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Tuvalu II

Phillip Daffara PhD A resilient resettlement proposition 29 May 2012 1

Preface Acknowledgements


Tuvalu II – a sustainable settlement plan was conceived as an entry to the Morph My City Challenge, an international design competition sponsored by the City of Regina & Regina Regional Opportunities Commission who were seeking radical new approaches to sustainable urban planning.

Problem Definition Tuvalu’s case – context for the design challenge Another emerging issue – growth of ship graveyards Bulk Carriers – global movers of resources Tuvalu II – Resettlement Proposition Design Description Tuvalu II Metabolism Form Based Code Eco-village/vessel layout Urban Design Structure Plan Transformation Milestones Benefits of Tuvalu II References

Tuvalu II was submitted into the Greenfield Category which called for a plan for an entirely new neighbourhood. This Prize is based on an imaginary, empty area, 100 hectares in size, where there are no existing systems and an urban utopia can be created from scratch. Dr Phillip Daffara, unable to design in a vacuum sought a context and socioecological system under extreme stress and therefore looked to provide a settlement solution for the Tuvaluans. The scheme was submitted to the competition executive Grand Challenges, on 29th May 2012. Dr Phillip Daffara, Principal of FutureSense + PlaceSense, retains the Intellectual Property under all common law, statutory and other reserved rights, including the copyright of the settlement plan described in this report.


Problem Definition Human Habitation

Global Climate change

• Sea-level rise • Communities at risk

Drivers of change Linear metabolism of production and consumption

Carbon Cities

SocialEcological system collapse

• Emissions • Organic waste • Inorganic waste

• Loss of biodiversity • Loss of human potential and dignity

Adaptation towards Resilient socioecological systems

Transformation towards a zero waste, zero carbon world


A local case to provide context for the design challenge Impacts of sea level rise on Tuvalu



• Salt water infiltration • Erosion of atolls • Taro & Breadfruit production ↓ • Coconut production ↓ • Nutritional diversity ↓ • Fish stocks ↓ due to higher sea temperature

Tuvalu Profile: 9 coral atolls, only 4 inhabited Total land area = 25Km2 Total population ≈ 11 500 Main Atoll = Funafuti with 6000 people Over half the population live below 3m above sea level The Tuvalu Gov’t believe the atolls will be uninhabitable by 2050.

• Household based harvesting • 14% of electricity demand to boil water • Monthly salt water inundation of communities • Tuvalu lobbying now for climate change refugee status • Long-term cultural resettlement being planned for worst case scenario




Another emerging issue: growth of ship graveyards Ship breaking industry

Environmental hazard

Navigation hazard

UNEP-GRIDA state that 600-700 ships arrive at the Asian scrap yards each year + scrapping rates will increase as the existing fleet ages and regulations are introduced to update ship design

Exploitation of third world labour in scrapping steel

• E.g. Bay of Nouadhibou, West Africa (over 104 beached ships) – release of toxins and oil

• Uncharted sunken wrecks

The Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) state that the bulk carrier fleet increased by 17% in 2010 to 8652 vessels. By 2040 their transport use will end.

• E.g. Dhaka and Chittagong, Bangladesh • Dangerous work conditions + child labour 5

Bulk Carriers – global movers of resources Cargo

• Coal • Mineral Ore • Grains


Service Life


Scale of ships

• Panamax: 7 hold • Capesize: 9 hold

• 15 -30 years • Is their life numbered due to the shift towards a low carbon world?

Panamax: 7 hold Length: 225m Breadth: 32.26m Draft: 19.6m Capesize: 9 hold Length: 292m Breadth: 45m Draft: 18.15m

• Stiffer than other ships • International ballast water filtration system • Diesel generator • Infrastructure may be adapted


Tuvalu II Resettlement Proposition Why adapt bulk carriers for human habitation?

They have large holds that can be biodiversity cells

They can arrive with resources and materials required for the urban transformation process – timber, sheeting, soil and humus

They are big and durable enough to structurally adapt – providing steel that can be reworked for housing and community use

They have engine and plant equipment that can be used by the ecovillage: diesel generator, water plant, telecommunications

Create new sea based communities by adaptively reusing bulk carriers to make artificial atolls

Why resettle Tuvaluans onto artificial atolls? Continued cultural connection to their environment – South Pacific Ocean

Self determination of Tuvaluans – adapting their social-ecological systems in response to rising sea levels and climate change Maintain their dignity – rather than being resettled as refugees to other territories


Design Description Tuvalu II

Cellular morphology – modular development

• A bulk carrier is the spatial unit ≡ the walkable eco village/vessel • Five vessels form a walkable neighbourhood with its own Lagoon • Five neighbourhoods form the artificial atoll

Circular metabolism of biological and technical nutrients

Up to 7500 residents to resettle the main island of Funafuti

Cultural specificity

• Each eco-vessel is a socialecological system with circular resource loops to minimise importation of food, energy and goods and by maximising their recapture, reuse and recycling • Renewable resource production through permaculture systems

Renewable energy



• Traditional Tuvaluan architecture and urban form is organised by social structures and communal tenure – 2 to 4 sides (feituu) face the neutral village centre in which is located the village green (malae) and meeting house (maneapa) • Climate responsive design


Tuvalu II Metabolism Hot water heating

Solar Power Electrolysis Plant to produce hydrogen

Photosynthesis in Permaculture Gardens

OTEC (similar to Geothermal) is a heat engine that works best in the Tropics. This may be an alternative long term option for base load power more efficient than wave power if the temperature difference between the warmer surface water and colder deeper water is large enough. A by-product of the OTEC cycle is fresh water distilled from the sea.

