Ryan Jui-Sheng Hsu
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.