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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER Elizabeth Walsh Rensselaer Polytechnic Insitute School of Architecture FInal Project


THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

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ELIZABETH WALSH

I would like to acknowledge and thank the following individuals for all of their support and assistance throughout my academic career. Without you, none of this would have been possible.

Ted Ngai [Final Project Professor] Ralph Ghoche [Final Project Assessment Committee Member] My family, for always giving me love and support that kept me going during the craziest times. My friends Caitlin, Trevor, Brittany, Michelle, and my boyfriend David. You guys rock.

Thank you.

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

The New Urban Perimeter Elizabeth Walsh Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute School of Architecture Final Project 2013-2014 Design Critic: Ted Ngai


ELIZABETH WALSH

TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction .............................................................................................................. 6 1 // THE ECOLOGICAL CONSCIOUSNESS The Ecological Consciousness .......................................................................... The 1800s : Industry & Deforestation ............................................................... The Mid-1900s : Chemical Suburbia .................................................................. The 1960s : Silent Spring ................................................................................ The 1970s : Counterculture .............................................................................. Deep Ecology .................................................................................................. 2 // OUR CONTEMPORARY WORLD Industrialization .............................................................................................. Food .................................................................................................. Water ................................................................................................ Energy ............................................................................................... Waste ................................................................................................ The Individual’s Impact ..................................................................................... The Urban Impact ........................................................................................... The Global Impact .......................................................................................... Sustainable Architecture .................................................................................. 3 // THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER Gowanus Bay ................................................................................................. Remediation: Salt Marsh Ecology ....................................................................... Design Proposal Part I ..................................................................................... Site Plan ............................................................................................. Land Zonation ..................................................................................... Water Control ...................................................................................... Program ............................................................................................. Circulation .......................................................................................... Design Proposal Part II .................................................................................... Form Variation ..................................................................................... Section ......................................................................................................... Final Models ..................................................................................................

10 12 18 20 22 30

40 42 46 50 54 58 60 64 66

72 80 82 86 88 90 92 94 96 100 104 128

4 // APPENDIX Images ......................................................................................................... 136 Bibliography ................................................................................................... 144


THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

INTRODUCTION THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER The investigation begins with a critical examination of the Western perspective of the natural world. For hundreds of years, an anthropocentric view of the world has given people a sense of comfort and has been used as an excuse for the exploitation of every aspect of the planet. A critical examination of this perspective allows us to imagine alternative ways to connect with the world around us. This is crucial, as we live in a time when we are realizing that by depleting the natural world, we are also depleting the human world. As designers, we need to work with the environment, not against it. We must rethink sustainability and approach it from a holistic stance. This necessitates an understanding of biological functions on every scale- micro and macro- and applying these functions to design. Thinking in this manner, how can we use basic biological material logic on a micro-level for design? A prevalent example of a site rich in employable material is the Hudson River Estuary. Due to erosion of limestone in the watershed, this water is rich with calcium carbonate, a key ingredient in concrete. Harvesting this mineral to, in essence, grow concrete through electroaccumulation, a process known as Biorock, creates new opportunities for the design world. Form is now grown instead of anthropocentrically shaped. In order to think holistically, this logic must

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function on a macro-level as well. The Estuary flows alongside the neighborhood of Red Hook in Brooklyn, New York, which is an area that is constantly under the threat of flooding and pollution. How can we employ the macro-logic of an ecosystem to address these issues? Wetlands and marshes, the historical origins of the site, are self-regulating systems that protect land from erosion and flooding. Applying this logic to the site, coupled with the structural and formal logic of the new grown structures, creates a completely sustainably-holistic proposal. Design has now become a collaborative effort between man and the natural world; we are now growing our urbanscapes.


ELIZABETH WALSH

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Figure 1.1


1 // THE ECOLOGICAL CONSCIOUSNESS


THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

THE ECOLOGICAL CONSCIOUSNESS We are at a point in time where we have to start thinking differently about the ways in which we interact with the environment; we have to start thinking outside the box- outside the human-world. Every one has their own opinion on how we should do this, but I think most people can agree that this is an issue that needs to be addressed. In order to better interpret and implement environmental strategies in design today, it is extremely important for designers to understand the history behind the environmental movement and ecological consciousness. We need to look at this rich history and learn from it- pulling from it what we need to create a more holistic sustainability today. An ecological consciousness is a perspective beyond the strictly human viewpoint- beyond anthropocentrism. An ecological consciousness thinks of the entire planet- not just of the humanworld, but of the natural world as well. As Greek Philosopher Chrysippus stated, “For any human being in existence to think that there is nothing in the whole world superior to himself would be an insane piece of arrogance.” And yet, most people I have met have had this arrogance- usually ignorantly. I have heard the argument several times: if we were not supposed to dominate the world, we would not be the most intelligent beings on the planet- but we are, so we should dominate. But, isn’t there a difference between domination and complete destruction? There must be. Since we are such an advanced species, we should be able to connect with the natural-world in intelligent ways.

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ELIZABETH WALSH

“

For any human being in existence to think that there is nothing in the whole world superior to himself would be an insane piece of arrogance. Greek Philosopher Chrysippus

VS

Figure 1.2

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

THE 1800s : INDUSTRY & DEFORESTATION

Figure 1.3

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ELIZABETH WALSH

INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION The first active concerns for the environment happened during the Industrial Revolution. With the increase of large factories and coal consumption, air pollution increased drastically. Acid rain, a result of coal-powered factories, was discovered in the 1850s. Extremely poor air quality negatively impacted the entire environment. The release of human-produced sulfur and nitrogen compounds effected plants, fish, soil, forests, and pretty much all other aspects of the environment.

in 1863. This attempted to regulate the air pollution given off by factories producing soda ash, which is used in producing goods like glass, textiles, soap, and paper- basically all industries at the time. This is the first time when there were documented worries about the environment.

The first pollution control act was Britain’s Alkali Act

Figure 1.4

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

CONSERVATION MOVEMENT At the same time of this rising awareness of air pollution were the first efforts in environmental conservation. These efforts happened in British India under the ideology of Sir James Ranald Martin, who was one of the first people to bring ideas of deforestation to light. He also worked to find links between human and environmental health and promoted that 1) human activity damaged the environment, 2) that each person had a civic duty to maintain the environment for future generations, and 3) that scientific, empirically-based methods should be applied to ensure this duty is carried out. In 1855, the first permanent, large-scale forest conservation program in the world was introduced. The idea of large-scale conservation quickly spread to the United States in the late 1800s. However, the American conservation movement largely got its inspiration from the idea of the “frontier” and “wilderness.” Works such as Walden by Henry David Thoreau, first published in 1854, philosophically influenced the conservation movement. Thoreau reflects upon simple living in natural surroundings as a sort of personal declaration of independence. He believed that he could gain a more objective understanding of society through personal introspection in nature. These ideas of simple living and self-sufficiency carry through all the way to the counterculture movement of the 60s and 70s. In 1872, 20 years after Walden was published, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the first national park, Yellowstone, into law. This was followed by the opening of Yosemite in 1890. And then in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Organic Act, which established the National Park Service.

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So the first concerns about air pollution and natural preservation and conservation all happened around the same time. And preservation and conservation remained to be the main concerns of the environmental movement up until the 1960s.

Figure 1.5


ELIZABETH WALSH

Figure 1.6

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

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I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.� Henry David Thoreau


ELIZABETH WALSH

Figure 1.7

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

THE MID-1900s : CHEMICAL SUBURBIA

Figure 1.8

In the 1940s, even though nature conservation efforts were still alive and running, the general consensus was that man was dominate over nature and that we could control the landscape with technology. Total eradication of certain parts of nature was seen as a technological advancement. It was a positive advancement, not a negative one. The National Malaria Eradication Program was launched in the United States in 1947. In the first few years, over 6,500,000 homes were sprayed with DDT. The chemical was not only applied to the outside of homes, but to the interiors as well. Spraying from aircraft was also very popular during this time. The efforts of this eradication program were deemed successful, with malaria cases dropping by 75% in

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just 4 years. Ten years later, in 1957, the U.S. Department of Agriculture launched a fire ant eradication program. Once again, DDT was sprayed virtually everywhere. This was around the time when DDT was being manufactured in household “Bug Bombs.” There were several advertisements geared towards housewives who were looking to remove pests simply, quickly, and efficiently. DDT was seen as a miracle chemical. So-called “experts” and big chemical companies, such as DuPont, praised it. The public was led to believe that it was perfectly safe. There was even wallpaper and paint for children’s rooms that contained DDT.


