Issue's articles

 Open Access
Essay

The SEA Is Coming: The Future of a Marine Research Facility

by: Ursula Emery McClure VOLUME 2/2017 - Issue 2 [RESILIENT EDGES], Pages: 221 - 244 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2017.02.02.12, published: 2017-11-21

This paper originates from a Louisiana State University School of Architecture Research Studio. Charged by the organization’s Director, the students investigated the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) facility and environment, and re-imagined both the building and landscape as a cutting-edge (albeit remote) research and educational destination. “The SEA Is Coming” Integrative-Design Studio proposes adaptation to climate change as a means to investigate the transformative capacity of a site. Going far beyond the boundaries of current (and future) building program, the studio method provoked profound rethinking of current conventions about coastal change and occupancy, design, community, the environment, and land use. LUMCON’s facility sits at the nexus of deltaic land, freshwater, brackish wetland, and salty ocean and provides access to all these systems. It has withstood the volatility of this environment: flooding, hurricanes, oil spills, the Gulf dead zone, salt-water intrusion, etc. Now over thirty-years-old, the building must adapt to changing conditions. The studio investigated LUMCON’s ability to continue functioning in its changing environment and further its indispensable research capabilities of the rapidly changing coastal landscape.

 Open Access
Project

MaterialNature: An Opportunistic Paradigm of Architecture and Landscape Ecology

by: Marcus Farr VOLUME 2/2017 - Issue 2 [RESILIENT EDGES], Pages: 207 - 220 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2017.02.02.11, published: 2017-11-21

In this space, small-scale coastal erosion, and natural growth become the vehicle for project based architectural speculation that leverages the resources of local landscapes and creates a new architectural trajectory based upon the need and aesthetic of ecology. Here, MaterialNature is a series of architectural entities that become landscapes over time, made from a mixture of residual materials designed specifically to be weatherized. Its design is intended to provide a potential architectural amenity in areas of recreational activity as well as areas devoid of human contact, while simultaneously realizing a potential for architecture to be born from waste or local material, and to return to nature without providing further waste. As such, this architecture moves from one of formal composition to one where the formal characteristics of local ecology and landscape become more apparent than the form itself.

 Open Access
Article

Miami Rising: Historical Perspectives on Sea Level Rise as a View into the Future

by: Eric Firley , Victor Deupi VOLUME 2/2017 - Issue 2 [RESILIENT EDGES], Pages: 187 - 207 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2017.02.02.10, published: 2017-11-15

Miami is a city whose diversity and vibrant growth has made it an ideal destination for international travel, business, and leisure. However, South Florida is a hurricane prone region, and the threat of sea level rise and erosion poses an immediate and long-term risk to the stability of the city and its region. The city and the scientific community have been studying the phenomenon for some time now, proposing solutions to the management of such threatening uncertainty. Yet the quest for coastal resilience is not a new phenomenon. Since ancient times human settlements have entertained a complex relationship to the water. This paper will explore how several cities throughout history have dealt with flood resilience challenges and consider how historical attempts to adapt and address such problems can provide new spatial strategies for Miami’s future. Aware of the fact that such a study cannot reveal technical solutions for the twenty-first century, the emphasis will be given to an understanding of the correlation between socio-economic identity, attitude towards defensive action, and the type of organization needed for concerted action.

 Open Access
Project

Connecting Water Resources across Political Borders: A Pearl River Delta Special Ecological Area

by: Jason F. Carlow , Ivan Valin , Stefan Al VOLUME 2/2017 - Issue 2 [RESILIENT EDGES], Pages: 171 - 185 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2017.02.02.09, published: 2017-11-14

Situated between several interdependent political and economic zones of southern China’s Pearl River Delta, the Pearl River Delta Special Ecological Area (PRD SEA) project explores the possibility that regional administrative boundaries could be softened and redrawn along ecological boundaries. With the advent of global sea level rise and its impact on the fragile fresh water ecology and huge population of the Pearl River Delta, the project proposes novel ways to share fresh water and wastewater across political zones to better administer and profit from the distribution of water resources.

Climate change, urbanization, and pollution from industrial and agricultural development threaten the steady supply of fresh water to the Pearl River Delta and its cities, while population growth in the region only increases demand. At the same time, Hong Kong, Macau and Shenzhen’s increasing economic, political and cultural interdependency presents the possibility to tackle these challenges holistically. Layering a regional water resource infrastructure onto existing and new industrial, residential, agricultural and transportation armatures would transcend borders and create new economic markets through ecologically sustainable practices.

