Building 'blue': an eco-engineering framework for foreshore developments

M. Mayer-Pinto*, E. L. Johnston, A. B. Bugnot, T. M. Glasby, L. Airoldi, Anita Mitchell, K. A. Dafforn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Urbanisation in terrestrial systems has driven architects, planners, ecologists and engineers to collaborate on the design and creation of more sustainable structures. Examples include the development of 'green infrastructure' and the introduction of wildlife corridors that mitigate urban stressors and provide positive ecological outcomes. In contrast, efforts to minimise the impacts of urban developments in marine environments have been far more restricted in their extent and scope, and have often overlooked the ecological role of the built environment as potential habitat. Urban foreshore developments, i.e. those built on the interface of intertidal and/or subtidal zones, have the potential to incorporate clear multi-functional outcomes, by supporting novel ecosystems. We present a step-by-step eco-engineering framework for 'building blue' that will allow coastal managers to facilitate planning and construction of sustainable foreshore developments. Adopting such an approach will incorporate ecological principles, thereby mitigating some of the environmental impacts, creating more resilient urban infrastructure and environments, and maximising benefits to the multiple stakeholders and users of marine urban waterfronts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-114
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • artificial structures
  • coastal systems
  • green engineering
  • urbanisation


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