Architecture is stuck between past and future -- years of anticipatory planning designs a structure that, once constructed, is stuck referring to all that came before. A building can't actually predict the future, although it seems like the best ones always run the risk of trying. Jonathan...
I step out into the street but realize that I’d better not — there’s a current — and as my hallway fills, I remember the electrical panel in the basement. It shorts out, and I hear the breakers fall. Then there is an explosion outside, and the neighborhood goes dark. — Places Journal
In October 2012, as Hurricane Sandy approached New York, Alexandros Washburn defied evacuation orders and stayed fast in his home in Red Hook, watching as his street flooded and became a "full-fledged river." But he had good reason; the city's chief urban designer wanted to observe first-hand...
[It] is the same technology as we use in Holland. It’s made up of concrete caisson, boxes, a shoebox of concrete. We fill them with styrofoam. So with [these] you get unthinkable floating foundations [...]
The house itself is the same as a normal house, the same material. Then you want to figure out how to get water and electricity and remove sewage and use the same technology as cruise ships."
- Koen Olthuis — The Atlantic Cities
Dutch architect Koen Olthuis sees the future of architecture floating out to sea -- quite literally. Responding to undeniable ecological shifts of rising sea levels and seasonal flooding, Olthuis has proposed floatable-projects all along the social spectrum, designing prefabricated multi-use...
“The problem is we’re still building the city of the past,” says Jacob. “The people of the 1880s couldn’t build a city for the year 2000—of course not. And we cannot build a year-2100 city now. But we should not build a city now that we know will not function in 2100. There are opportunities to renew our infrastructure. It’s not all bad news. We just have to grasp those opportunities.” — dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com
Almost no one in America has heard of the Alaskan village of Kivalina. It clings to a narrow spit of sand on the edge of the Bering Sea, far too small to feature on maps of Alaska, never mind the United States.
Which is perhaps just as well, because within a decade Kivalina is likely to be under water. Gone, forever. Remembered - if at all - as the birthplace of America's first climate change refugees. — bbc.co.uk
By century's end, rising sea levels will turn the nation's urban fantasyland into an American Atlantis. But long before the city is completely underwater, chaos will begin — rollingstone.com
We seem to have lost the political capacity to grapple with the big picture, the long range, the global scale. To a degree we've even lost the vocabulary. In design circles it's as if the perceived failures of mid 20th-century planning — exemplified by top-down urban renewal and personified by the power-brokering Robert Moses — have induced a kind of conceptual paralysis, an inability to formulate the public sector, or public works, in terms not beholden to a discredited history. — Places Journal
On Places, editor Nancy Levinson argues for an intensified political agenda for designers. As Barack Obama takes the oath of office for his second term, the longstanding tension between the pressing need for public action and the tenacious culture of privatization remains the critical dilemma of...
I looked back on resilience work designed for a Museum of Modern Art exhibition two years ago, called “Rising Currents.” It now seems prophetic.
Among the proposals by Susannah Drake of Dlandstudio and Stephen Cassell of Architecture Research Office was the “Sponge Slip,” which would have replaced a Lower Manhattan parking lot with a sunken park. The idea was to guide floodwaters into the park basin and away from the subway tunnels and electrical infrastructure that Sandy crippled. — bloomberg.com
Dawson City spent more than $600,000 last year dealing with damage to roads and pipes caused by melting permafrost.
A recently-published report says the shifting ground, a result of climate change, can do a lot of damage to infrastructure such as water and sewer systems. — cbc.ca
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