 Open Access
Article

Groundedness as Risk: Adaptive Strategies for Ground Failures in Seattle

by: Arthur Tai-Ming Leung VOLUME 2/2017 - Issue 2 [RESILIENT EDGES], Pages: 147 - 169 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2017.02.02.08, published: 2017-11-13

“Groundedness” implies stability and permanence, but our reliance on the presumed fixity of the earth under our feet has led us to lose sight of its dynamism. From macro tectonic readjustments to micro sediment transport, these natural processes are part of an adaptive cycle that oscillates between stasis and destruction. Urban development, predisposed to Engineering Resilience, has exacerbated disasters by attempting to fix and control ground without considering the recombinant and indeterminate systems of Ecosystem Resilience. Seattle is the largest city in a region due for its “Next Big One” - a megathrust earthquake in the Cascadia Subduction Zone. This high-magnitude perturbation would occur in an urban context already sensitive to geologic risks. A history of land manipulations has affected Seattle’s ground equilibrium, making it more susceptible to natural disasters. The urgency of the impending risks has inspired adaptive design that foregrounds action as a means of developing a disposition. A catalogue of strategies is applied to a masterplan that balances “sediment” as a resource that builds resilience to ground hazards and promotes ecosystem health. 

 Open Access
Project

Design Strategies and Non-Standard Territories. The Resilience of the Domitian Coastline

by: Giovanni Multari VOLUME 2/2017 - Issue 2 [RESILIENT EDGES], Pages: 131 - 145 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2017.02.02.07, published: 2017-11-10

Coastal areas are an extraordinary condition for research and investigation, at a scale encompassing multiple landscapes that underwent a massive transformation, leading to their current crisis state. A landscape with different degrees of depth, with complex conditions and rules of the spatial systems that can be fully understood only through an accurate selection and study of the elements that concurred to its creation. The natural cycle that built the different elements of this landscape is definitely an element to take into account during the definition of the design strategies: through the alluvial deposit first and marine next, it “built” the shore, the dunes - a natural protection against the sea-water level rise - and the pinewood behind the dunes. Our goal is strategy that, recovering and recycling the ancient and pre-existing dialogue between the form of the city and the form of the landscape, recovers and recycles that long and natural resilience process: a quality those areas always had, considering also the potential rising of sea levels.

 Open Access
Essay

Salty Urbanism: Towards an Adaptive Coastal Design Framework to Address Sea Level Rise

by: Jeffrey E. Huber , Keith Van de Riet , John Sandell , Lawrence Scarpa VOLUME 2/2017 - Issue 2 [RESILIENT EDGES], Pages: 105 - 130 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2017.02.02.06, published: 2017-11-09

Utilizing the North Beach Village neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as case study, “Salty Urbanism” establishes an interdisciplinary team to develop a coupled research methodology and pedagogical approach that envisions and quantifies the experiential and ecological outcomes of alternative ways forward for the neighborhood in response to climate instability, disruption and rising sea levels. These outcomes consider an inevitable future of saturated landscapes and, as a result, integrate research models that accommodate a variety of best management practices (BMP), low impact development (LID), green infrastructure (GI) and other alternative concepts to be implemented over time in the neighborhood adaptation plan.

 Open Access
Article

Water-Born Micro-Cities: Bringing the Great Lakes Closer to Natural Symbiosis with Eco-Based Design

by: Dustin Altschul , Kim Buchholz VOLUME 2/2017 - Issue 2 [RESILIENT EDGES], Pages: 87 - 104 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2017.02.02.05, published: 2017-11-09

Through design-based research, we investigate how a water-borne micro-city can participate in ecological repair that also supports healthy, human life by removing harmful algae from the water and utilizing it as a supply resource for energy. In this proposed scenario, urbanism becomes the active component in prevention of toxic algae blooms. By bringing together scientific research with research from medicine, design, history and social science, we begin to animate design strategies that promote local and regional resiliency within the Great Lakes. These hypothetical designs, while focusing on algae within the Great Lakes, can provide a feasible prototype for other coastal regions around the world. The priorities of this project are relatable to all coastal-adjacent settlements and the pending depletion of resources that will jeopardize human life.

