The POLI-SEA Network

In 2022 we created a network of cultural institutions that serve front line communities in climate adaptation to sea level rise (SLR). The network currently consists of eight cultural and scientific institutions based in seven coastal metropolises across three continents:

Schwankhalle and Bremer Zentrum für Baukultur (GER)
Goethe-Institut Jakarta (IND)
B’sarya for the Arts Alexandria (EG)
Civic Studio New Orleans (USA)
Venice (IT)
Frascati Amsterdam (NL) and
CityScience Lab of HCU Hamburg (GER)

Initiated by JP Possmann and Schwankhalle Bremen with initial support by Goethe-Institut Jakarta, the network’s aim is to foster the exchange between cultural actors in communities faced with climate adaptation challenges and to promote cultural heritage as a valuable, democratic and widely neglected resource for sustainable and fair and socially inclusive climate adaptation.

Mostly social and spatial climate adaptation in coastal metropolises is a top down administrative and authoritarian enterprise, particularly in the Global South. But engineering is not enough, especially when we want to see communities become more resilient, more sustainable and more inclusive in the process. While the engineering might come from the Netherlands, the culture and ethics to apply it, comes from the “polis” itself. It’s a resource of the people. Climate adaptation needs to be space specific and culture specific to be successful.

The network is coordinated by Jessica Fritz and JP Possmann from Bremen (GER) and currently cooperates on various on-site projects in Alexandria, Jakarta, Hamburg and Bremen. Online you can find the blog POLI-SEA – Stories of Loss, Belonging and New Beginnings.