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FLOODABLE RESILIENCE + REMEMBRANCE in

CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA


exploring

FLOODABLE RESILIENCE + REMEMBRANCE in

CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA


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CONTENTS

WATERMARKS project introduction

04

PROJECT GROUNDING site location and approach

08

CEDAR RAPIDS HISTORY a city on a river

10

FLOOD OF 2008 the event that reshaped the city

14

WATERSHED CHARACTERISTICS why the flood occurred

22

SUPER-EFFICIENT LANDSCAPE Iowa agriculture

24

CURRENT FLOOD RECOVERY PLAN master planning design framework

28

THE BUY-OUT purchasing Time Check homes

32

REMEMBRANCE AND RESILIENCE learning from the past

34

SITE CONDITIONS Time Check by the river

36

THE LEVEE proposal for new levee

38

THE DESIGN a memorial embedded in a greenway

40

LITERATURE

50


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WHEN WATERS RISE, THEY LEAVE THEIR MARK Some paint dark lines on buildings that show how far flood waters reached. People must paint those lines for many reasons, but primarily those lines and other similar gestures serve to develop a collective memory of disaster. Severe disasters must be remembered if people are to learn from them, to safeguard against their recurrence (Pfister 2011). In Cedar Rapids, the words “high water” were painted in red on a family restaurant affected by the flood. When you walk down that street you can re-imagine what that space must have been like, and how people had to deal with such a disaster. At another restaurant just along the river there’s a plaque marking the high water line inside the cafe. Patrons walk under a doorway to see it. These gestures help people to remember, but forgetting can be useful too. When water rose in Cedar Rapids, it left it’s mark on people’s lives and on the physical infrastructure of the city. Yet, when compared to other types of disaster, such as wars, the memory of natural disasters is much shorter lived. The high water marks don’t only serve to remember the floods, but also become “expressions of institutional risk memory,” (Pfister 2011) an understanding of how risky a place is to live, and yet despite this type of remembering of a disaster such as that in 2008 in Cedar Rapids, people still feel determined to live in the flood zone. “Disaster gap” is a term to describe the long period of time between disasters in a region that can lead to a loss of a cultural memory of disaster (Pfister 2011). I want to examine how to preserve the cultural memory of disaster by coupling memorialization and resilience to flooding, particularly in the neighborhood that I grew up in, which is currently in the process of being bought out to be transformed into a greenway as a flood protection measure.

Flood level marked on Flamingo family restaurant on Ellis Blvd, Cedar Rapids. Photo by Amber Hill.

WATERMARKS


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FORGET Examination of how to preserve the cultural memory of disaster by coupling memorialization and resilience to flooding.


TABLE FLOODS 2008 Flood in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Gazette 2008.


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APPROACH FLOODABLE addresses the issues of urban river flooding and neighborhood erasure with a design that intersects a memorial of a lost neighborhood with the interpretation of the daily and extreme fluctuations of the Cedar River. The premise of the design is that remembrance is necessary in order to build resilience; we learn by remembering and communities are more likely to create adaptive strategies and be prepared for future flooding if they are able to visually register the risk of flooding. The subtext of the design also addresses the socio-economic issues of low-income communities being more likely to be affected by both flood disasters and city re-shaping flood protection plans. Understanding the larger scale issues that contribute to flooding in Cedar Rapids, Iowa informs the site design in the Time Check Neighborhood. The analysis portion examines land use throughout the state and the implications for flooding, watershed characteristics, city flood policy and response to the 2008 flood, as well as an understanding of how flooding impacts the Time Check neighborhood community.

Maps compiled with GIS data. See Inventory.

PROJECT GROUNDING


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People have always been drawn to rivers. They support life by supplying water and are economic

RIVER resources. The use of waterways for transportation and trade routes has spurred people to build homes along them where they could be close to food and supplies, but settlement along rivers is also a dangerous endeavor; rivers change. They move around in the landscape, carving out new locations for their flow. They rise and fall annually, swelling with the influx of snow melt and spring rains and subsiding as the dry summer landscape soaks up moisture. Sometimes that swelling floods where people have settled, which is what has continuously happened in Cedar Rapids since early development. The city needed the river to grow economically, however dealing with the consequences of such proximity to a dynamic river is a challenge of balancing ecological, economic, and cultural interests.