ELIZABETH WALSH

Figure 1.9

Figure 1.10

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

THE 1960s : SILENT SPRING This chemical warfare on insects dramatically transformed the landscape. The book “Silent Spring,” written by Rachel Carson, was published in 1962. This book really opened up another area of the environmental movement that included chemicals and technology. It spoke of the negative effects of the use of pesticides on the environment. It was extremely successful, selling over 2 million copies at the time of its publication. In “Silent Spring,” Carson argues that the landscape of modernity, rather than solving age-old problems, such as malaria, just produces countless problems instead. Instead of only speaking of the negative environmental impacts of pesticides, she writes

Figure 1.11

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about the negative health effects that occur in our desire for a sanitized landscape. Accidental poisoning, cancers, and chromosome abnormalities spoke of landscapes that were far from sanitized, and were, in fact, dangerous. Carson relays several horrifying stores in the book. One, about a young boy and his dog, is particularly sad. This tragedy happened as a result of the chemical endrin, which is 15 times as poisonous as DDT. “A year-old child had been taken by his American parents to live in Venezuela. There were cockroaches in the house to which they moved, and after a few days a spray containing endrin was used. The baby and the small family dog were taken out of the house


ELIZABETH WALSH

before the spraying was done about nine o’clock one morning. After the spraying the floors were washed. The baby and dog were returned to the house in mid-afternoon. An hour or so later the dog vomited, went into convulsions, and died. At 10 PM, on the evening of the same day the baby also vomited, went into convulsions, and lost consciousness. After that fateful contact with endrin, this normal, healthy child became little more than a vegetable- unable to see or hear, subject to frequent muscular spasms, apparently completely cut off from contact with his surroundings. Several months of treatment in a New York hospital failed to change his condition or bring hope of change.” Bringing this aspect of the human body into the book made stories like that one very relatable to readers. This added a whole new dimension to the ecological consciousness. For obvious reasons, Carson knew that the book would receive harsh criticism. Because of this, she attempted to amass as many prominent supports as possible before the book’s release. Scientists, among whom Carson found strong support, reviewed the scientific chapters. She also attended the White House Conference in 1962 and distributed copies of the book to many of the delegates. “Silent Spring” also received high praise from The New Yorker and other magazines. However, chemical companies still attempted to fight back. They threatened legal action. Carson was criticized for being a woman. Despite her extensive knowledge and training as a biologist and zoologist, people still criticized her as being unknowledgeable. Chemical corporations called

Figure 1.12

Figure 1.13

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

THE 1970s : COUNTERCULTURE The social reaction that occurred during the 60s and 70s as a result of the 30s, 40s, and 50s was very intense. Environmentalists during this time were split into two categories: those who believed that technology could be used in efficient ways to better the environment and society, and those who adopted a completely anti-modernist, anti-technology viewpoint. There were larger amounts of people leaning towards anti-technology after the war, because the atomic bomb in Japan caused many people to reevaluate their stance on technology. People started discussing what it meant now that humans had the power to destroy the world. The phrase “technocracy” was adopted, which was defined as a “society in which those who govern justify themselves by appeal to technical experts, who in turn justify themselves by appeals to scientific forms of knowledge.” This relates back to Rachel Carson being criticized by so-called “scientific experts” for not being an expert herself. The experts ruled society. The counterculture movement was a direct reaction of and against technocracy. Notions of Henry David Thoreau’s picturesque “Walden” came back into mainstream culture, as the hippie-style of self-independence and self-reliance became extremely popular amongst young individuals. Several people retreated from society to live lives “off the grid.” Counterculture effected all aspects of culture, including design and architecture. There are several examples of how counterculture was interpreted by architects, including Drop City and Ant Farm.

Figure 1.14

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ELIZABETH WALSH

Figure 1.15

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

DROP CITY There are several examples of communities built for this hippie culture. One of the most famous is Drop City. Drop City was an artists’ community that formed in Southern Colorado in 1965. It was the first of the hippie communes. The four original founders were art and film students who bought a 7-acre tract of land. Drop City was established as a live-in work of the artists’ installation pieces that they called Drop Art. These pieces were impromptu happenings- sort of like performances. Drop City was meant to be one of these installations on a large scale. Buckminster Fuller inspired the architecture of the commune. The artists were interested in extremely simple living- doing the best with the materials that they could find and using shapes, like the geodesic dome, to create simple, structurally sound, easy to construct places to live. The commune grew in reputation and size, eventually attracting the media. The peak of Drop City’s fame was in 1967. They held a festival that attracted hundreds of hippies. Tensions and personality conflicts caused the commune to eventually die out a few years after this festival.

Figure 1.16

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ELIZABETH WALSH

Figure 1.17

Figure 1.18

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

ANT FARM The optimistic view of technology started to take shape again in the 1970s. The phrase Alternative Technology came into view- a phrase that represented an environmental philosophy predicated on selfeducation and individual experience. A group of architects, graphic designers, and environmental designers formed together in 1968 to create Ant Farm. The group described themselves as an “art agency that promotes ideas that have no commercial potential, but which we think are important vehicles of cultural introspection.” They are most known for their series of Inflatables. These structures seem to be a mix of the simple ideals used for Drop City and complex technological systems. Ant Farm traveled America with a tour of “architectural performances,” including lectures and what they called “happenings.” These performances took place in these anti-architectural inflatables. Referencing back again to a hippie, do-it-yourself lifestyle, anyone who wanted to make an inflatable could buy Ant Farm’s Inflatocookbook, which gave specific instructions on how to make one.

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ELIZABETH WALSH

Figure 1.19

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

WHOLE EARTH CATALOG These two categories of counterculture environmentalists: those who rejected technology and those who embraced it, came together in one place through The Whole Earth Catalog. The Whole Earth Catalog was an American counterculture catalog published by Steward Brand mainly between 1968 and 1972. It set out to be a survival manual for “citizens of planet Earth” and “hippie environmentalist spacemen.” For Brand and his colleagues, Stop the 5-Gallon Flush, a guide to stopping water waste with simple household technological fixes, was just as revolutionary a book as Das Kapital by Karl Marx. The catalog was a symbol for the phrase “knowledge is power.” Brand believed in giving power to the individual to conduct his or her own education.

The Whole Earth Catalog was a representation of Alternative Technology coming to fruition. Whether the environmentalists that read this catalog went back to the land, or into the laboratory, they infused environmentalism with an optimistic hope that one day the nagging question of how to reconcile the tension between the modernist desire to exploit the progressive potential of technological innovation with the anti-modernist desire to preserve the natural world might be resolved through politically enlightened technical innovation.

Figure 1.20

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ELIZABETH WALSH

Figure 1.21

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

DEEP ECOLOGY & ECO-SPIRITUALITY When the first images of the Earth from space were shown to the public in the mid-1940s, many things changed. Although it was already accepted that the Earth was a sphere floating in space, seeing an actual image of this put everything in perspective. As technology advanced, astronomers were able to capture images of Earth from even farther away. Then, in 1990, Voyager 1 took an image of the planet from a record 6 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles) away [image to the right]. Earth looks like the size of a pixel in the image. While images like this are unsettling, they are also eye-opening. Instead of becoming worrisome over our delicate suspension in space, we should take this as an opportunity to realize that we are living in closed-loop system- and a very fragile one at that. We should be thinking and working in ways that nourish this delicate system instead of exhausting it- since there is not much for us to use for billions of miles in all directions. Introspective thinking like this started in the 1970s, which brought about environmental ideals that were a mix of ecology and spirituality. An example of this is Deep Ecology. Deep ecologists examine the interrelatedness of all life forms on Earth through deep self-realization. They believe that a radical shift in consciousness must happen in order for our behavior towards the environment to change. The movement’s beliefs have been described as being very spiritual, mentioning subjects such as the “ego” and “consciousness,” which can be related back to Eastern philosophies and religions. Exploring Eastern philosophies in the Western world was very common starting in the 1960s, and it brought about some changes in the Western perspective of the world.

