Rhizolith Island: Prototyping a Resilient Coastal Infrastructure
Rhizolith Island is a proof of concept design project that investigates floating, high performance concrete structures as a new, resilient coastal infrastructure that revitalizes depleting mangrove forests along vulnerable shorelines with continual flooding. The project is a collaboration between the authors, CEMEX Global R&D in Biel, Switzerland, JJSmithGroup Coastal Engineering, governmental agencies of Cartagena, Colombia, and local NGOs. The project uses new high performance and lightweight concrete technology to strengthen ecological performance of coastal infrastructure and reinforces appreciation for the ecologies that surround and protect communities. As a new, protective infrastructural type, the island is a resilient barrier that protects and enables new mangroves to grow and thrive while creating a public edge for visitors to engage with along the shore.