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IOWA SAW INHABITANTS THOUSANDS OF years ago when nomadic hunters followed rivers and game across Iowa. The first exploration of Iowa by Europeans was led by the French explorers who arrived to Iowa via the Mississippi River in 1673 and claimed the land for France. In 1803, Iowa became part of the United States through the Louisiana Purchase. Along the Cedar River, Native American tribes, primarily the Sac and Fox, hunted and trapped long before the arrival of the first permanent European settler. Osgood Shepherd set up a cabin on the Cedar River’s east side near what is now downtown Cedar Rapids. The city was named after the rapids on the Cedar River and was incorporated in 1849 (IowaDOT). The river’s name is derived from the Red Cedar trees that grew along the banks. Many people from all over the world were drawn to Iowa and to Cedar Rapids for farming and other job opportunities. The Cedar River was an importanat commercial waterway in the mid 1800’s. In 1871, the nation’s largest meat-packing company, Sinclair Company, was established along the Cedar River. In the same era, some other major local industries established along the river: Cherry-Burrell, a dairy producer, and the world’s largest cereal mill, Quaker Oats. These early investments along the river and the determination of the city to obtain a railroad connection in the 1880s helped define Cedar Rapids as a major Midwest Industrial center (Carl and Mary Koehler History Center). Today the major industries along the river are Penford, Cargill and Pepsi Co Quaker Oats, however the river itself is not used for commercial navigation. The top manufacturers in the city are Quaker Oats, Amana Refrigeration Products, General Mills and Heinz Compnay. The largest employer is Rockwell Collins.

Historical image sources: Hellocedarrapids.com, lookinginatiowa.com

CITY + RIVER HISTORY


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Early investments along the river and the determination of the city to obtain a railroad connection in the 1880s helped define Cedar Rapids as a major Midwest Industrial center, however, as a river city, Cedar Rapids has had to deal with flooding since early settlement.


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FLOOD OF 2008

• • • • •

Houses damaged: 5,238 (parcels: 5,390) Businesses damaged: 940 (parcels: 1,049) Non-profits/faith organizations damaged: 77 City blocks affected: 1,300 (10 square miles) River levels: Crest 31.12 feet June 13, 2008

2008 WAS KNOWN AS THE YEAR OF THE FLOOD in Cedar Rapids. The 2008 flood was federally declared a national disaster, affecting most of the rivers in Eastern Iowa and continuing to the Upper Mississippi River. The cultural and economic losses of the flood were great and the recovery process is an expensive endeavor that requires federal assistance. A host of civically important buildings were damaged, including the County and federal courthouses. Many of the homes along the floodplain had to be demolished due to damage from water reaching the first floors of the houses and causing floor joists to fail with some floors sagging into basements. Time Check neighborhood, which was particularly hard hit, has had hundreds of homes since demolished. In addition to the loss of structures, the city endured tremendous disruption to water supplies and utilities. Many jobs were lost due to the flood as well, estimated to be in the 6,000 – 7,000 range. Many small businesses were essentially wiped out, especially in Czech Village. Quaker Oats is a major employer in the area and they fortunately did not see much damage. The waters finally receded greatly by June 18. Recovery efforts began immediately and are ongoing (Iowa Flood of 2008). The city currently has a master plan for flood recovery that is anticipated to take up to ten years to implement if they receive funding from state sources, which they are currently applying for.

Iconic Cedar Rapids boat houses piled up at the 1st Avenue railroad bridge. Image source: MSNBCmedia


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Quaker Oats in Cedar Rapids and fields flooded in 2008. Images from Marc Saegesser.


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Homes and businesses both in the city proper and the surrounding area were affected by the 2008 flood.


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Images from 2008 flood. Sources: Cedar Rapids Gazette, lookinginatiowa.com, Flickr


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710.4’

ACTION STAGE

718.4’

water affects the lowest residences in Palo and reaches the bottom of the railroad bridge along 8th Ave

726.4’

711.4’

water affects Osborn Park in Cedar Rapids

712.4’

713.4’

FLOOD STAGE water affects the Palow water treatment plant

water affects the lowest sections of Palo

water reaches the bottom of the Blairs ferry Road bridge and the railroad bridge near 1st St NW

2013 summer flood level water reaches the bottom of 3rd Ave bridge and affects several homes along 1st St NW

720.4’

721.4’

727.4’

728.4’

729.4’