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You Are Here

People started looking at the worth of all living beings, regardless of their usefulness for human beings. Religion is extremely important when it comes to the environment. Traditional religions can be used as resources to understanding why different cultures look at the world around us in completely different ways. Religions provide morals and have shaped almost every culture on this planet. Whether a person is religious or not does not matter, because in one


ELIZABETH WALSH

Figure 1.22

Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘superstar,’ every ‘supreme leader,’ every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

Figure 1.23

way or another, throughout some point in history, religion has contributed to their ideals. Attitudes towards nature have been significantly shaped by religious views. When comparing Eastern and Western religions, it is easy to see that Eastern religions connect the human body to our environment more than Western religions do. For example, Buddhists, along with several other religious followers in the East, believe in karma and rebirth. In this cycle, humans may be reborn as animals, and vice versa. And while the religion does state that being born as a human is better than being born as an animal, all forms of karmically conditioned

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life (humans and all other animals) are related within Samsaric time. This means that all living beings go through all forms. Because of this, they believe that people should be just as kind to a person as they are to any other living being, since they themselves have probably taken the form of that animal before. They have respect for all living beings. In the Western world, while Christianity began with connections between the human and natural world, in the modern period it lost interest in the revelatory power of the natural world and set humanity over against nature. And since Christians do not believe in rebirth and karma, only in the afterlife, there is no


ELIZABETH WALSH

Figure 1.24

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

need to respect all other living beings, other than the simple fact of just being kind. And unfortunately, this is not a big enough reason. These are only two religions out of millions, but one can begin to see the major differences between an Eastern religion and a Western religion. These differences are the reasons behind the differences between the Chinese Garden and the American Lawn. Both are very controlled, but in different ways. Artists sculpt the rocks that are placed in a Chinese Garden. They sculpt them very specifically to make them look as realistic as possible. When you look out over the landscape of a Chinese Garden, what you think you are seeing is a natural landscape. When you look out over an American Lawn, you know what you are seeing is not natural. Which is “better?” Which is “more controlled?” The Chinese Garden encourages the natural world to flourish in this environment, while the American Lawn does not. Man can still have control over the landscape, but must be very particular and specific like in a Chinese Garden.

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ELIZABETH WALSH

Figure 1.25

Figure 1.26

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

Figure 1.27

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ELIZABETH WALSH

If humans disappeared one day...

2 Days: With no one to run the pumps, New York City subways flood 7 Days: Generators that cool nuclear reactor cores run out of fuel 1 Year: Human head and body lice grow extinct. Wildlife returns to sites of melted-down nuclear reactors 3 Years: In colder climes, walls and roofs start to separate, pipes burst, roaches die 20 Years: Panama Canal closes up. Garden vegetables revert to wild strains 100 Years: Feral housecats devastate populations of small predators. Elephant population grows 20-fold as ivory trade ceases 300 Years: New York bridges fall, dams fail worldwide, cities built in river deltas, such as Houston, wash away 500 Years: Forests overtake suburbs in temperate climes, but plastic and metal debris remain 1,000s of Years: Underground structures such as the Chunnel across the English Channel are the last intact human-made structures 35,000 Years: Lead deposited by smokestacks finally is cleansed from the soil 100,000 Years: Carbon dioxide returns to prehuman levels -- maybe 100,000s of Years: Microbes evolve to eat plastic 7.2 Million Years: Traces of Mount Rushmore images remain. PCBs and other toxins remain but are buried 10.2 Million Years: Bronze sculptures are still recognizable 3 Billion Years: Life still thrives on Earth, in new forms 4.5 Billion Years: Depleted Uranium-238 reaches its half-life. Earth begins to warm as sun expands 5+ Billion Years: Earth burns as dying sun swells to envelop inner planets Forever: Our radio and TV broadcasts travel through space

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Figure 2.1


2 // OUR CONTEMPORARY WORLD


THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

INDUSTRIALIZATION 300

Labor Hours Required to Produce 100 Bushels (5 Acres) Of Wheat 100

First Cast-Iron Plow Patented

Commercial Fertilizer Industry Established

John Deere Begins Manufacturting Steel Plows Iron Plow with Interchangeable Parts Patented

Mixed Chemical Fertilizer Sold Commercially

Self-Governing Windmill Perfected

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The most basic, essential necessities for human beings to survive have created the biggest industries in the world. Companies such as Nestle and Monsanto seem to rule the world. Our species has been moving forward at a rapid pace, creating more and more industries to deal with our ever-growing population. Looking at a basic timeline of agriculture, it makes sense that our processes of producing have evolved in the way that they have. However, these processes have become so far removed from the earth that it is hard to determine if the things we are eating and drinking have ever had contact with the natural world.

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In order to fully understand our contemporary condition, there must be a clear understanding of the history behind industrialization. I focused on the industrialization of agriculture, since food is one of our most basic necessities as a species. Agriculture industrialization began with the invention of the cotton gin in the late 1700s. Less than fifty years after that, the commercial fertilizer industry was established. Invention moved extremely quickly over the next 150 years. By the year 2000, genetically modified plants were being cultivated around the world.

First Grain Elevator

Invention of Ice Box Fridge

Cotton Gin Invented

McCormick Reaper Patented

U.S. Food Canning Industry Established

Invention of Mason Jars

Irrigation Introduced

Introduction o

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ELIZABETH WALSH

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4

World Population in Billions 2

Introduction of Steam Tractors

Invention of Gasoline Tractor

Cotton-Stripper Developed Number of Tractors on Farms Exceeds the Number of Horses

No-Tillage Agriculture Popularized

Mechanical Tomato Harvester Developed Complete Change From Horses to Tractors

Open-Geared Tractors Introduced

All-Purpose, Rubber-Tired Tractor Popularized

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20

00

d

00

Silos & Deep-Well Drilling Begin Use

First Weed and Insect-Resistant Biotech Crops Are Available Commercially

Barbed Wire Patented

of Horse Power

Bread-Slicing Machine Invented

Cream Seperators Come Into Wide Use First Business Devoted Exclusively to Making Tractors Established

Hybridized Corn Produced

Use of Low-Input Sustainable Agriculture Techniques Increase

Organic Chemicals (Chelates) Are Found to Protect Plants Against Metal Deficincies

Anhydrous Ammonia Used As a Cheap Source of Nitrogen, Increasing Yields

Small Praire-Type Combine with Auxiliary Engine Introduced 96% of Cotton Harvested Mechanically

First Long Haul Refrigerated Shipment Made

Frozen Foods Popularized

Genetically Modified Plants Cultivated Around the World

Farmers Begin Using Satellite Technology to Track and Plan Farming

United States Agriculture Timeline

Figure 2.2

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

FOOD

FOOD FOOD

Altered Landscapes

Figure 2.3-2.8

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Minnesota

Kansas

Germany

Bolivia

Thailand

Brazil


ELIZABETH WALSH

Simplified Food Process

Figure 2.9

New York City Food Consumption

x

145.5

Blue Whale (largest mammal on the planet) 100 tons

291,000 tons of food/day

8.2 million people

Supermarkets in Manhattan

Farmers’ Markets in Manhattan

New York City

Figure 2.10

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

Major Agriculture Importers

Major Agriculture Exporters

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ELIZABETH WALSH

6% Very Low Food Security 9% Low Food Security

85% Food Secure

37% Living below poverty line

30% Food Secure

33% Living on $1/day

Figure 2.11

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

WATER

Altered Landscapes

Figure 2.12-2.17

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China

China

Libya

Iran

Arizona

Colorado


ELIZABETH WALSH

Simplified Water Process

Figure 2.18

New York City Water Consumption Catskill System - Consists of Ashoken and Schoharie Reservoirs, the Shandaken Tunnel, the Catskill Aqueduct, and the Kensico and Hillview Reservoirs - Provides 40% of the city’s water supply - Supplies 600 million gallons per day

New York Massachusetts

x

422.3

Delaware Aqueduct 85 miles long

Water Tower 1,000,000 gallons

Catskill Aqueduct 163 miles long

422,300,000 gallons/day Connecticut

Delaware System - Consists of Cannonsville, Pepacton, Neversink, and Rondout Reservoirs, and the Delaware Acqueduct - Provides 50% of the city’s water supply - Supplies 890 million gallons per day

Croton Aqueduct 0 miles long

8.2 million people

Pennsylvania New Jersey

New York City Croton System - Consists of 12 reservoirs, 3 controlled lakes, the Croton Aqueduct, and the Jerome and Central Park Reservoirs - Provides 10% of the city’s water supply - Supplies 180 million gallons per day

New York City

Figure 2.19

1.67 billion 47 gallons a day


THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

Countries Facing Water Stress

1995

2025

< 10%

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30%

> 40%


ELIZABETH WALSH

10% Domestic Use Average family of four in USA : 400 gallons a day

25% Industrial Use One gallon of gasoline : 45 gallons

65% Agricultural Use One cup of coffee : 31 gallons Beef for one hamburger : 340 gallons One gallon of milk : 880 gallons