Ship’s Diesel Generator (back up)

Biofuel coconut oil

Renewable Energy

Domestic use

Community use

Hydrogen Fuel Cells (base electricity load)



Industrial use

Wind Turbines


Form based code Patterns to guide the master planning include: • At the scale of the eco-village/vessel – –

– –

– –

Tropical terraces flank the starboard and port sides of the main deck – replicating the Tuvalu Feituu from their village traditions. The terrace houses are either 2 or 3 stories allowing solar access to the green space corridor. Internally they are open plan to maximise cross ventilation. Their composite construction of steel superstructure and fire rated timber framed wall and floor panels is designed to allow the build to be managed and done by the residents – allowing a degree of flexibility and personalisation. Traditional methods of wall screening using pandanas and palm frond weaving is encouraged. The orientation of the terrace houses within the row (Feituu) changes in response to the orientation of the vessel within the neighbourhood. The Feituu consist of either 3 storey terrace houses or 2 storey terrace houses stacked within a 4 storey building. The water plant is located in the central hold, and is capped to form the Malae (village green) with an open pavilion to the stern side providing a space for the Maneappa (meeting house). Vertical farming designed using Permaculture principles to create resilient synergies between cropping and animal husbandry occupy half of the holds. Each is organised as a community food garden to provide for the staple nutritional needs of the eco-vessel. Agroforestry, again organised using permaculture principles to avoid the creation of unsustainable monocultures occupy the forward holds. For the larger Capesize bulk carriers (9 holds), the hold nearest the engine room is adapted by adding three levels to provide communal workshops and ateliers, facing a light court. The existing deck house (5-6 storey building) is converted to community facilities such as first aid, learning spaces, Woofer/ visitor /tourist accommodation, communal kitchen, and village offices.

At the scale of the Neighbourhood: –

At the scale of the Neighbourhood (con’t): –

The neighbourhood lagoon provides a resource for marine aquaculture (mariculture) enterprises for local consumption and export. Products farmed in floating 16m diametre carousels include Tilapia (Milkfish), and Panaeid Shrimp. The farming of Abolone and Black Pearl Oysters can occur on lines supporting shell fish baskets. The floating pontoon walkways of the mariculture structure links to the community hub and below deck workshops and engine rooms. The neighbourhood lagoon also provides pontoons for the mooring of private boats and public ferries.

At the scale of the Artificial Atoll (Arcology): –

– –

Over time the artificial atoll or arcology grows to form the new town of Funafuti, consisting of five neighbourhoods arranged in a circle to form a larger pentagon lagoon. A multi-level mooring pylon links each adjacent neighbourhood to each other and the lagoon at sea level; The arcology is linked to Funafuti Atoll and the old town by the extension of the existing jetty – like an umbilical cord until resettlement is complete. The link remains to allow residents to continue to care for the natural atoll – the land which was their first home as a people. Rehabilitation works continue to try and stabilise the ocean shoreline with the planting of mangroves and to manage the island as a natural reserve. The natural coral atoll provides a sea wall to protect the arcology from the worst ocean surges – like a medieval city wall. By 2100, the atoll may resemble a reef which is exposed at low tide more than a vegetated island. A geared Panamax bulk carrier which has cargo cranes on the main deck is positioned at the mouth of the main artificial lagoon to provide a port ship – facilitating the trans-shipment of goods between the arcology and the world.

Five eco-villages/vessels are organised in a pentagon (referencing the starfish) to form a neighbourhood lagoon and the next level of social organisation.


Eco-village/vessel layout 13

13 1

6 11

1 5 12

4 10

4 10





8 9



8 10







2 1






14 15


1 6



LEGEND 1 Tropical Terrace Housing • 76 dwellings • 300 persons 2 Malae (Village Green) 3 Maneapa (Meeting House) 4 Permaculture vertical farm 5 Light court to workshops/ ateliers 6 Deck house converted to community facilities – first aid, learning spaces, Woofer/ visitor accommodation, communal kitchen, Village offices 7 Central tanks for rain water harvesting from rooves and filtration plant 8 Agroforestry plots 9 Cargo Hold used as Goods Storage 10 Sub-soil water drainage cells 11 Engine Room – Diesel generator and Hydrogen fuel cells 12 Electrolysis Plant to produce Hydrogen from sea water 13 Wind turbines 14 Void – service lines 11 15 Livestock runs

