Delta City Blues: Representing Resiliency in an Urban Estuary


  • Ashley Dawson



resiliency, adaptation, urbanism, inequality, Cli-Fi


How the climate crisis gets represented, who gets to speak, and how their speech is rendered—these are all key questions in the conflictual process that is urban adaptation to the climate crisis. This essay offers an analysis of the conflict over the East Side Coastal Resiliency project. The ESCR, and the broader Rebuild by Design process out of which it grew, are particularly significant examples of efforts to adapt a major global city like New York to the climate emergency. Will efforts to adapt or abandon coastal cities to the climate crisis entrench or ameliorate the soaring social stratification that characterizes most of the planet’s megacities? This essay turns to the controversial redevelopment process surrounding the East Side Coastal Resiliency project to explore these and related questions.


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