719.4’

water affects Mercy Hospital


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714.4’

715.4’

water affects the lowest sections of Old River Road SW

MODERATE FLOOD STAGE water affects the lowest sections of C St SW near Prairie Creek

722.4’

723.4’

water reaches the bottom of the 1st Ave bridge

water reaches the top of the 1st street SW levee

2008 FLOOD 730.4’

MAJOR FLOOD STAGE

716.4’

water affects lowest sections of Ellis Road NW near the Ellis Pool

100 YR FLOOD 724.4’

water reaches the top of the 1st Ave bridge

717.4’

water affects Edgewood Road NW between Ellis Rd NW and the river

725.4’

FLOOD STAGES 731.1’

Flood stage data from Cedar River, Cedar Rapids, IA Flood Risk Management Project (2010)


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LARGER CONTEXTUAL ISSUES PLAY A LARGE role in the flooding of Cedar Rapids, many of these issues are beyond the control of a single municiple entity. Geographically, Cedar Rapids sits at the bottom of the Middle Cedar subwatershed and receives water from the entire upland watershed. Upstream characteristics affect the flood levels in the city. Most of Iowa is currently covered by row crops, 90% of the entire state is used for agricultural purposes. This type of landscape is not conducive to absorbing water and as a whole can also contribute to an increased volume of flood waters and to the “flashiness” of floods.

WATERSHED CHARACTERISTICS

MIDDLE CEDAR WATERSHED

The weather patterns that contributed to the flood of 2008 included the fact that the 2007-2008 winter was particularly severe, with heavy snow cover persisting in many areas until early spring rains (Iowa Flood of 2008). The city then experienced heavy rain in April, which saturated the soils, leaving no place for water to go but immediately to the lakes and the river. Climate change also plays a role in increased flooding as the frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation increases (EPA, 2013) and the frequency of floods under all scenarios of climate change increases (Jongman, 2013) cities on rivers need to prepare for bigger, more costly floods. Issues such as these need to be addressed at the watershed level to have any significant impact on a city’s response to flooding. A new paradigm of river management/relationship that accounts for these bigger flood events needs to be envisioned.

Hillshade, land cover and annual precipitation data from USGS.gov.

Cedar Rapids sits at the bottom of the Middle Cedar Watershed and receives water from the entire upstream area. Upstream development patterns can affect flooding in the city.


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LAND COVER

Over 90% of the land cover in Iowa is dedicated to row crops, mostly corn and soy.

ANNUAL PRECIPITATION

open water wetlands forest grassland alfalfa/hay corn soybeans developed

Precipitation in Iowa occurs mostly as rain, occurring largly during thunderstorms from April to September. Large scale flooding occurs as a result of rapid snowmelt or extended periods of thunderstorms.

25 in/yr 27 in/yr 29 in/yr 31 in/yr 33 in/yr 35 in/yr 37 in/yr


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INDUSTRIAL AGRICULTURE CREATES A landscape that is incredibly efficient at moving water from the soil to a receiving body of water. Development patterns upland contribute to the increase of runoff, which impacts both the quantity and quality of the river’s waters within the city of Cedar Rapids. In Iowa, almost 40% of the agricultural fields are tiled which allows for water to flow more quickly from the fields and into the waterways (Iowa Flood of 2008) which contributes to extensive flooding. As can be observed in the map to the right, most of the tiled landscape is in the north central portion of the state, around Cedar Rapids, the primary way to drain soils is by drainage ditches, and the use of existing creeks. Compared to how the tall grass prairies of Iowa’s heritage functioned, the agricultural landscape is super efficient at moving water through the landscape. The prairie system essentially acts as a sponge that retains water and slowly releases it at steady rates through the subsoil. The deep roots of the prairie plants direct water downward, countering the tendency to move laterally (Mutel 2008). Row crops, which are generally planted as monocultures, have shorter, less complex root systems and strip the soil of nutrients. Generally corn and soy only cover the ground during the growing season, leaving hard dry soil for water to flow off of the rest of the year. Protection against future flooding requires integration of addressing larger scale issues that could help reintroduce hydrologic function to the state and make each city more resilient to flooding. Increasing programs like the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) to focus on acquiring space that could be used flexibly as both farmland and river floodplain could begin to address this issue.

Tillage data map from NRGS. Aerial image from Google maps.