Figure 2.20

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

ENERGY

Altered Landscapes

Figure 2.21-2.26

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California

California

Australia

Texas

Texas

Pennsylvania


ELIZABETH WALSH

Simplified Electricity Process

Figure 2.27

New York City Electricity Consumption > 5,000 kWh/sqm

Leaving 1 lightblub on for 28,550,228 years 100 Watt Lightbulb

250,100,000,000 Kilowatt Hours/day

900 - 1,200 kWh/sqm

8.2 million people

200 - 300 kWh/sqm

New York City

Figure 2.28

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

World Energy Use

0 - 500

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1,000 - 2,500

5,000 - 10,000


ELIZABETH WALSH

3% Nuclear Power

17% Renewable Sources 11% Biomass Heat 0.17% Solar Hotwater 0.12% Geothermal Heat 3.34% Hydropower 0.50% Ethanol 0.17% Biodiesel 0.28% Biomass Electricity 0.51% Wind Power 0.07% Geothermal Electricity 0.06% Solar PV Power 0.002% Solar CSP 0.001% Ocean Power

80% Fossil Fuels

Figure 2.29

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

WASTE

Altered Landscapes

Figure 2.30-2.35

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Ontario

India

Georgia

India

Washington

California


ELIZABETH WALSH

Simplified Waste Process

Figure 2.36

New York City Waste Consumption

x

120

Landfills in Pennsylvania

Blue Whale (largest mammal on the planet) 100 tons

12,000 tons of waste/day 12,000 tons of trash picked up every day

Landfills in Ohio

Waste Energy Facility in New Jersey 8.2 million people

Landfills in Virginia

New York City

Figure 2.37

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

Worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Largest Landfills Apex Regional Landfill : Las Vegas 50 million tons of waste

Sudokwon Landfill : South Korea 6.3 million tons waste/year

Freshkills Landfill : New York 150 million tons of waste

Puente Hills Landfill : CA 12,000 tons garbage/day

L Lagos Dump : Nigeria 10,000 tons garbage/day

Bordo Poniente Landfill : Mexico 12,000 tons garbage/day

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h Korea /year

ELIZABETH WALSH

Landfill Composition 12% Plastic 8% Metals

31% Paper

5% Glass

8% Rubber, Leather, & Textiles 7% Wood

3% Other 13% Food Scraps 13% Yard Trimmings

Figure 2.38

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

FOOD

THE INDIVIDUALâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S IMPACT

Air Conditioning

Drinking Water

Shower

Brushing Teeth Figure 2.39

From the individual personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s perspective, going to the grocery store, turning on the faucet, and flipping a light switch are very easy, simple, painless tasks to accomplish. If you were to ask the average layperson where the apples they bought at the supermarket today came from, they would most likely say they have no idea. There is a- very thick- veil in between us and the source of these basic items. To us, it seems like a simple process. In reality, a network of very meticulous processes brought the apple to your hand. Questioning these processes- making the familiar, unfamiliar- opens up an entire world of possibilities.

Flushing Toilet

Dishwasher

Washing Machine

Average Daily Consumption of One Person 58

Wate


er Heating

ELIZABETH WALSH

Space Heating

Refrigeration

Lighting/Appliances

Gasoline

Natural Gas

Grains

Vegetables

Fruits

Dairy

Meat & Beans

Solid Waste

1 Gallon

1 Gallon

1 oz.

1 Cubic Foot

1 Kilowatt Hour

1 Pound Figure 2.40

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

THE URBAN IMPACT

FOOD

Cities are magnetic forces that attract and repel enormous amounts of energy. In New York City, for example, water is pumped from over 150 miles to get to the city and its residents. Waste is transported to landfills as far as Ohio and Virginia. This is all just so a single city can sustain itself. The centralization of the city is becoming more and more inefficient and detrimental to the world around us. We must start working to decentralize and weave the basic needs we need as human beings into the urban fabric to be sustainable- which means we must bring the natural environment back into the city.

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New York City : 8.2 million people

WASTE

WATER

FOOD

Zooming out a bit from the individual to the urban scale helps see these industrialized processes from a different point of view. Urbanization puts a spotlight on our industrialized processes. The urban condition is the perfect place to see whether these processes are really working for our society or not. The urban metabolism can be broken down to the most essential aspects of a city: the human biological, the social, the political, the economical, and the environmental. Throughout history, the most important parts of a city have been the social, political, and economical aspects. These are worked and reworked into the urban fabric in complex ways. However, when it comes to basic biological and environmental necessities, such as food, water, and energy, no complex logic is used. For a species that craves efficiency, our means of providing a city with these basic needs are extremely unintelligent and complicated.

ENERGY


ELIZABETH WALSH

COMMUNITY FOOD

LANGUAGE PSYCHOLOGY ART PHILOSOPHY

CULTURE

SOCIAL

BIOLOGICAL

ARCHITECTURE

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

MUSIC

URBAN METABOLISM

ENVIRONMENTAL

RELIGION

POLITICAL

ECONOMICAL

EXPORTS

IMPORTS ARCHITECTURE

Figure 2.41

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

New York City’s Water Sources

Catskill System - Consists of Ashoken and Schoharie Reservoirs, the Shandaken Tunnel, the Catskill Aqueduct, and the Kensico and Hillview Reservoirs - Provides 40% of the city’s water supply - Supplies 600 million gallons per day

New York Massachusetts

Delaware Aqueduct 85 miles long

Catskill Aqueduct 163 miles long

FOOD

Connecticut

Delaware System - Consists of Cannonsville, Pepacton, Neversink, and Rondout Reservoirs, and the Delaware Aqueduct - Provides 50% of the city’s water supply - Supplies 890 million gallons per day

Croton Aqueduct 0 miles long

Pennsylvania New Jersey

New York City Croton System - Consists of 12 reservoirs, 3 controlled lakes, the Croton Aqueduct, and the Jerome and Central Park Reservoirs - Provides 10% of the city’s water supply - Supplies 180 million gallons per day

1.67 billion gallons a day Figure 2.42

62


ELIZABETH WALSH

New York City’s Landfills Landfills in Pennsylvania

12,000 tons of trash picked up every day

Landfills in Ohio

Waste Energy Facility in New Jersey

Landfills in Virginia

Figure 2.43

New York City’s Electricity Consumption > 5,000 kWh/sqm

900 - 1,200 kWh/sqm

200 - 300 kWh/sqm Figure 2.44

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

THE GLOBAL IMPACT 2050 : 9,309,051,539 people

Every 5 seconds, 20 people are born

2000 : 6,081,002,937 people

1950 : 2,555,982,611 people Every 5 seconds, 10 people die

Every minute, our population grows by 120 people

Figure 2.45

Zooming out to the global scale provides us with insight on how the industrialized processes we use are affecting the planet. Every minute, our population grows by about 120 people. To compensate for our rapidly growing species, we speed up industrial processes. However, rather than solving the problem, this rapid industrialization harms the planet and, therefore, us. There is a centralization that occurs not only at the urban scale, but also at the global scale. First-world countries take priority above developing countries. They become energy monsters- guzzling up all of

64

the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s resources, while leaving the developing countries dry. Instead of continuing these harmful processes, we need to start thinking of different solutions. Decentralization is necessary. Once the natural environment is brought back into first-world countries, the rest of the world will benefit greatly.


ELIZABETH WALSH

Current & Projected Populations North America 2012 : 343 million 2050 : 461 million

China 2012 : 1.351 billion 2050 : 1.408 billion

+ 120 million

India 2012 : 1.237 billion 2050 : 1.658 billion

+ 140 million

South America 2012 : 398 million 2050 : 537 million

Africa 2012 : 1.033 billion 2050 : 2 billion

+ 100 million

+ 420 million

+ 1 billion

Figure 2.46

Percentage in Poverty North America : 2%

China : 20-40%

India 60-80%

Africa : 60-90% South America : 6-20%

Figure 2.47

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

HIGH-TECH

GLORIFYING NATURE

SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURE

Figure 2.48

Buildings are some of the biggest â&#x20AC;&#x153;guzzlersâ&#x20AC;? of energy, so it only makes sense that sustainability is becoming more and more important in the field of architecture. New technologies and techniques are developed to make buildings net zero and promote sustainability. These technologies that are developed are high technology, using complex mechanical systems. Although these systems are working to help the planet while carrying on their architectural functions, they are pushing us further away from the world around us. We are surrounded by technology that shelters us from

66

the earth, instead of strengthening our relationship with nature. In order to move forward in sustainable architecture, we must take a few steps back first. In rethinking sustainability, the surrounding earth should be a top priority. In order to keep sustaining on this planet, we need to be aware of our presence in it at all times. Designing an architecture that created that awareness of our relationship with the earth would be a step in the right direction towards a new sustainability.


