studio nab proposes network of rescue platforms for mediterranean sea migration route

studio nab proposes network of rescue platforms for mediterranean sea migration route

architecture 185 shares

assisting exiles, preserving biodiversity & producing clean energy

 

Studio nab’s Mediterranean Alliance Rescue (MAR) proposes the networking of multi-purpose rescue platforms for the Mediterranean Sea migration route, envisioned to save lives while preserving biodiversity and producing clean energy. Led by Nicolas Abdelkader, the project is envisioned as a ‘grid’ encompassing the entire Mediterranean Basin, on which platforms are strategically positioned to each cover an area 70 kilometers in diameter. Rescue teams can thus operate across the entire Mediterranean Sea without any area being left behind, considerably multiplying the chances of assisting would-be exiles and bringing them to safety.

 

On board the platforms, medical teams can take charge of the survivors’ state of health from the moment they are rescued until they are disembarked on land. Each is self-sufficient in energy and has a capacity of 150 berths, as well as a catering room, showers, a command and research room, storage rooms for equipment and foodstuffs, and several outdoor pontoons for resting. In addition, their geometry and mooring system are designed to minimize the environmental impact on the seabed.

studio nab proposes network of rescue platforms for mediterranean sea migration route
all images courtesy of Studio nab

 

 

studio nab’s mar envisions grid of multipurpose platforms

 

The back-up platforms are above all versatile, depending on their location on the grid. Those closest to the coast are designed to generate low-carbon electricity and offer prospects for economic development, transforming hydraulic energy into mechanical energy which is then converted into electrical energy by an alternator. Depending on the intensity of ocean currents in the areas where they are located, these multi-functional platforms for backup and power generation are located in territorial waters, to ultimately supply existing coastal towns and infrastructures.

 

Studio nab has positioned the relief platforms further offshore to play in ecological restoration and scientific and oceanographic research. With the aim of preserving and generating biodiversity, they help repopulate fish populations by creating nurseries and shelters for adult and juvenile fish. They are also a scientific tool for observing protected and unprotected marine areas, and for forecasting, inventorying, and monitoring marine biodiversity.

studio nab proposes network of rescue platforms for mediterranean sea migration route
Mediterranean Alliance Rescue (MAR) proposes the networking of multi-purpose rescue platforms

 

 

addressing social & ecological crises in the mediterranean sea

 

Studio nab’s MAR is a research initiative that stems from the recognition that the Mediterranean is the scene of one of the greatest migratory, ecological, and energy crises of modern times, each requiring urgent intervention. It is the world’s deadliest maritime migration route, and an area where human rights and fundamental freedoms are violated with impunity. The risk of migrants and refugees being shipwrecked and dying at sea has never been higher due to conflicts that are accelerating departures from the coasts at an alarming rate, and the crying lack of NGO vessels to carry out rescues. In the space of a decade, the Mediterranean has turned into a veritable sea of blood, with 29,589 deaths and disappearances recorded since 2014, according to IOM figures. Though this staggering figure is actually much higher, as indeed many of the migrants disappear without a trace, particularly in cases where people are lost at sea or in shipwrecks with no survivors. Hundreds of wrecks linked to no known shipwrecks are thus found on the coasts. Too many people who are victims of heinous trafficking and treated as currency flee conflicts, poverty, and environmental disasters.

 

The Mediterranean Sea is also experiencing one of the greatest losses of biodiversity in the world, with 40% of marine species considered to be in decline (source: RED 2020, Plan Bleu). The causes are manifold: shipping, overfishing, offshore drilling, tourism, artificialization of the coastline and seabed, coastal landfills, marine pollution, microplastics, underwater noise, oil spills, and hazardous materials. Yet, the Mediterranean Sea is home to 17,000, i.e., 18% of the world’s known marine species. 78% of assessed fish stocks are overexploited, while marine predators have declined by 41%. 9% of the marine area is officially protected, with only 10% of these sites implementing management plans.

studio nab proposes network of rescue platforms for mediterranean sea migration route
distant view of a rescue and oceanographic research platform

 

 

It is also one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, with 17% of the world’s tanker capacity and 26 million cruise passengers per year. In addition, 360 million tourists are largely concentrated in the Mediterranean basin during the summer months and in coastal areas, generating a gigantic amount of pollution that is harmful to the entire marine ecosystem.

 

In terms of demographic trends, the population of the southern Mediterranean basin is set to increase by around 140 million, and as a result, by 2050, total primary energy demand is expected to reach 1,404 Million tons of oil equivalent, with an increase of 67% for the southern countries alone. The Mediterranean energy mix is currently made up of just 15% renewable energies, nearly 60% of which are used to generate electricity. The basin’s energy system is not yet on track to achieve the level of decarbonization required to meet the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement. The current energy mix is not very diversified and should urgently increase its share of renewable energies as the countries of the Mediterranean basin continue along the path of electrification and the abandonment of traditional hydrocarbons (oil, natural gas and coal) in favor of energy sources requiring fewer fossil resources, foremost among which are renewable energies such as solar, wind and hydro.

studio-nab-mediterranean-alliance-rescue-designboom-1

Maritime conventions divide the sea, people, and spirits into several zones, where the law is applied differently between international waters and the limits of territorial waters, de facto reducing the capacity to resolve these multiple, interconnected crises. Communication between maritime players (border guards, coast guards, merchant ships, yachtsmen, etc.) is all too often non-existent, or even totally broken. Rescue coordination and maritime zone management have become chaotic in the Mediterranean Sea. Rescue services almost never arrive on site, or arrive too late, due to a lack of fraternity and material resources, resulting in a growing number of deaths. The policy of every man for himself and the lack of a common vision are alarmingly accentuating the collapse of biodiversity and the preservation of marine areas. 

 

The Mediterranean Sea alone perfectly highlights the excesses of our times and the collapse of a model that has become unsustainable and deadly. Lack of humanity and fraternity, racial discrimination, competition between peoples, a culture of indifference and the usual geopolitical, cultural, economic and strategic divisions between nations are at the root of this debacle. Yet we are all responsible for, linked to and interdependent on each other, and cooperation between neighbors at regional and national level is urgently needed to halt the degradation of the Mediterranean basin in its tracks. To curb the phenomenon and improve the lives of millions of people, (re)unification and (re)dialogue should (re)become the norm. As such, a cross-border alliance should logically be created with a view to establishing a genuine network across the entire basin, and finally be in a position to save many human lives, repair the degraded marine ecosystem and enable the production of decarbonized local energy.

studio nab proposes network of rescue platforms for mediterranean sea migration route
each platform is self-sufficient in energy and has a capacity of 150 berths

studio nab proposes network of rescue platforms for mediterranean sea migration route
Studio nab envisions MAR to save lives while preserving biodiversity and producing clean energy

studio nab proposes network of rescue platforms for mediterranean sea migration route
example of a platform layout in the Strait of Gibraltar region

studio nab proposes network of rescue platforms for mediterranean sea migration route
the cross-border Alliance and the principle of locating platforms in the Mediterranean basin

studio nab proposes network of rescue platforms for mediterranean sea migration route
territorial water limits and current research areas (SRR)

mediterranean alliance rescue mar 3
main Mediterranean migration routes

mediterranean alliance rescue mar 2
map of the main strong currents in the Mediterranean Sea

mediterranean alliance rescue mar 1
number of people killed or missing while trying to reach Europe

 

 

project info:

 

name: Mediterranean Alliance Rescue (MAR)
designer: Studio nab

lead designer: Nicolas Abdelkader

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: ravail khan | designboom

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