Massing studies of eco-village

View down Eco-vessel open space spine towards bow from the Bridge deck

View towards bow from the village green

View towards bow from 2nd Floor Tropical Terraces

View down Eco-vessel open space spine towards Community facilities hub (former deck house)


Sketches of the eco-village

View down Eco-vessel open space spine towards bow from the Bridge deck

View towards bow from the Malae (village green) and Maneapa (meeting pavilion)


Neighbourhood cluster 3

2 2




7 2 5


LEGEND 1 Extended jetty to Funafuti Atoll 2 Malae (Village Green) 3 Community facilities hub for the Eco village/vessel 4 Boat pontoons 5 Mariculture pontoons 6 Multi-level mooring pylon 7 Neighbourhood Lagoon

380 dwellings 1500 persons 2




Urban Design Structure Plan 5 Offshore trans-shipment vessel. Photo by Bedeshi 1

4 2


LEGEND 1 Neighbourhood Cluster 2 Central Lagoon 3 Floating sports field 4 Island Transfer Jetty 5 Port Facility– Panamax transshipment vessel (ship to ship transfers of cargo)


Context Plan of Tuvalu II 1


LEGEND 1. Funafuti Lagoon 2. Funafuti Jetty 3. Existing Airstrip



Transformation milestones Resettled Population:







Resilience in complex adaptive systems •

• •

• •

The capacity within a social-ecological system to absorb shocks (or change) while maintaining: – Function (same state) – Self organisation or renewal – Capacity for learning and adaptation

Panarchy and Spatial Scales

Town or City = complex social-ecological system From resilience science the concept of Panarchy conveys complexity. Social-Ecological Systems function at multiple scales of space, time and social organization. We must understand the cross-scale interactions to manage effectively at a specific scale. One key to this is to realize that each scale can be in a different phase of the adaptive cycle. E.g. a household compared to its Local Government. Robust and adaptable systems require interaction across time (or temporal scales). For ecosystems, the temporal scales (rings) are occupied by keystone species that provide responsiveness and continuity. For society, the rings reflect the simultaneous loyalties for humans, as individuals, and as members of larger collectives. For built environments, the material and cultural realms are combined, with the fast pace of the social processes (design, assessment, contracting, management) balanced by the longer-term influences of buildings and landscapes (Moffat and Kohler, 2008)

Built Environment

Millennia Centuries Decades Years Days

Insects Birds Mammals Fungi Succession Patches Climax Forest Biome

Days Years Decades Centuries Millennia

Design Procurement Management Systems Buildings Infrastructure + Open Space Place

Individual Family Community Species Biosphere

Diagrams from Moffat and Kohler, 2008


Benefits of Tuvalu II In terms of social-ecological resilience, the benefits include: • •

• • •

• • •

Ecological energy flows – renewable, diverse sources and circular metabolism to create a zero waste community; Modularity of design and implementation – cellular morphology that works across multiple scales – the family, village, neighbourhood cluster and town, and maintains a sense of human scale and belonging; Emphasis on local production of housing and self-sufficiency in food production; Compact walkable form which is car free; Community governance of each eco-village/vessel and its food gardens and agroforestry plot provides the opportunity to transfer leadership skills across generations and build social capacity; Cooperation amongst eco-villages/vessels within the neighbourhood and whole arcology builds transformational leadership skills, particularly in regard to the continuous monitoring of the adaptation strategies in the face of climate change and sea-level rise. This supports their self determination as a culture; Sustainable management of Tuvalu II within its environmental, socio-cultural and economic regional contexts as permaculture principles seek integration of systems rather than segregation; Cultural continuity and development with the Tuvaluans maintaining their cultural connection to their environment – South Pacific Ocean and the traditional organisation of space; Maintain Tuvaluan dignity – rather than being resettled as climate change refugees to other territories; The opportunity for a humane and spiritual habitat that works with nature rather than against.


References Articles on Tuvalu • Climate Change impacts http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/18/asdanger-laps-at-its-shores-tuvalu-pleads-for-action/ http://www.islandvulnerability.org/tuvalu.html •

Tavalu culture http://www.everyculture.com/To-Z/Tuvalu.html

Atoll formation: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Maldiv es/maldives2.php

Info on Bulk carriers: • http://www.isl.org/ • http://www.odensemaritime.com/daDK/Products/Products.aspx • http://www.worldtraderef.com/WTR_site/vessel_cl assification.asp • http://www.workboatsinternational.com/3-units-xgeared-panamax-stls1371.html • http://www.tomasos.gr/tomasosfleet.php?category=2&ship=11 • http://gcaptain.com/maritime-additions-irontrade/?42490 Ship breaking • http://www.demotix.com/news/258009/lifebeyond-ship-graveyard-chittagong • http://www.grida.no/publications/vg/waste/page/2 869.aspx


Profile for Phillip Daffara

Tuvalu II a resettlement proposition  

A report that describes a speculative design idea to resettle Tuvaluans by adapting bulk carriers to create artifical atolls.

Tuvalu II a resettlement proposition  

A report that describes a speculative design idea to resettle Tuvaluans by adapting bulk carriers to create artifical atolls.