ELIZABETH WALSH

Semi-Controlled Construction

Sustainable Architecture Low Technology

Sensible Materiality

Figure 2.49

Future Farming

Urban Farming New Urban Community

Public Market

Figure 2.50

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

FOOD

WATER

How It Is ENERGY

WASTE

How It Sh

68


hould Be

ELIZABETH WALSH

How It Might Be WATER

FOOD

ENERGY

WASTE

PROFIT

POSITIVE FEEDBACK

ADVANCEMENT

EDUCATION

AWARENESS

ECONOMICAL

SUSTAINING ECONOMY

SOCIAL

SUSTAINING COMMUNITY KNOWLEDGE

INVOLVEMENT

Figure 2.51

69


Figure 3.1


3 // THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER


THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

GOWANUS BAY

Figure 3.2

Designing holistically in this age means not only reducing our carbon footprint, but also cleaning and remediating the carbon footprints of our past. Gowanus Bay in Brooklyn, NY was chosen as the site for my project. The canal that runs from the bay into Brooklyn is one of the most polluted areas in the United States. In 2010, the canal was listed as a Superfund site. The area of Gowanus used to be the industrial center of Brooklyn, with several industries lining the canal. Until just a few years ago, these industries were dumping heavy chemicals into the canal. Today, the canal is contaminated with â&#x20AC;&#x153;more than a dozen contaminants, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls,

72

and heavy metals, including mercury, lead, and copper.â&#x20AC;? All of these chemicals are ones that are used when operating the machinery that was used by the industrial companies that surrounded the canal. Local residents do not help the health of the canal either, frequently using it as a garage-dumping site. There are several sewage overflow outlets along the canal as well, adding to its contamination. Since naming Gowanus Canal a Superfund site, a cleanup plan has been made. However, this plan involves the displacement of the canal sediment, a plan that will cost over $500 million. Instead of simply displacing the problem, the site must be remediated.


ELIZABETH WALSH

Hud son R

iver

This involves several factors and disciplines that need to be called upon. I have researched topics such as human evolution, ecology, and biology. These topics have been studied on various scales, ranging from the individual scale to the urban scale to the global scale. Studying a range of disciplines allows for a holistic approach to architecture. In order to move forward, we must take a few steps backward.

Manhattan Queens

Brooklyn

Figure 3.3

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

Gowanus : Pre-Industrial

Farming Land

Gowanus : Post-Industrial

Wetlands

Industrial

Residential & Commercial

Green Space

Highway & Train Tracks

Figure 3.4

More Contamination

Less Contamination

Oil

Chemical

Metal

Natural Gas

Coal

Other

Figure 3.5

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ELIZABETH WALSH

Gowanus Canal Industries

Ulano Corp. Petroleum Tank Cleaners Inc.

Bayside Fuel Oil Depot Vidan Auto Salvage

Fulton Municipal Gas Co. Scranton Lehigh Coal Co.

Penske Truck Leasing Co.

Moton Coal Co.

Standard Oil Co. Citizens Gas Light Co. BaysideFul Oil Depot Mobil Oil Corp.

Lesi Abestos Transfer Co.

Three G’s Scrap Metal Co.

Citizens Gate Station

MTA NYCT Depot

Ernst Zobel Chemical Co. Lowe’s

Argus-Witco Chemical

Brooklyn Union Gas Metropolitan Gas Light Co.

Bruno Truck Sales Hamilton Ave. Incinerator

Hess Co. Patchoque Oil Co. Debevoise Co.

Con Edison Gas Turbine Zophar Mills Inc. Blanchford Base Plant Tekni-Plex Inc.

Figure 3.6

Gowanus Canal Contamination Levels Acute Chronic Acceptable Trace

Canal Contaminants

Pesticides : 22%

SVOCs : 26%

Heavy Metals : 28%

PCBs : 24%

Figure 3.7

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

Gowanus Canal Depth

10’ 30’ 40’ 40’ 40’

50’

60’ 70’ 80’ 90’ 90’

Figure 3.8

Gowanus Canal Flooding Zones

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Category 1

Category 2

Category 3

Figure 3.9


ELIZABETH WALSH

Gowanus Canal Sewage & Flooding

CSO Outfalls

Sewage Flow

Flooding Direction

Figure 3.10

Rising Sea Levels

Today

+ 50 years (+1 m)

Figure 3.11

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

Project Objectives

Strengthen Eroding Shoreline

Capitalize on Local Resources

Salt Hay

Green Crab

Clam Mussel Oyster

Geoduck

78


ELIZABETH WALSH

Flood Line

Remediate Contaminated Water

Protect Against Future Flooding

Figure 3.12

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

REMEDIATION: SALT MARSH ECOLOGY Energy-Savvy Movement & Transport

Eco-Systems That Grow Food and Fertility

Chemistry in Water

Materials As Systems

Life Creates Conditions Conducive to Life

Self-Assembly

Material Up-cycling

Power of Shape

Resilience & Healing

Figure 3.13

It is a rather simple statement: life creates conditions conducive to life. Yet, we always seem to overcomplicate things. We need to look at natural systems as models to operate. Gowanus Bay is extremely polluted and is prone to frequent flooding. It just so happens that nature deals with these issues naturally and effectively. Wetlands and salt marshes are some of the most diverse and important ecosystems in the world. They are home to thousands of organisms that thrive in very harsh conditions. Speaking of contamination, salt marshes naturally remediate water in really amazing

80

ways. There are several types of mollusks that live in marshes that filter the water. An oyster, for example, can filter up to 50 gallons of water in just one day. And for flooding, marshes accrete vertically to keep pace with rising sea levels. This is done through the accumulation of different sediments that wash up and also the accummulation of organic matter, such as dead plants and animals in the marsh. We already have something in nature that does so easily what we are constantly trying to do- so far without much success. It only makes sense that we use a system like this to deal with these issues.


ELIZABETH WALSH

Salt Marsh Food Web

Marsh Accretion

Figure 3.14

Figure 3.15

Climate Change

Land Use Change

Human Activities

Very High Tide High Tide

Temperature

Sea Level

Medium Tide Watershed Sediment Low Tide Inputs

Precipitation

sh Tide Levels

Salinity

Proximity to Tidal Creek

Flooding

Plant Biomass Microbial Respiration Sediment Organic Matter

Marsh Elevation

Mineral Sediment Deposition

Proximity to Sediment Source Tidal Range

Marsh Accretion

Processes Affecting Marsh Accretion Figure 3.16

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

DESIGN PROPOSAL PART I “Growing” a system that involves natural TODAY processes is a temporal process. The project is layed out in a series of four phases.

PHASE II : SEEDING

PHASE I : SOFTENING

The first phase is “Softening.” During this 2014 will phase, unusable buildings- buildings that be rendered useless and dangerous once the sea levels rise and flood them- are demolished. Dredge shallowing is used to fill in the perimeter of the urban edge. The land is filled-in or capped.

2020

The second phase is “Seeding.” During this phase, zonation of land begins to occur through the seeding of different species. Artifical reefs are built using Biorock to create healthy environments for water species to inhabit. This phase is about laying down the foundations for the wetlands. The third isarea “Programming.” Programming + Existing site isphase an industrial with very little green or public spaces in this context means programming of not only the human world, but also of the natural world. Species continue to naturally inhabit the land and water after the initial seeding, and public access is introduced. The fourth and infinite phase is “Adapting.” This phase has no end point, since we will have to continue to adapt to this new system as time goes on. Rising sea levels, flooding, and increasing population will all contribute to the way in which this area is used.

