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Waterproofing New York

  • Date
    Sat, Mar 02

    9:00 AM — 5:00 PM


    Sptitzer School of Architecture
    141 Convent Avenue
    New York, NY 10031

    Sptitzer School of Architecture, 107

    p: 347.200.8053


  • Event Details

    A multi-disciplinary conference to discuss adaptation to climate change in New York City

    With two destructive tropical storms in two years, New York City—like other global cities—is entering a phase of adaptation to catastrophic climate events which are a result of carbon cycle disruption by human, urban and industrial practices. Superstorm recovery will require more than a simple fix; it will necessitate systemic adaptation to escalating storm surge, precipitation, and wind events through the construction of new urban landscapes that have the capacity to merge social, cultural, and environmental forces.

    The Landscape Architecture Program of the City College of New York’s Spitzer School of Architecture, with support from the Municipal Art Society, American Society of Landscape Architects New York Chapter, and the Institute for Urban Design, will host a conference of municipal leaders, scientists, engineers, and designers to explore the impact of past and future storms on New York City’s infrastructural systems: Water/Waste, Power/Data, Circulation/Fuel, Parks/Recreation, and Shelter. The conference will reveal the operating systems of the city to open speculation on Waterproofing New York as an act of coordinated yet opportunistic, pragmatic, and inventive city design. The event is intended to support an emerging skepticism of a big barrier "fix," and the unplanned, uncoordinated shoring up of individual enterprises and discreet sites that will ensue in the absence of design and civic leadership.

    The event is organized around panels specific to each infrastructural sector. Of course, classifying the sectors for the event revealed overlap across systems. For example, Fuel is Power and Fuel is critical to Circulation. Shelter is dependent on Water, Waste and Power. Fluidity in the classification is beneficial: it provokes cross-sector discussion. Two policy and practice specialists (municipal leaders, economists, scientists, engineers) will each present their thoughts on the key issues pertaining to their infrastructure sector, which reflects their area of expertise. Two designers will then engage the specialists in a discussion of the implications of the physical manifestation of their ideas for building an adaptive, waterproof New York with a reduced carbon footprint. The objective is to clarify sector-specific issues as well as provide a platform for imagining the infrastructural potentials of cross-sector infrastructural relationships. A follow up event to present the designers’ ideas: Waterproofing New York – Tactics for Living in a Wet City will be scheduled in Spring 2013.