SUPER EFFICIENT LANDSCAPE

AGRICULTURAL TILE DRAINAGE


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Existing river systems can be seen cutting through the street grid layout derived from the public land survey system (PLSS). Farmer’s use a series of ditches and pipes or drain tilage in cunjunction with these existing creeks and rivers to drain their land.


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Cedar Rapids has developed and grown along the river. There are many points in which the city touches the river and people use these spaces mostly for recreation and large public events.

RIVER + CITY


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ELLIS PARK

CEDAR RIVER

TIME CHECK NEIGHBORHOOD QUAKER OATS

TIME CHECK ERASURE

DOWNTOWN 5 IN 1 DAM

OAK HILL/JACKSON NEIGHBORHOOD

MAY’S ISLAND

NEW BOHEMIA

TAYLOR NEIGHBORHOOD

CARGILL PENFORD

Many homes in the Time Check neighborhood were destroyed after the flood. The respond towithin both Dam, levees and flooddesign walls in the must Cedar River watershed and Cedar Rapids. Data fromreal xyz. risk of flooding and the sociothe political issues of neighborhood erasure.

CZECH VILLAGE


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ELLIS PARK

CEDAR RIVER

CURRENT FLOOD RECOVERY PLAN

TIME CHECK NEIGHBORHOOD

100 YEAR 500 YEAR

QUAKER OATS

DOWNTOWN 5 IN 1 DAM

OAK HILL/JACKSON NEIGHBORHOOD

MAY’S ISLAND

NEW BOHEMIA

TAYLOR NEIGHBORHOOD

THE CITY’S CURRENT APPROVED FLOOD Recovery Framework Plan provides protection for both sides of the river to the 2008 flood levels of 24’, with an additional 3’ for free-board. The framework plan combines two strategies explored during the recovery process, one was to build flood walls at the river’s edge all along the city, the other to have a more naturalized floodplain and have levees and walls considerably offset from the river’s edge. The approved plan as shown in the images to the left has levees offset slightly from the river’s edge as well as increased flood wall heights directly at the water’s edge.

CARGILL

The city has not yet made headway on permanent flood structures, however 3 private businesses have constructed their own flood infrastructure. Quaker Oats has built a small segment of flood wall directly surrounding the company which protects to the 100-yr flood level. Cargill and Penford have created temporary earthen levees that will remain until permanent flood walls are constructed. The city has reinforced the Time Check Levee.

PENFORD

2008

CZECH VILLAGE

ELLIS PARK

CEDAR RIVER

LEVEE SETBACK

3.1 MILES OF EAST SIDE FLOODWALLS AND LEVEES TIME CHECK NEIGHBORHOOD QUAKER OATS

ORIGINAL/EXISTING LEVEE

DOWNTOWN 5 IN 1 DAM

OAK HILL/JACKSON NEIGHBORHOOD

MAY’S ISLAND

NEW BOHEMIA

TAYLOR NEIGHBORHOOD

CARGILL PENFORD

2.5 MILES OF WEST SIDE FLOODWALLS AND LEVEES CZECH VILLAGE

Completion of implementation of the project depends on receiving state funding for both sides of the river. In city documentation there is also acknowledgment of a need for regional strategies that address upstream issues related to flooding.


FLOODPLAIN RETREAT page_30


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Letting the river come into the floodplain, even slightly, as the current plan envisions, has social and political implications. People currently live in that neighborhood and there are a total of five homes that have decided to opt out of the voluntary acquisition process. In this case, the resilience of individuals and the community is at odds with the resilience of the city.


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CEDAR RAPIDS HAS INITIATED PURCHASING properties in the floodplain. The city has implemented a voluntary property acquisition program funded by two Federal sources. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides funding through the Comunity Development Block Grant (CDBG) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides funding through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). The FEMA HMGP funds will be used to create the Time Check Greenway and the HUD CDBG funds will be used to acquire properties in the construction zone that will be revitalized. In addition to federal funding, the city appoved a local-option sales tax to aid in acquision and rehabilitation of flooddamaged properties (USACE 2011). Currently their are five homes that are refusing the buyout option. When I met with a woman who lives in the last remaining home along the river road (1st St,) she stated that most of the people who were bought out struggled to make the move and did not receive adequate compensation for their homes. She stated that the city offered her $14,000 to move from the home that she currently owns. She stated that her home has been in that location for over a hundred years, before the levee was in place. She told a story of a neighbor who said he used to fish from his porch when flood waters would rise before the levee existed. The five homes that remain have bonded through their experience and meet weekly to have cook-outs and sometimes imagine what their neighborhood could look like. They have ideas for a memorial, the re-use of a house to become a Dairy-Queen, a maze, and the homeowner even said she would rather see her house become a museum than be torn down.