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softening the edge + Unusable buildings are demolished

species environments for species to inhabit + Biorock structures begin growing under water


ELIZABETH WALSH

PHASE IV : ADAPTING

PHASE III : PROGRAMMING

2035

2060

+ Species continue to naturally inhabit the land and water after initial seeding + Public access is introduced + Structures are brought onto the land

2075 -

+ Natural habitats on land and in water continue to grow + We continue to adapt to and program the land + Features such as retention ponds are added to adapt to

Figure 3.17

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

COBBLE HILL

Dredge shallowing

BOERUM HILL

CARROLL GARDENS

Flood Zone A

RED HOOK

Flood Zone B

Demolition of unusable buildings

GOWANUS

PARK SLOPE

GREENWOOD

Greenwood Cemetery

SUNSET PARK

Figure 3.18

84

TODAY


COBBLE HILL

ELIZABETH WALSH sea kelp farming zone

BOERUM HILL

Retention Ponds

CARROLL GARDENS

Upper marsh

RED HOOK salt hay farming zone

public market space

Tidal mud flats

GOWANUS Middle marsh

oyster farming zone

PARK SLOPE

fishery zone

Lower marsh

GREENWOOD

SUNSET PARK Greenwood Cemetery

Figure 3.19

2075

85


THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

SITE PLAN The final site plan is a culmination of several different systems working together. Not only is it a mix of the natural and human worlds, but it has several other factors included, such as land zonation, water control, program, and circulation. These all factor in to create a healthy, productive new ecosystem.

86


ELIZABETH WALSH

Figure 3.20

87


THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

LAND ZONATION A salt marsh has several different zones included in it. Each of these zones carries out very specific functions that contribute to the overall health of the marsh. The first zone is mud flats. Mollusks, crabs, and worms are species that thrive in the conditions of a mud flat. This area has very little to no vegetation, and floods twice a day. The second zone is low marsh. This area also floods twice a day, which means its soil has very high salinity levels. The third zone is mid marsh. This area floods once every couple of months. Grasses grow tall in this area. Its soil has moderate salinity levels and is damp. The fourth zone is high marsh. This area floods during strong storms. The vegetation in this area typically grows very tall and can be harvested for cattle feed, bio fuel, and several other functions. The soil has a low salinity level and is dry. The fifth and final zone in this system is inland. This is an area with short grasses and trees. This is the transition zone between the urban and natural worlds.

88


mud flat

ELIZABETH WALSH

low marsh mid marsh high marsh inland

Figure 3.21

89


THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

WATER CONTROL One of the biggest concerns in a city is water control. Asphalt creates a lot of problems with surface run off. Creating soft perimeter around the urban hardscape could create some issues with this as well. Surface run off could run into the grass and soil and make it very muddy. Because of this, proper water control needs to be implemented. A series of detention and retention ponds will not only help with surface run off, but also with future flooding.

During a heavy storm, water flows from detention pond to retention pond to drainage canal to ocean

Detention ponds are large, concrete ponds that temporarily hold water. They fill up when it rains. When they are empty, they can serve as public skating and biking areas. Some can also be blocked off during hot summer months and used as public swimming pools. Figure 3.22

Rentention ponds (not filled with concrete) that always hold water. When the detention ponds fill up, the water flows into the rentention ponds through a series of underground pipes. During heavy storms, if the retention ponds fill up and overflow, they will simply spill out into the lower marsh and mud flats.

Flooding ocean water is caught in retention ponds instead of flooding the entire area

Not only do these ponds prevent the entire area from flooding during a storm, but they also aid in preventing flooding due to rising sea levels. The retention ponds help catch the water in specific pools instead of it flooding the entire area. Marshes also need to be drained to prevent a large mosquito population and further flooding. Drainage canals and ditches will be dug to properly drain the area. Figure 3.23

90


ELIZABETH WALSH detention pond retention pond drainage canal

Figure 3.24

91


THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

PROGRAM This area used to be the industrial center of Brooklyn. During the post-industrial age, new eco-friendly, local industries need to be brought back to the area. Salt marshes are extremely diverse and bring with them several natural programs to go along with the different marsh zones. The entire area will be public, but there will also be different farming zones scattered throughout the area. Salt hay farming is extremely valuable and is actually historic for this area. Salt hay can be used for bio plastics, bio fuel, cattle feed, and several other uses. Salt hay grass will be extremely abundant in this area. Oysters and other mollusks will also be extremely abundant in this environment. They will be grown in retention ponds and mud flats to be harvested. The restaurants that they are brought to will bring the shells back for recycling. These shells will be added to the reefs to promote a healthy, closed-loop environment. Fishing and kelp farming will also be very productive in this area. All of this farming will produce abundant amounts of food, which can be sold at an open-air market on the edge of the urban zone. This area of Brooklyn is very familiar with markets like this. The entire area will flourish.

92

public space open-air market space detention ponds: swimming pools, skate park, etc. salt hay harvest field retention ponds: mollusk growing zone mollusk farming zone fishing zone kelp harvesting zone


ELIZABETH WALSH

Figure 3.25

93


THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

CIRCULATION Highway roads and local will stay the same. More local roads will be added to the perimeter to allow for scenic routes and easy-access to the marsh perimeter. Parking will be on the very edge of the urban area. There will be no parking beyond there. From there, there will be a series of bike and walking paths to allow people to enter the site. People can walk or bike anywhere on the marsh.

94


highway

ELIZABETH WALSH

local road bike & walking path walking path parking

Figure 3.26

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

DESIGN PROPOSAL PART II After creating a landscaped perimeter around Red Hook, the question becomes how do we inhabit an environment like this? This is where a broad understanding of the environmental movement and its different phases and branches is useful. This historical knowledge gives us several perspectives from which to approach environmental design. I believe that instead of using strictly one approach, such as only conservationism or only deep ecology, we should have an understanding of all ecological perspectives. We can then combine certain strategies from each to create a more holistic sustainability. For example, using just conservationism is not efficient for our world. The human population is growing at about

Figure 3.27

96

120 people a day. We need to design for this growing population. Simply conserving and preserving land for the sake of pristine wilderness is not logical; we need to build. We should look at the words conservation and preservation differently. We can conserve and preserve the land by designing in a way that does not harm the land and ecological systems that live on and within it. We should design with the land instead of on the land. There are two parts to designing for this environment. 1) Designing the form in a way that works with the environment, and 2) Designing with a material that works with the environment. When designing the


ELIZABETH WALSH

limestone in watershed

Hud son R

iver

Figure 3.28

Manhattan Queens

calcium carbonate rich water

Brooklyn

Figure 3.29

97


THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

form, I looked at images of eroding rocks. These giant eroding forms are protruding from the landscape, but they are inherently embedded in it. Branching up and out, they are perfect for a design that is dealing with flooding- an above ground level condition. These form could branch off and connect to one another, forming an entire system of inhabitable structures. Then it was a question of materiality. Last semester, I did extensive research on concrete. While it is one of the oldest building materials still used today, the cement industry is one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions and green house gases. Not to mention the giant holes that are formed in the earth for limestone quarries. I researched several alternative sustainable concrete mixtures before I began to think differently. Is there a way to grow a

Figure 3.30

98

building material- to grow concrete? Biorock is a system developed by Professor Wolf Hilbertz in 1979. Biorock is formed by the electroaccumulation of minerals that are dissolved in the ocean. Running a low electric current through a metal frame causes calcium carbonate to accumulate around the frame in diameter. The current growth rate for this system is 2 inches per year. This system is growing a material that is just as strong- if not stronger- than concrete. It is currently being used to revitilize coral reefs. Gowanus Bay is rich in minerals from erosion of stone, such as limestone, upstream the Hudson River. The conditions are perfect for a system like Biorock. The resources are there and abundant.


ELIZABETH WALSH

Electro-accumulation process

A/C to D/C Converter

Anode

Cathode

Figure 3.31

Current Biorock calicium carbonate accumulation rate: 2 in/year

Figure 3.32

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

FORM VARIATION The structures vary from open sea to inland in program, shape and size.

small, open, for mollusks and other animals

100

larger, open, for people and animals


ELIZABETH WALSH

larger, closed, for people

Figure 3.33

101


THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

Biorock structures growing underwater

102


ELIZABETH WALSH

Figure 3.34

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

SECTION Sea Bass

Octopus

104


ELIZABETH WALSH

Starfish

Flatfish

Sting Ray Green Sea Turtle

Sealion

Atlantic Sharpnose Shark

Sea Cucumber Jellyfish

Estuary + Mineral-rich brackish water + Open Water

Figure 3.35 105


THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER Soft Shelled Clam

Oyster

Hermit Crab Ghost Shrimp

Ribbed Mussel

Quahog

sh

Black Necked Stilt Fiddler Crab

Clam Worm

Horseshoe Crab

Bamboo Worm Mud Snail

Sea Cucumber

Green Crab

Tidal Mudflats + Mud exposed approximately twice a day + Perfect environment for mollusks to flourish

