Embracing the American Atlantis: Designing for a Post-Disaster New Orleans
New Orleans, mitigation of water, aquatic living, resilience, adaptation, flooding, architecture
In the year 2100, New Orleans is flooded and reduced to a fraction of its previous grandeur. The rising sea level has reduced the city to an archipelago settled between the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. Through the implementation of a transportation and program core system, the archipelago of territories is reconnected and the programmatic organization of the land is redistributed. This project combines architectural, infrastructural, and utopian case studies to move beyond the mitigation of water and instead create a new condition that adapts to the water in a more symbiotic fashion. Through this intervention, New Orleans is able to survive future flooding and provide a new aquatic living condition for the residents of the archipelago.
When looking to redesign the city, three strategies were kept in mind: mitigation, resilience, and adaptation. Mitigation aims to limit disasters as they impact the city presently, while resilience aims to respond quickly to change and then mitigate. The adaptive option in this project goes beyond mitigation and resilience by predicting change and responding in a way that both prevents disaster and accounts for future flooding and storm swells.
The first part of the proposal reconnects the archipelago and provides epicenters for development, both on the remaining land and out of the water. This is achieved through a system of raised and floating transportation routes attached to program cores. The cores correspond with the densified housing, commercial, or industrialized waterfront redistributed programs and facilitate a new condition that maintains the unique culture of New Orleans, houses the thousands of displaced residents, and exemplifies the adaptive potential for the archipelago.
The second part of the proposal is a designed strategy for the Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood. The design reprograms the neighborhood into a shrimp farm that enhances the agricultural economy of the region. In designing this example strategy, a methodology can be formulated that functions at a smaller scale than the full system and that applies our knowledge of New Orleans' character, adaptive architecture and infrastructure, and the new ecology of the region.
Beckwith, Mikayla and Truluck, Katherine, "Embracing the American Atlantis: Designing for a Post-Disaster New Orleans" (2019). Architecture Senior Theses. 492.
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