NANTUCKET, Mass.---ReMain Nantucket announced today the five universities that will participate in the Envision Resilience Nantucket Challenge to address sea level rise: University of Florida College of Design, Construction and Planning, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, University of Miami School of Architecture, The School of Architecture at Northeastern University and Yale School of Architecture.

With the goal of inspiring Nantucket and other coastal communities around the world to envision innovative adaptations to sea level rise, Envision Resilience brings together graduate students from five geographically diverse universities to collaboratively re-imagine the Nantucket waterfront. Each school participating in the spring 2021 design studio will assemble a team of eight to 10 students from across disciplines, who will be tasked with identifying threats, researching possible solutions and proposing adaptive pathways forward.

“Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing us worldwide. Nantucket is at the forefront of this emergency that many coastal communities are facing,” said faculty lead Chris Reed, co-director of the Master of Landscape Architecture in Urban Design Program at Harvard Graduate School of Design and founding director of Stoss Landscape Urbanism. “The Envision Resilience Nantucket Challenge is an opportunity for the very best design students, who come from around the world, to collaborate with one another and with climate experts and local residents to imagine new and resilient futures for this special place, ‘away, off shore.’”

Equipped with the latest climate research, planning guidelines and an expert cohort of 23 Nantucket advisors, students will be encouraged to engage with community members to better understand the unique challenges of the Island.

“Now more than ever, it’s so important for our students to grapple with real-world issues, understand the needs and hopes of people who live in the built environments we design and work collaboratively across scales on complex issues,” said faculty lead Sara Carr, assistant professor in The School of Architecture at Northeastern University.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s “high” sea level rise projections, which the Town of Nantucket has adopted for planning purposes, predict the Island will regularly see 4.13 feet of water above local mean sea level rise by 2060, 6.36 feet by 2080, and 9.25 feet by 2100.

Fortunately, the multidisciplinary nature of the challenge promises holistic insight to the unique complexities coastal communities face with rising sea levels, especially since the teams will be guided by leaders in the field: Jeff Carney of the University of Florida, Chris Reed and Alysoun Wright of Harvard, Sonia Chao of the University of Miami, Sara Carr and Cullen Meves of Northeastern and Alan Plattus and Andrei Harwell of Yale.

“As a coastal community, Nantucket is up against some of the most pressing climate-related challenges. We are excited by the opportunity for students to creatively and actively explore multidisciplinary models of adaptation here,” said Cecil Barron Jensen, executive director of ReMain Nantucket. “And hope that this academic exercise inspires not just our friends and neighbors on the Island, but other coastal towns facing similar, yet distinct climate concerns as well.”

The Envision Resilience Nantucket Challenge design studio begins in late January. A weekly lecture series will deliver global, national and local expertise to inform the process. Each lecture will be recorded and available to the public. The spring studio will culminate in a hybrid programming event open to the community during the summer of 2021. Learn more at