Claiborne Stitch
Community {Ship} Building -Dinghis
Dryades/Oretha Haley Castle Corridor Study: Central City New Orleans
Environments of Design: New Orleans Now: The Dollar Disconnect
Environments of Design: New Orleans Now: Fluid Dynamics
Environments of Design: New Orleans Now: Landscape of Information
Environments of Design: New Orleans Now: Missing People in New Orleans
Environments of Design: New Orleans Now: Neighborhood Viability
Environments of Design: New Orleans Now: New New Orleans
Environments of Design: New Orleans Now: Open for Business?
Environments of Design: New Orleans Now: Public Housing

Environments of Design: New Orleans Now: The Temporary City: Municipal
          Vulnerability to Population Displacement

Environments of Design: New Orleans Now: Will Small Businesses Survive?
Expandable Prototypes for Public Schools in Post Katrina New Orleans:
          Schools within School Prototype:
          Can Competition Yield Cooperation?

Exposing New Orleans
Home Values
Inhabiting the Fluid Terrain: Living Between Water and Land
Inhabiting the Fluid Terrain: Meandering Through Sponges
Inhabiting the Fluid Terrain: Measuring the Floods
Mobilizing the Community to Integrate Ecology, Open Space Resources, and
          Disaster Resistance in a Post-Katrina 9th Ward

New Canals Needed
New Orleans Is Intoxicated Urbanism
New Orleans Neighborhoods Rebuilding Plan
New Orleans: The Next Tax-Free Haven?
A New Urban Fabric: New Orleans Jazz
Recovery Planning Methodology
St. Roch Market, Documentation and Rehabilitation Study
Sites of Memory
Topographic Demography
Tulane/Gravier Master Plan
We Are All Players in the NOLA Game
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title   Inhabiting the Fluid Terrain: Meandering Through Sponges
student   Ryan Jui-Sheng Hsu
instructor   Anuradha Mathur
date   Spring 2006
school   University of Pennsylvania
subject   flood infrastructure, landscape, urban analysis
site   Southeastern Louisiana
The metaphor of a sponge absorbing unwanted water is the image that inspired this designer to develop a series of buffering links and “sponge” spaces that provide for a network of water outlets. This network incorporates the city's existing canals and trenches to create a comprehensive water management system that will prevent disaster in the case of heavy flooding. In addition to water management, sediment recovery is central to this plan. Sediment, dredged from canals and high ground areas, will be placed along the banks of the canals and swamps in order to create earthen levees that can sustain the impact of storm surges better than the floodwall protection currently employed. Illustrated are four prototypes for redeveloping the city's water infrastructure with flood mitigation, wetland protection, and water treatment systems central to their programs. Such designs underscore New Orleans' need for a system that will improve the city's environmental safety while embracing the geographical elements that make the city unique.
link   school site

Ryan Jui-Sheng Hsu
Philadelphia, PA

This project started from studies of revetments and the movement of the meandering Mississippi River. I tried to focus on how a river morphs itself under a purely natural condition, and the impact that the revetment brought to this river after it had been built along the Mississippi River.
The most obvious phenomenon is land loss caused by the lack of the sediment from upstream. When the soft river bank is totally covered by revetments, the river will not meander anymore. At the same time, the soil and the erosion banks disappeared. Finally, the land along the fluid plain sinks more and more, and so does New Orleans.
My strategy is to create a series of study models to simulate the changing sequence of a river, and try to bring positive effects to this sinking city. The most important concept generated from this operation is to setup some spaces as sponges to absorb and bring back water to this terrain that occupied this city before. The existing trenches and canals can play the role to link and transport the great amount of water between these huge sponges and direct it into Lake Pontchartrain, or into the Atchafalaya recovering field.
By doing this, the whole city can breathe a lot of water from the Mississippi River, making it more resilient. Along the edges of canals and some high ground, the dredging boat can also take abundant soils and deposit them along the edge of canals and swamps. After the first phasing period, all the land along canals will be raised by the soil from dredging. In the meantime, the levees are not long-thin walls along the water, but high grounds, two or three blocks wide.
For those who lost their homes during this disaster and want to come back to redevelop their communities, these high grounds can be their first place to inhabit themselves. Four prototypes from conceptual drawings also offer four different possibilities to redevelop this city from a variety of conditions. They are just like the seeds that can be spread throughout New Orleans, planting themselves within the new context symbiotically.
Thus, a long term perspective of New Orleans is generated throughout this proposal.

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