GIS data varies. See Inventory.

THE BUY OUT

As of 2010, 1,211 properties participated in the HUD buyout program and 110 refused. 117 properties participated in the FEMA program and 20 refused. As of today, there are a total of 5 homes that are refusing the buy-out option.


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ELLIS PARK

CEDAR RIVER

VOLUNTARY BUY-OUT PROPERTY

TIME CHECK NEIGHBORHOOD QUAKER OATS

DOWNTOWN 5 IN 1 DAM

OAK HILL/JACKSON NEIGHBORHOOD

MAY’S ISLAND

NEW BOHEMIA

TAYLOR NEIGHBORHOOD

CARGILL PENFORD

CZECH VILLAGE


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RESILIENCE AND REMEMBRANCE ARE BOTH necessary elements in the process of recovering and being able to prepare for disasters like flooding. The theory of urban resilience to flooding requires that people see flooding in order to learn from it. In the current situation, floods only enter into people’s lives in a meaningful way when they are disasters. Not allowing flooding to occur at small and manageable scales frequently prevents people from being able to develop resiliency mechanisms (Liao 2012). If flooding occurs more frequently, people are more likely to anticipate floods and develop adaptive strategies. Severe disasters need to be remembered collectively in order to prevent the impact when they reoccur (Pfister 2011). Coupling the concepts of resilience and remembrance, I want to explore how the city proposed Time Check Greenway can become a place that is adaptive to flooding at multiple stages while serving as a memorial to the lives that were destroyed and a commemoration of the resilient community spirit to persist despite the fact that the river makes equal claim to their home.

Images of Flamingo restaurant adapted from Flickr.

CONCEPTS FOR REMEMBRANCE


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Part of human resilience is to rebuild after a flood. Part of that process may be facilitated by forgetting, however small gestures are made to assist in developing a collective memory of disaster. Watermarks become visual reminders, but they become less noticeable as time passes and it becomes easier to forget that disasters could happen, and harder to adapt.


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ELLIS PARK

CEDAR RIVER

TIME CHECK GREENWAY

TIME CHECK GREENWAY SITE The site is focused on the Time Check neighborhood segment of the larger city greenway. This is the only portion of the greenway that is completely within a residential area and I’m proposing to have less active programming here and the more active programming in the other segments.

SITE CONDITIONS

QUAKER OATS

TIME CHECK NEIGHBORHOOD

DOWNTOWN 5 IN 1 DAM

OAK HILL/JACKSON NEIGHBORHOOD

MAY’S ISLAND

NEW BOHEMIA

TAYLOR NEIGHBORHOOD

CARGILL PENFORD

CZECH VILLAGE

SITE AREA

PENN AVENUE

LAST HOUSE BY RIVER

QUAKER OATS

EXISTING LEVEE

RR BRIDGE HUBBARD ICE


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HUBBARD ICE QUAKER OATS

EXISTING RIVER’S EDGE + USACE LEVEE WINTER/FALL TYP. LEVEL (703’)

EXISTING LEVEE

SUMMER/SPRING TYP. LEVEL (707’)

LAST HOUSE BY RIVER

100 YEAR FLOOD (724.4’)

2008 FLOOD (731.12’)

PENN AVENUE


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RE-ALLIGNING THE LEVEE The site design is determined by the zones in which different funding was used to purchase property. The initial levee allignment proposed during the master planning phase by the US Army Corps of Engineers was adjusted to allow more people to stay in the neighborhood and the form of the levee was designed to be more easily traversed.

THE LEVEE


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FLOODABLE TIME CHECK

3 3

As a neighborhood that was purchased through a voluntary buy-out program, most of the Time Check neighborhood has been erased. The potential of a proposed levee and greenway system to completely wipe out the memory of the neighborhood is counteracted with a design that honors the memory of the lost neighborhood in spatial form through the assertion of the street grid over the levee and throughout the site, the monuments to homes calling out the tenuous relationship to the river, and the program design which treats the space as the neighborhood front yard. The space is also designed to mark the historic and future flood events to call attention to the risk of living next to a river in hopes that the levee will not create a false sense of security, but rather create vigilance in the community in response to and preparation for flooding. The site is interspersed with moments that bring people in direct interaction with the river and with the stories of people who used to live here.

