Waterline: The future of alluvial urbanism in New Orleans
Master of Architecture thesis
Throughout the history of New Orleans the paradigms of mechanical and fluid were projected as opposing modes of thought in the attempts to render the inhospitable dynamic site suitable for urbanization. The city's devastation in hurricane Katrina is a reminder that the top-down infrastructural practices have failed to freeze the unstable ground and may have increased the city's vulnerability by encouraging unlimited growth. A reconstruction strategy that perpetuates a mode of occupation irreverent of the fragile geographical reality will inevitably lay the groundwork for future disasters. This thesis seeks to develop an alternative vision by surrendering a high-risk area in the city to the fluvial landscape. As a system of passive water management controls interspersed with islands of resilient program, the new territory will be a catalyst for the city's recovery between major catastrophic events by alleviating seasonal flooding and operating as a bio-remediation filter for toxic runoff.
Landscape architecture; Architecture; Urban planning; Regional planning