106


ELIZABETH WALSH Mummichog Snowy Egret

Razor Clam

Tarpon

Green Heron

Se

Atlantic Silverside

Striped Bass Geoduck

Saltwater Cordgrass

Acorn Barnacle Black Duck Mosquito

Low Marsh + Flooded twice a day by high tides +High salinity + Wettest soil

Subsurface Flow Groundwater

Figure 3.36

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THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

Sea Lettuce Seagull

Glasswort

Phragmites

Osprey Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse Sea Lavender Marsh Elder

High Marsh + Flooded occasionally during monthly high tides and storms + Moderate salinity + Wet soil

Salt Peat

Fresh Peat

Sediment

108


ELIZABETH WALSH Wax Myrtle

Red-Tailed Hawk

Salt Hay Grass

Seaside Goldenrod

Greenbriar Muskrat

Yaupon Holly

Upland + Dry soil + Transition between city and marsh

Figure 3.37

109


SALT MARSH AQUATIC FOOD WEB 2

1

Small invertebrates living in the marsh consume detritus and other invertebrates. These may include crabs, amphipods, shrimp, and worms

On the marsh surface, dead plant matter is colonized by bacteria, fungi, and protozoans, making a rich food called detritus

+ Saltwater Cordgrass

+ Turtle

+ Mummichog

+ Striped Bass

+ Hermit Crab

+ Fiddler Crab

110


3

At high tide, mummichogs, silversides, and other small fish swim from the creeks onto the flooded marsh to feed on detritus and invertebrates

5

4

Birds eat the larger fish, bringing the nutrients even farther to food webs on land

Fish species such as Atlantic croakers and flouders eat small fish and invertebrates in the marsh, bringing nutrients to offshore food webs

+ Salt Hay Grass

+ Stork

+ Black Necked Stilt

+ Atlantic Croaker

+ Flat Fish / Flounder

+ Silverside

+ Oyster + Sting Ray

Figure 3.38

111


Solar Energy + Carbon Dioxide

Salt Hay Grass

1

BIOFUEL

Harvesting

2

112

Carbon Dioxide

Pre-Processing into Cellulose


Biofuel

4

3

Microbes ferment sugars into ethanol

Enzymes break cellulose down into sugars

Figure 3.39

113


Retention Ponds

OYSTER LIFE CYCLE / OYSTER FARMING CYCLE

+ Habitat for growing oysters

1

Fertilized Egg

Larvae moved to ponds

Mud Flats + Mature oyster habitats + Oyster farming

4

Adult Males & Females

3

Spat moved to mud flats when mature

+ Retention Pond

114

Spat Attached to Shell (2-3 years)

2

Free-Swimming Larvae (two weeks)


RETENTION POND GROWTH

Projected

Today

Oyster reefs continue to grow vertically as sea level rises

Figure 3.40

115


THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

Low Tide

High Tide

+ Mollusks

+ 4 ft

+ Mollusk

Winter

Summer

+ 1 ft

2 AM

9 AM

2 PM

+ Salt grass eventually fa

9 PM

Tide Pattern

+ Dead sal

116


ELIZABETH WALSH

Summer-Autumn

Winter

Flood

High Tide

Medium Tide

Low Tide

s begin reproducing around June- through October

harvesting season begins in September

+ Oyster farmers must get boats out of water before the first frost to avoid getting them stuck in ice

+ Colder water temperatures cause mollusks to store glycogen, which causes them to become more â&#x20AC;&#x153;meatyâ&#x20AC;? - more desirable to harvest during these times + Salt hay harvesting is best during the first two weeks of August

that is not harvested grows old during Autumn, alling off at the base

lt grass deposits cellulose into the sediment- food for invertebrates

+ Not much visible vegetation during the winter, since most salt marsh plants are annuals

Figure 3.41

117


THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER RISING SEA LEVEL

7

Sea Level (in)

6.5

6

5.5

5

1920

1940

1960

1980

2000

Year

Sea Level Rise = 0.1 inch/year

Marsh Accretion

+25 feet +12 feet +5 feet Today

118

Today

2100 : +5 feet


ELIZABETH WALSH

2300 : +12 feet

2500 : +25 feet

Figure 3.42

119


THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

120


ELIZABETH WALSH

Figure 3.43

121


THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

122


ELIZABETH WALSH

Figure 3.44

123


THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

124


ELIZABETH WALSH

Figure 3.45

125


THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

126


ELIZABETH WALSH

Figure 3.46

127


THE NEW URBAN PERIMETER

FINAL MODELS Detail Model

128

Figure 3.47


ELIZABETH WALSH

Figure129 3.48


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Figure 3.53 3.52

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IMAGES Figure 1.1 Yosemite National Park http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunnel_View Figure 1.2 Ego Vs. Nature Diagram by author Figure 1.3 Industrial London http://www.craveonline.com/gaming/articles/451845-assassins-creed-iv-locations Figure 1.4 Industrial Factory http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_Revolution Figure 1.5 National Park Service http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Park_Service Figure 1.6 Yosemite Park Poster http://hommemaker.com/2011/08/16/californiatimez-yosemite-childhood-and-posters/ Figure 1.7 Walden http://redemptionsbeauty.com/tag/summer-vacation/ Figure 1.8 1950s DDT Ad http://southernersjournal.com/?tag=running-behind-ddt-truck Figure 1.9 DDT Spraying http://www.fsl.orst.edu/wfiwc/admin/history/control-5.htm Figure 1.10 DDT Paint https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nP3ZLNSJu5g Figure 1.11 http://www.ironbodystudios.com/index.cfm/news-updates/silent-spring-by-coach-pam/ Figure 1.12 Silent Spring http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_Spring Figure 1.13 Rachel Carson http://www.environmentandsociety.org/exhibitions/silent-spring/overview Figure 1.14 War Protest http://1960s-counterculture.tripod.com Figure 1.15 Life Magazine Cover http://www.pinterest.com/pin/440508407272439176/

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Figure 1.16 Drop City Diagram http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drop_City Figure 1.17 Drop City http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drop_City Figure 1.18 Drop City Dwelling http://www.fadwebsite.com/2011/11/27/become-a-citezen-of-nowhereisland-artist-alex-hartley-constructsdystopian-habitats-at-victoria-miro-in-the-world-is-still-big/ Figure 1.19 Ant Farm http://golancourses.net/2010spring/03/15/looking-outwards-ant-farm/ Figure 1.20 Whole Earth Photograph https://www.domusweb.it/en/art/2013/07/5/the_whole_earth_catalog.html Figure 1.21 Whole Earth Catalog Cover http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whole_Earth_Catalog Figure 1.22 Pale Blue Dot http://bahaiteachings.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Pale-Blue-Dot1.jpg Figure 1.23 Buddha http://dailyrevolution.com/tag/buddha/ Figure 1.24 Jesus http://www.testimoniesofheavenandhell.com/Pictures-Of-Jesus/ Figure 1.25 Chinese Garden http://seesydneypass.iventurecard.com/attraction/chinese-garden-of-friendship/ Figure 1.26 American Lawn http://americanlawnandtree.com Figure 1.27 Life After People http://www.myreviewer.com/Blu-ray/126185/Life-After-People/126240/Review-by-Stuart-McLean Figure 2.1 Suburban Sprawl http://where2sir.wordpress.com/tag/the-end-of-suburbia/ Figure 2.2 United States Agriculture Timeline Diagram by author Figure 2.3 Minnesota http://www.kwsnet.com/agriculture-policy.html Figure 2.4 Kansas http://www.kwsnet.com/agriculture-policy.html

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Figure 2.5 Germany http://www.kwsnet.com/agriculture-policy.html Figure 2.6 Bolivia http://www.kwsnet.com/agriculture-policy.html Figure 2.7 Thailand http://www.kwsnet.com/agriculture-policy.html Figure 2.8 Brazil http://www.kwsnet.com/agriculture-policy.html Figure 2.9 Simplified Food Process Diagram by author Figure 2.10 New York City Food Consumption Diagram by author Figure 2.11 Global Food Consumption Diagram by author Figure 2.12 China http://www.edwardburtynsky.com Figure 2.13 China http://www.edwardburtynsky.com Figure 2.14 Libya http://www.edwardburtynsky.com Figure 2.15 Iran http://www.edwardburtynsky.com Figure 2.16 Arizona http://www.edwardburtynsky.com Figure 2.17 Colorado http://www.edwardburtynsky.com Figure 2.18 Simplified Water Process Diagram by author Figure 2.19 New York City Water Consumption Diagram by author Figure 2.20 Global Water Consumption Diagram by author