3

2

1

1

PROGRAM 1 New Community Development 2 Floodplain Raised Boardwalks 3 Fishing Piers 4 River House 5 Sunflower Foundations Garden 6 Houses in the Hills 7 Inundation Pier 8 Boardwalk 9 Undulating Bridge 10 River Beach 11 Levee + Path 12 Datum Wall 13 Time Check Gardens 14 Open Lawn 15 Promenade

1

TIME CHECK NEIGHBORHOOD


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SEASONAL HIGH

25 YEAR FLOOD

4

50 YEAR FLOOD

100 YEAR FLOOD

500 YEAR FLOOD

CEDAR RIVER

5 7 6

8

9 10

11

12

14 13

HUBBARD ICE COMPLEX


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BUILDINGS PRE-FLOOD

BUILDINGS POST-FLOOD

CITY OWNED PROPERTY

PROPOSED NEW DEVELOPMENT

REGULATORY ZONES

DESIGN FLOOD PERFORMANCE


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H - EXISTING HOMES AT ELLIS BOULEVARD AND PENN AVENUE

G - PROPOSED HOMES ON LEVEE TO THE FLOODPLAIN EDGE AND SIDEWALK PIERS

F - EXISTING HOME TO THE FLOODPLAIN EDGE

E - HOUSES MEMORIAL

D - INUNDATION PIER

C - PRAIRIE WILDFLOWERS TO THE BEACH

B - COMMUNITY GARDEN , OPEN LAWN, BEACH

A - COMMUNITY GARDEN, OPEN LAWN, PROMENADE 0’

50’

100’

200’

0’

25’

50’

100’


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NEIGHBORHOOD + RIVER

SIDEWALK FISHING PIER AND DISINTEGRATING STREET

RIVER CUT

PROGRAM INTENSITY

FLOWING PATHS

STREETS + SIDEWALKS

EXISTING STREET GRID

SIDEWALK HIGH / STREET LOW

0’

50’

100’

FISHING PIER SIDEWALK

0’

10’

20’


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FOUNDATIONS IN THE HILLS

UNDULATING BRIDGE

UNDULATING BRIDGE - FLOOD CONDITIONS

RIVER RISING, COMMUNITY REVEALED The Houses in the Hills are foundations intersecting landform that are treated with a moisture retardant that reveals after a rain, the marks and stories of Time Check residents, creating an ephemeral experience and alluding to the fate of these homes after the flood. In the southern portion of the park the streets which are now walkways fade into the river as the sidewalks transition to boardwalks, offering an experience through the floodplain and a varied experience during flood events. The sidewalks terminate as fishing piers that jut out into the river, a symbol of the tension between community and the river on this site. Throughout the central portion of the site is a path that undulates and takes the visitor over and perpendicular to the remaining streets below, calling them out as sculptural elements to read as an expression of neighborhood presence and remembrance. When the site floods (to 724.5’) these streets are powerfully revealed as a symbol of the strength of community that is forged during a flood. Those streets flood at 725.5’ and the Undulating Bridge offers an experience over the flooded site.

UNDULATING BRIDGE OVER REMNANT STREET

UNDULATING BRIDGE TYP RIVER 715.5’

DATUM WALL

REMNANT STREET


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RIVER HOUSE MONUMENT

FOUNDATIONS MEMORIAL

INUNDATION PIER


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MONUMENTALIZATION

FLOOD BASEMENT RIVER GAGE

The subtext of the design addresses the socio-economic issues of low-income communities being more likely to be affected by both flood disasters and city re-shaping flood protection plans. The foundations of homes are reconstructed and erected as monuments to honor the neighborhood that was erased in order to protect the city from flooding. The house of the last person living by the river becomes a concrete structure representing the tenacity of the human spirit in the face of unprecedented disaster. The Basement Flood Gage brings a visitor directly in confrontation with the risk associated with living in proximity to a river and register the constant change of the levels. The Inundation Pier brings the visitor face to face with the surface of the water and from time to time when the water spills it will dramatically mark the seasonal flux of the river. FLOOD BASEMENT RIVER GAGE

