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editorial

Floating above future storm surges?

Floating docks are a common enough sight at Boston Harbor marinas. But these buoyant platforms may be good for more than just securing boats. An entire block of residences could be designed to slide up and down with the tides on vertical mooring posts.

Brian Healy, the director of design in the Boston office of the national architectural firm Perkins + Will, envisions a floating community at the Charlestown Navy Yard that offers ocean views, a communal courtyard, and more than 100 living spaces where residents can float above concerns about global warming and rising sea levels. The concept may seem fanciful, but it’s also down-to-earth considering that the alternatives for many people living in vulnerable coastal areas are heading for the hills or cowering behind dikes.

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