The sea level in Key West, Florida rose 5.5 inches between 1963 and 2012. Some predict an average global sea level rise between 6 to 16 inches by 2050. And just last week, farther north, the city council in St. Petersburg, Florida approved a new pier design that can adapt to changing sea levels.
The planned new pier, designed by ASD/SKY, Rogers Partners Architects + Urban Designers and Ken Smith Workshop, is slated to replace the now-demolished 1973 ‘Inverted Pyramid’ pier. Their design weaves in features like large sloping lawns for events, cycling paths, pedestrian walkways, a children’s wet classroom, kayak launching spaces, an education center, as well as eateries and an observation deck.
The city started working on the new pier project designs in 2014, after Mayor Krisemen was sworn in to office.
The project is expected to cost $50 million, with a majority of the funding coming from 2016 A bond proceeds. Groundbreaking is expected early 2017, and the grand opening fall 2018.
The new St. Petersburg Pier is part of a larger development plan—dubbed the St. Petersburg Pier District—to better connect residents and visitors to the coast. W Architecture and Landscape Architecture, along with Wannemacher Jensen Architects, are working on the pier approach.