25 YR FLOOD 721.5’ TYP RIVER 715.5’

0’

10’

20’

FOUNDATIONS + PIER FLOOD HOUSE

HOUSES IN THE HILLS

BASEMENT FLOOD GAGE

INUNDATION PIER


page_48 FOUNDATIONS + SUNFLOWERS GARDEN

FOUNDATIONS + SUNFLOWERS GARDEN

FLOOD TOLERANT NATIVE SPECIES

Switchgrass

Little bluestem

Buttery milkweed

Cardinal flower

Black-eyed susan

New England aster

Sunflowers

Rough blazing star

Golden alexander

Wild bergomot

Paper birch

Black oak

Bur oak

Honey locust

Cottonwood

Balsam poplar

Black willow

Bigtooth aspen

Swamp white oak

Sycamore

Sandbar willow

Silver maple

PRAIRIE PLANTS

Indiangrass

UPLAND TREES BOTTOM-LAND TREES

COMMUNITY GARDEN

Prairie dropseed


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FLOOD CHRONICLE WALL

REGROWTH The Time Check neighborhood has been nearly wiped out and is still in the process of rebuilding. The Time Check Promenade will be constructed from the reclaimed wood from the remaining structures on the site as well as with the concrete collected from the demolition of some streets. The space will offer a community garden on top of the levee, an open lawn and riverfront beach, as well as pathways through native Iowa wildflower prairie gardens and the floodplain forest with fishing piers. The Sunflower Foundations Garden recalls the story of a burst of unexpected sunflowers that emerged from the scattering of bird-feeders as the flood waters receded. The greenway as a whole balances the remembrance of the disaster and hope for the future.

WALL CONDITION HIGH AND LOW EXPERIENCE


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LITERATURE

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functions. Urban Ecosystems 7 (3):241-265.

Bennett, E. M., G. S., Cumming, and G. D. Peterson. 2005. A system model approach to determining resilience surrogates for case studies. Ecosystems 8:945-957. Berkes, F. 2007. Understanding uncertainty and reducing vulnerability:lessons

from resilience thinking. Natural Hazards 41(2):283-295.

Brierley, Gary J, Kirstie A Fryirs, and Society for Ecological Restoration International. 2008. River Futures an Integrative Scientific Approach to River Repair. Washington [D.C.]: Island Press. Carl and Mary Koehler History Center. Cedar Rapids History. Web. 11 March

2013. http://www.city-data.com/us-cities/The-Midwest/Cedar-

Rapids-History.html Carpenter, S. R., B. Walker, J. M. Anderies, and N. Abel. 2001. From metaphor

to measurement: resilience of what to what? Ecosystems 4 (8):765- 781.

City of Cedar Rapids. Cedar Rapids, IA Framework for Redevelopment and Reinvestment. Web. 11 March 2013. City of Cedar Rapids. Flood Protection: Both Sides of the River. Web. 11

March 2013. http://www.cedar-rapids.org/city-news/flood-recovery- progress/ floodmanagementsystem/Pages/default.aspx

City of Cedar Rapids. 2013. Flood Response Manual. Cedar Rapids Public Works Department. Revised February 2013. Cronon, William. 1995. Uncommon Ground: Toward Reinventing Nature. New

York: W.W. Norton & Co.


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ClimateWire. 2012. “How the Dutch Make ‘Room for the River’ by

Redesigning Cities.” Scientific American. January 20. Folke, C. 2006. Resilience: the emergence of a perspective for social–

Mutel, Cornelia Fleischer. 2008. The Emerald Horizon the History of Nature in Iowa. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press.

National Weather Service, NOAA’s National Weather. 2013. “NOAA’s National Weather Service, Hydrologic Information Center.”

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Amber Hill Master of Landscape Architecture Candidate University of Minnesota College of Design 2014

Profile for Matthew Tucker

2014_UMN MLA Capstone- Hill: FLOODABLE, Cedar Rapids, IA  

2014 UMN MLA Capstone Project 2014 Capstone Award Winner Amber Hill MLA 2014

2014_UMN MLA Capstone- Hill: FLOODABLE, Cedar Rapids, IA  

2014 UMN MLA Capstone Project 2014 Capstone Award Winner Amber Hill MLA 2014

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