Amager Strand: changing landscapes 1975-2010

Update: someone else has seen the parallels with Dubai, or rather Venice, in a solution to rising sea levels around CPH | and again, while there’s a story about sea levels rising rather more than previously calculated…a version of Boston Coastline would be interesting. See MiljøGIS, esp on Klimatilpasningsplaner, and on the Klimatilpasning site (English).

Assignment for #mapmooc lesson 2, looking at changing landscapes:

Think about your own community. What has changed since you moved there? What forces are causing that change? How did your community look in terms of the people who live there and the uses of the land in your community 10 or 100 years ago?

How will your community look in 10 or 100 years? Could any of these changes be mapped? How do these changes compare in magnitude and scale from those changes in other parts of the world?

Esri’s Change Matters site lets you compare development over time, using imagery dating back to 1972 from the NASA/US Geological Survey’s Landsat. This “observes the Earth in the visible and infrared portions of the spectrum… healthy vegetation appears red, cities appear gray, water appears black…[which] allows for changes to be detected easily”.

Among the threads for the assignment was a discussion around developments in the Gulf, particularly Abu Dhabi and Dubai, showing the construction of the Palm islands and The World islands:

map showing the construction of Dubai's Palm islands and The World islands

the construction of Dubai’s Palm islands and The World islands, shared by Carmen B de los Santos

The Køge Bugt, to the south of Copenhagen where I live, is another interesting example. Parts of the land were reclaimed in the 1950s – up to half of the island of Amager. However, it looks like the sea will reclaim it over the course of the next 50 years. I’m inspired to take a closer look at this now – here’s hoping our house will be OK for a while yet!

My map reveals the construction of an artificial beach on Amager:

map showing the construction of Amager Strand

the construction of Amager Strand

See the Amager Strand webcam for the full horror (not a fan, sorry). As Miranda Wilson posted on the discussion forum, most places don’t have the funds to build new islands and expand landmass.

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