 Open Access
Article

Integration of Habitat Grammars for Biodiverse and Resilient Coastal Structures

by: Keith Van de Riet , Jessene Aquino-Thomas , Pieter Conradie VOLUME 2/2017 - Issue 2 [RESILIENT EDGES], Pages: 69 - 85 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2017.02.02.04, published: 2017-11-09

Contemporary architectural ornament serves multiple purposes; articulated surfaces are no longer simply symbolic gesture but, in addition, contain material performance as expression of technological, environmental and other cultural factors. At the same time, parametric design has opened new frontiers in patterning and bio-inspired design.
The manifestation of these bio-inspired materials can be compelling spatial narratives that speculate on the blending of nature and architecture. However, these biophilic tendencies might further serve in the development of more sustainable architecture and urbanism; surfaces and structures derived from nature might also serve nature.
In this work, we present a method to define “habitat grammars” that create functional spaces for diverse species, as well as generating unique aesthetic properties derived from regional nuances in flora and fauna. The method is applied to a seawall in South Florida near mangroves. Panels were cast in high strength concrete and experimentally observed in aquariums with live specimens. The results indicated that low relief panels performed equivalent to featureless walls, whereas higher relief panels elicited a near unanimous response from the introduced species.

 Open Access
Essay

Selective Retreat Scenarios for the Po River Delta

by: Roberto Di Giulio , Luca Emanueli , Gianni Lobosco , Emanuele Piaia , Marco Stefani VOLUME 2/2017 - Issue 2 [RESILIENT EDGES], Pages: 53 - 68 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2017.02.02.03, published: 2017-10-31

The increasing hydro-morphological and environmental degradation of lagoon systems is an issue shared by many Mediterranean contexts. A Selective Retreat Strategy could be a radical solution for these sites, in order to better manage the investments and maximize the efforts on some specific settings, deliberately omitting others. This approach comes from a research program developed by Sealine (Ferrara University) on the delta of the Po River. Such lagoon system is highly unstable, vulnerable to intense dynamics (coastal erosion, subsidence, saltwater intrusion, etc.) affecting both its ecological value and the human activities taking place around it (agriculture, fishing, aquaculture, tourism). The infrastructural effort to freeze its evolution is no longer maintainable and increasingly less efficient, given the site dimension and complexity. Besides these remarks, such proposal is encouraged by specific boundary conditions like the low productivity of farming areas and the land ownership arrangements based on few big properties. Therefore, it is possible to envisage a progressive site reorganization according to its historical character of evolving landscape shaped, over the centuries, by the alternation of natural phenomena and human interventions.

 Open Access
Essay

Between Land and Sea: An Approach for Resilient Waterfront Development along the San Francisco Bay

by: Gabriel Kaprielian VOLUME 2/2017 - Issue 2 [RESILIENT EDGES], Pages: 31 - 52 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2017.02.02.02, published: 2017-10-31

The waterfront along the San Francisco Bay is facing a growing threat from sea-level rise. By the end of the century, a projected sea-level rise of 55 in. [140 cm] will affect an estimated 128 sq. mi. [331 km2] of urban development valued at $62 billion. In addition, 2.1 million people and 660,000 homes are estimated to arrive by 2040, adding to the 7 million current Bay Area residents. Furthermore, sea-level rise will affect the ecology of the San Francisco Bay, threatening to submerge the majority of existing tidal wetlands by mid-century. To combat sea-level rise, many are calling for increased shoreline protection, while others suggest the removal of urban development in areas at risk of inundation, allowing tidal wetlands to migrate to higher elevations. In this proposal, I demonstrate that both may be accomplished by a managed retreat of existing development, enabling wetland migration, while introducing a resilient new typology of development built on levees that is designed to co-exist with a tidal ecosystem, enabling new relationships between urban life and bay ecology that redefine the coastal boundary.

 Open Access
Article

Territory and Technology: a Case Study and Strategy from the California Delta

by: Richard L. Hindle , Neeraj Bhatia VOLUME 2/2017 - Issue 2 [RESILIENT EDGES], Pages: 1 - 29 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2017.02.02.01, published: 2017-10-30

The notion of the resilient edge is perhaps most emblematic in deltaic landscapes, which are a landscape form par excellence of edge conditions - both for their fluctuating natural boundaries and complicated relationship with anthropogenic forces. Given this juxtaposition, it is worthwhile to revisit the early history of deltaic transformation and urbanization — from surfaces to edges — to gain insights into the future resilience of these landscapes and strategies for their redesign. In this essay, we investigate the early history of the California Delta, starting with the Swamp Lands Act of 1850, to gain insights into how policy and technology territorialized this vast inland estuary. We then reformulate this history as a contemporary strategy for the design of deltaic landscapes and introduce a pedagogical experiment to test our observations.

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