One ocean, one health

The “Health of the Marine System” axis deals with the influence of the towns and cities on the ocean (the urban ocean). As such, all related actions will revolve on the effects of the urban centres over the ocean.

Since coastal towns and cities concentrate a large share of the world’s population, they can be a substantial source of stressors for the ocean but also have a huge potential to become a change driver.

The Health axis focuses on challenges 1 (ocean pollution), 2 (ecosystems) and 7 (coastal community resilience). The main knowledge and expertise areas for this axis are ecology, physical oceanography, marine engineering, marine geosciences, environment sciences, coastal monitoring & processes.

The two actions proposed within the Health axis are:

Monitoring: observing our impact on the coastal ocean

Ocean science and observation will be put at the service of further understanding how coastal towns and cities stress the neighbouring coastal waters and thus the global ocean (through pollution and eutrophication, and all sorts of coastal and marine habitat destruction). This action will also strive to identify how densely populated coastal areas and city harbours contribute to the ocean’s pollution and degradation, directly on the urban ocean and indirectly as significant actors of carbons emissions.

Resilience: towards a natural and resilient coastal ocean

Nature-based solutions are becoming a pivotal element to facilitate a thriving human civilization that sets the sustainability of the natural environment at the centre of its development. Urban resilience, understood not only as how cities can respond to oceanic hazards but also as the role that cities must play to preserve the ocean, will become a central element of this project. This project will explore how cities can turn beneficial to the urban and global ocean.