECOncrete Tech Ltd, a world leader in bio-enhancing concrete technologies and products that help build more resilient ports, waterfronts, and other facilities and create thriving marine ecosystems. With over 20 years of experience in marine biology and ecology, Dr. Finkel is an expert in ecological engineering and environmentally sensitive designs of man-made coastal and marine infrastructure. She has served as an ecological advisor for Israel’s marine spatial planning program and NY Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance’s Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines program and was involved in the ecological design of the federally funded “Living Breakwaters” SCAPE Team Project. Recently, she was selected as a We Empower awardee for her achievements in advancing UN Sustainable Development Goals, representing the UN region that encompasses Western Europe and North America.
This presentation is cosponsored by the East-West Center Research Program and the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University.
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. HT