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Figure 2.21 California http://www.edwardburtynsky.com Figure 2.22 California http://www.edwardburtynsky.com Figure 2.23 Australia http://www.edwardburtynsky.com Figure 2.24 Texas http://www.edwardburtynsky.com Figure 2.25 Texas http://www.edwardburtynsky.com Figure 2.26 Pennsylvania http://www.edwardburtynsky.com Figure 2.27 Simplified Electricity Process Diagram by author Figure 2.28 New York City Electricity Consumption Diagram by author Figure 2.29 Global Energy Consumption Diagram by author Figure 2.30 Ontario http://www.edwardburtynsky.com Figure 2.31 India http://www.edwardburtynsky.com Figure 2.32 Georgia http://www.edwardburtynsky.com Figure 2.33 India http://www.edwardburtynsky.com Figure 2.34 Washington http://www.edwardburtynsky.com Figure 2.35 California http://www.edwardburtynsky.com Figure 2.36 Simplified Waste Process Diagram by author

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Figure 2.37 New York City Waste Consumption Diagram by author Figure 2.38 Global Waste Consumption Diagram by author Figure 2.39 Grocery Store Figure 2.40 Average Daily Consumption of One Person Diagram by author Figure 2.41 Urban Metabolism Diagram by author Figure 2.42 New York City’s Water Sources Diagram by author Figure 2.43 New York City’s Landfills Diagram by author Figure 2.44 New York City’s Electricity Consumption Diagram by author Figure 2.45 World Population Growth Diagram by author Figure 2.46 Current and Projected Populations Diagram by author Figure 2.47 Percentage in Poverty Diagram by author Figure 2.48 Sustainable Buildings Diagram by author Figure 2.49 Sustainable Architecture Diagram by author Figure 2.50 New Urban Community Diagram by author Figure 2.51 Sustainability Diagram by author Figure 3.1 The New Urban Perimeter Render by author Figure 3.2 Gowanus Bay http://www.maps.google.com 140


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Figure 3.3 Site Map Diagram by author Figure 3.4 Gowanus Pre and Post Industrial Diagram by author Figure 3.5 Gowanus Canal Contamination Diagram by author Figure 3.6 Gowanus Canal Industries Diagram by author Figure 3.7 Gowanus Canal Contamination Levels Diagram by author Figure 3.8 Gowanus Canal Depth Diagram by author Figure 3.9 Gowanus Canal Flooding Zones Diagram by author Figure 3.10 Gowanus Canal Sewage and Flooding Diagram by author Figure 3.11 Rising Sea Levels Diagram by author Figure 3.12 Project Objectives Diagram by author Figure 3.13 Biomimicry Diagram by author Figure 3.14 Salt Marsh Food Web Diagram by author Figure 3.15 Marsh Accretion Diagram by author Figure 3.16 Conditions Contributing to Accretion Diagram by author Figure 3.17 Landscape Timeline Diagram by author Figure 3.18 Gowanus Today Diagram by author

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Figure 3.19 Gowanus 2075 Diagram by author Figure 3.20 Site Plan Diagram by author Figure 3.21 Landscape Zonation Diagram by author Figure 3.22 Drainage Canals 1 Diagram by author Figure 3.23 Drainage Canals 2 Diagram by author Figure 3.24 Water Control Diagram by author Figure 3.25 Program Diagram by author Figure 3.26 Circulation Diagram by author Figure 3.27 Erosion Figure 3.28 Deposition of Calcium Carbonate Figure 3.29 Deposition of Hudson River Minerals Diagram by author Figure 3.30 BioRock Figure 3.31 Electro-Accumulation Process Diagram by author Figure 3.32 BioRock Accumulation Figure 3.33 Form Variation Diagram by author Figure 3.34 Growing Structures Render by author Figure 3.35 Section I Render by author Figure 3.36 Section II Render by author 142


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Figure 3.37 Section III Render by author Figure 3.38 Salt Marsh Aquatic Food Web Render by author Figure 3.39 Salt Marsh BioFuel Render by author Figure 3.40 Oyster Life Cycle Render by author Figure 3.41 Salt Marsh Seasons Render by author Figure 3.42 Rising Sea Levels Render by author Figure 3.43 Render 1 Render by author Figure 3.44 Render 2 Render by author Figure 3.45 Render 3 Render by author Figure 3.46 Render 4 Render by author Figure 3.47 Detail Model 1 Photograph by author Figure 3.48 Detail Model 2 Photograph by author Figure 3.49 Detail Model 3 Photograph by author Figure 3.50 Detail Model 4 Photograph by author Figure 3.51 Detail Model 5 Photograph by author Figure 3.52 Detail Model 6 Photograph by author Figure 3.53 Site Model Photograph by author 143


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BIBLIOGRAPHY Abram, David. Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology. New York: Vintage, 2011. Print. Anker, Peder. “Taking Ground Control of Spaceship Earth.” From Bauhaus to Ecohouse: A History of Ecological Design. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2010. N. pag. Print. Blue Gold. N.p., 2008. Web. Carson, Rachel, Lois Darling, and Louis Darling. Silent Spring. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1962. Print. Chapple, Christopher K. “Hinduism and Ecology.” N.p., n.d. Web. Chapple, Christopher K. “Jainism and Ecology.” (n.d.): n. pag. Web. Crutzen, Paul. “Geology of Mankind.” Nature. N.p.: n.p., 2002. 23. Print. Cuba Accidental Revolution. N.p., 2009. Web. Food, Inc. N.p., 2008. Web. Grim, John A. “Indigenous Traditions and Ecology.” (n.d.): n. pag. Web. Hardin, Garrett. “The Tragedy of the Commons.” Science. 3859 ed. Vol. 162. N.p.: n.p., 1968. 1243-248. Print. New. Hessel, Dieter T. “Christianity and Ecology: Wholeness, Respect, Justice, Sustainability.” (n.d.): n. pag. Web. How Many People Can Live On Planet Earth? N.p., 2005. Web. McHale, John. “Man in the Biosphere.” The Ecological Context. New York: George Brazailler, 1970. 20-89. Print. McHarg, Ian L. “Nature in the Metropolis.” Design With Nature. N.p.: Doubleday/Natural History, 1971. 55-65. Print. Merchant, Carolyn. “Deep Ecology.” Radical Ecology: The Search for a Livable World. New York: Routledge, 2005. 91-107. Print. Miller, James. “Daoism and Ecology.” (n.d.): n. pag. Web. Sagan, Carl, and Ann Druyan. Pale Blue Dot. S.I.: Ballantine, 2011. Print. Swearer, Donald K. “Buddhism and Ecology: Challenge and Promise.” (n.d.): n. pag. Web. Tucker, Mary E. “Confucianism and Ecology: Potential and Limits.” (n.d.): n. pag. Web.

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Vidler, Anthony. “What Happened to Ecology? John McHale and the Bucky Fuller Revival.” Architectural Design. 6th ed. N.p.: n.p., 2010. 24-33. Print. We Feed The World. N.p., 2005. Web. Weisman, Alan. The World Without Us. New York: Picador/Thomas Dunne /St. Martin’s, 2008. Print. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt_marsh http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/saltmarsh.html http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/graminoid/disspi/all.html http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/nj3/chap5.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biorock http://www.biorock.org http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oyster http://popularlogistics.com/2011/02/using-oysters-for-remediation-of-rivers/ http://www.charactersofgowanus.com/?p=10 http://www.rebuildbydesign.org http://www.moma.org/explore/inside_out/category/rising-currents http://www.scapestudio.com http://www.thetrustees.org/assets/documents/places-to-visit/Damde-Meadows-restoration-guide.pdf http://dcm2.enr.state.nc.us/wetlands/Coastal_Explorers/cpfmodule/bhi/bhi_marsh2.htm http://www.marbef.org/wiki/salt_marshes http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272771404002173 http://www.saltwatertides.com/dynamic.dir/newyorksites.html http://ny.usharbors.com/new-york-tide-charts http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gowanus_Canal http://www.epa.gov/region2/superfund/npl/gowanus/ http://www.gowanuscanalconservancy.org/ee/

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http://www.gowanusbydesign.com http://www62.homepage.villanova.edu/nathaniel.weston/marsh.html http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v504/n7478/fig_tab/nature12856_F2.html http://www.hrecos.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=91:acidity-drops-after-a-heavyrain&catid=42:hrecos-stories&Itemid=60 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/93GB02524/abstract http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limestone http://flexiblelearning.auckland.ac.nz/rocks_minerals/rocks/limestone.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concrete http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cement http://www.cement.org/cement-concrete-basics/how-cement-is-made

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