East Boston buffer : a transferable urban framework for adapting to sea rise
Author(s)Jenkins, Carolyn (Carolyn Hiller)
Transferable urban framework for adapting to sea rise
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
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Urban vulnerability to climate change is constantly increasing. Many coastal cities will need to begin sea rise mitigation efforts soon, and now is a critical time for architects to intervene in this process with good design that takes on the issue of sea rise in the city, not just as a problem but as an opportunity and catalyst for change. Data published in August 2012 revealed that the US East Coast is experiencing a rate of sea rise that is four times the global average. The city of Boston in particular has a high percentage of flood-prone areas due to the city's dramatic history of landmaking. Of all the neighborhoods comprising Boston, the often-overlooked neighborhood of East Boston is the most flood-prone. The project is site-specific in that it is sited in the context of East Boston, but the design methodology and synthesis of technologies serve as a prototype to be applied to any urban waterfront. This thesis project address the issue of sea rise in an urban context as a unique condition related to the construction a sustainable environment. In order to meet seemingly contradictory need for sea rise defense and capacity for future urban growth, the project reconsiders waterfront architecture as a new hybrid of architecture plus infrastructure as a means of building resilience and addressing scientific uncertainty. The project establishes a systematic approach to a layered buffer zone that mediates between the sea and the vulnerable urban fabric of East Boston. The buffer is conceived of as a framework for future development that balances energy collection, environmental enhancement, and social enrichment through the allocation of productive, inhabitable, and recreational spaces within a defensive landscape. Through careful orchestration and layering of multi-disciplinary sea rise mitigation tools, the designed framework projects a new future for the urban waterfront - one that promotes social as well as physical resilience and adaptability in an ever-changing coastal environment.
Thesis (M. Arch.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 2013.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Cataloged from student-submitted PDF version of thesis. "February 2013."Includes bibliographical references (p. 163-166).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology