Now that I've come back to New Orleans and Tulane I should probably get around to emailing Paul Petrunia or whomever about changing my school status from the ESA to Tulane but until I take that initiative, I'll just carry on assuming people can figure it out.
For my second to last studio at school I ended up choosing a studio that bases its premise on a colloquium that happened a little under a year ago. It involved bringing in varies Dutch architects, planners, landscape architects, hydrologists, engineers, politicians, lawyers, blah blah to New Orleans to do essentially a mini charette around saving New Orleans by re-thinking its approach to water. It seems that they realize that although the Netherlands and New Orleans are similar in their imminent danger to water, the situation in New Orleans is just altogether worse in just about every way possible.
So in particular we are focusing not so much on hurricane protection but on simply dealing with rainwater. Basically every time it rains in New Orleans (this weekend for example) it floods up to 5 feet of water in some areas of the city because although we have a fair amount of underground canals and larger pumping stations than exist anywhere else, they still can handle the flash-flood levels of water that come with just a rainstorm (i.e. up to 15 inches in under 24 hours) nevermind a hurricane. Bottom line, the result of the colloquium was closing MRGO, creating barrier islands, and introducing more open, wet canals into central New Orleans to alleviate flooding especially in the centre of the city and slow subsidence. So we're trying to figure out what that would look like.
We're running the studio a lot more on the lines of a quick charette on a lot of little things so that we can end up generating a lot of material that they can use for later small publications in the city rather than getting crazy focused on one area of the canal in the manner of a normal studio project. We started by dividing the proposed canal site into 4 block segments and in partners we would develop proposals along these sections.
Just a few images, no further explanation.