Leeway Urbanism

Hong Kong, China

As rising sea levels and unpredictable storm surges threaten the future of Hong Kong, Gensler introduced a new concept: Leeway Urbanism, a resilient community and waterfront revitalization strategy to protect against the challenges of climate change. Named for the nautical term for the sideways drift of a ship, Leeway Urbanism reimagines urbanity as a space between the existing city and the sea. The reclaimed land would extend the existing waterfront outwards, which would integrate a modified topography as active, landscaped levees with natural edges or saltwater wetlands along the waterside. Additionally, it would support the resilient rebuilding of marine transportation infrastructure. To enact Leeway Urbanism, the team developed a resiliency toolkit that includes a broad set of strategies that can be tailored to suit specific locations along Hong Kong’s coastlines.