msb ~090 Realigning managed retreat

Realigning managed retreat 

The process of managed retreat in Oakwood Beach, Staten Island. Nathan Kensinger
The process of managed retreat in Oakwood Beach, Staten Island

Burning Worlds’ Amy Brady interviewed filmmaker Nathan Kensinger about Managed Retreat, his documentary looking at “at the uneasy relationship between humans and nature in New York City” through neighbourhoods that are pulling back from the waterfront. Following Hurricane Sandy, residents “asked the government to buy their houses, so they could move to somewhere safer. Their homes are now being demolished and turned back into wetlands.”

Kensinger says that few New Yorkers know “their neighbors are tearing down their own homes, to escape from sea level rise. I’m hoping the film will give audiences a better picture of what may be in store…”

In the UK, this is called ‘managed realignment’, and that’s the sense that writer Tim Dee employed in his entry for it in Anticipatory history. He connects adjusting coastal management to adjusting our perception of constancy: altering “how things seem as well as how they are, how they live in the mind as well as how they are felt underfoot.”

Reality’s “porous edge is back,” Dee suggests. And Kensinger? “Sometimes, while I’m walking around the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn, I find myself wondering what the city will look like in 50 years, or 500 years, or 5,000.”

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