Coastal Morphologies

This seminar will address the development and redevelopment practices for urban costal infrastructure.  Exploration of projects and texts focused on the boundary between land and water will develop an understanding of these transitional urban/hydrological ecosystems and the structures that mediate between them. The class will look at the development, organization, and assembly of these constructed  boundaries, and proceed to explore factors of their decline and potential rehabilitation. We will question proposed concepts of symbiotic development proposed by landscape urbanism and regenerative site techniques to index the spatial, ecological, and social potential of developing urban structures that work with these fluid systems. The leading question of the seminar will be how architecture can learn from engineering, planning, and landscape architecture practices to address these issues.  Coupling an understanding of the impact of these two ecosystems on their edge conditions and assessment of the productivity and viability of green infrastructure developments, students will develop a set of analytical mappings and drawings. Although the scope of the class will address international examples, student’s analysis of functions of the city and its corresponding body of water will focus on shrinking cities of the Rust Belt whose declining population and infrastructure invites the redevelopment of coastal areas through Green Infrastructure.

Term Project:

The Semester long project will involve documentation, analysis, and representation of the evolving coastal morphology of an urban center on the coast of the Great Lakes. Natural and man-made hydrological functions, and hydrological infrastructures will be mapped and analyzed. Natural systems and their relation to Urban Ecology will be addressed in relation to their impacts on both social and natural systems. The means of documentation and representation will be discussed. A final set of five analytical maps will be produced along with a 2000(MAX) word explanatory essay. These maps will cross reference the collected information to create a narrative about the current and future potentials of the described coastal morphology.



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