Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageArchitect addressing rising sea levels through urban design

By Karen Graham     Oct 28, 2017 in Environment
Rising sea levels, coastal flooding, and biodiversity loss are now a reality for many cities across the U.S. and any more urbanization will result in more wetlands, trees and flora and fauna losses. One New York architect is doing something about this.
We are going to shift from the advances in "vertical forests" in architectural designs in buildings to something just as important - Urban design that focuses on finding practical solutions to ecological problems facing cities.
According to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report published in September this year, by 2100, there is a 90 percent chance that global mean sea levels will rise anywhere from eight inches to 6.6 feet.
Rising seas are already encroaching into our wetlands, and this will get worse because they protect against flooding. Tree loss will be accelerated, and we need trees because they help in reducing carbon dioxide levels. However, the damage won't stop with just these losses. A decline in biodiversity will go along with those rising seas.
Hurricane Sandy’s massive storm surge destroyed most of the radio equipment  electrical infrastruc...
Hurricane Sandy’s massive storm surge destroyed most of the radio equipment, electrical infrastructure, and security systems of both Liberty and Ellis Islands. Floodwaters inundated three-quarters of Liberty Island—some of the aftermath can be seen in the picture.
UCS
Using innovative design-driven landscape architecture
Landscape architect Kate Orff founded the urban design firm Scape Studio, in 2007 in New York City. She is also the 2017 recipient of the MacArthur fellowship, also known as the "genius grant," announced on October 11.
The MacArthur Fellowship is a $625,000, no-strings-attached award, paid out over five-years, to extraordinarily talented and creative individuals as an investment in their potential.
And Orff's Scape Studio certainly lives up to her reputation. Scape Studio believes that landscape architecture can enable positive change in communities through the creation of regenerative living infrastructure and public landscapes. To that end, they combine research and practice to reveal the ecological and cultural potential of the built environment.
They accomplish this through integrating natural cycles and systems into environments across all scales, from the urban pocket-park to the regional ecological plan. Let's look at a few of Orff's fascinating projects. While most of them center in New York, they can also work in other cities and around the world.
The Gowanus Project synthesizes multiple conditions that are changing the neighborhood  including se...
The Gowanus Project synthesizes multiple conditions that are changing the neighborhood, including sea level rise, the superfund cleanup and planning studies.
Gowanus Canal Conservancy and SCAPE Landscape Architecture DPC
The Gowanus Lowlands Project
In June of 2017, the Gowanus Canal Conservancy unveiled its visionary plan for Gowanus, titled Gowanus Lowlands: A Blueprint for NYC’s Next Great Park.
As many people may know, there is a federally-mandated cleanup of the Gowanus Canal because it has been declared a "Superfund site," and Scape Studio was taking on an effort that not only will involve community participation in shaping the watershed but bringing the neighborhood back to the waterway in a safe and healthy way.
When the project is finished, the conservancy says, “Residents, workers, and visitors will be able to fully engage with all Gowanus has to offer, from its native plants and wildlife to its thriving industry, to its hidden creeks and hypnotic waterway.”
One of the main features of the Town Branch Park will be the uncovered Town Branch Creek  which is c...
One of the main features of the Town Branch Park will be the uncovered Town Branch Creek, which is currently buried below the city.
Scape Studio
Town Branch Commons Project
The Town Branch Commons will weave a linear network of public space along a 2.5-mile path of the historic Town Branch creek in downtown Lexington, Kentucky. The path designed by Space was once a waste canal, sewer, and water conduit for the city. However, the buried stream channel of Town Branch is an opportunity to reconnect the city with its Bluegrass identity and give Lexington a "Legacy City" park environment.
Interestingly, Scape Studio used the local limestone (karst) geology as inspiration for a series of pools, pockets, water windows, and stream channels that brings water into the public realm.
Work on the project will begin in 2018, and the total project, backed by the Lexington Downtown Development Authority will have a system of bike and pedestrian trails that will stretch over 22 miles, connecting rural and downtown Lexington.
DUNE CO-HABITAT is a coastal protection plan and mixed-use community that would use dunes and other ...
DUNE CO-HABITAT is a coastal protection plan and mixed-use community that would use dunes and other natural systems to defend against storm breaches.
Scape Studio
The Dune Co-Habitat in Far Rockaway Beach
The Dune Co-Habitat is a Lot-EK collaboration with SCAPE landscape architecture, Sherwood Design Engineers, and James Lima Planning & Development, The project is an 80-plus acre coastal protection plan and mixed-use community on the Rockaway peninsula in Queens, New York.
The project was designed to give coastal protection from storm surges by using specifically-shaped dune ecosystems combined with a series of floodable platforms that would protect key site infrastructure.
The solar-powered Rockaways bungalows and other resilient buildings are clustered together into dense, zig-zagging masses that lie perpendicular to the dune-generating boardwalk running alongside the waterfront. The bungalows have shared courtyards, forming "mini-communities.
More about Climate change, Architecture, urban design, Rising sea levels, Space Studio
More news from