Living with topography
Master of Architecture
Opportunities lay in areas not typically thought of in terms of design. Earth moving is not typically considered further than the initial site excavation. In Houston, earthwork is constant, often changing land incrimentally. The Port of Houston, ranking first in the United States in foreign waterborne commerce, and sixth in the world, requires the maintenance of its ship channel through regular dredging of sediments. Dredging is a reality of the Port of Houston and Disposal containment is its lifeline. Recently, three of the eight upland dredging disposal sites reached capacity and are now closed. Although the Port of Houston authority has proposed to raise the height of existing sites to increase capacity, this is only a short-term solution. Once a site reaches capacity, the land sits fallow indefinitely. The dredge material stays in the site perminently and would be difficult to develop or build on. They are also not publicly accessible, although it is quite apparent that they are used recreationally buy local residents. Treated as an engineering project, the two realities of waste site and recreation never meet. Redirection and design of existing earth moving and drainage techniques however, may allow for an operational switch from a permanent dredge storage system to a dry-bed removal system. Increasing disposal area capacity by moving material between sites would allow provisional and perhaps seasonal, public access to meet community demands such as a public park. The surrounding communities may benefit from living with dredge disposal area. A land use education area may serve as a showcase for a moving park that allows for the witnessing of fast geologic change as well as unlikely working relationships between the natural and the constructed.
Landscape architecture; Architecture; Urban planning; Regional planning