WELCOME

Welcome to the Summer 2016 Green Infrastructure Design/Build Studio.

Here you will find all the work and resources related to this course. Keep up to date on exciting Green Infrastructure-related articles and work coming out of this course. View student assignments on the Student Work page, and learn more about the course and organization on the Class Resources Page.

 

BACKGROUND

Introduction to the Curriculum, Gowanus Canal Conservancy

Students will develop a Gowanus Field Station, a platform for the STEM participants, and for community members more broadly, to engage with the urban ecology and stormwater issues of the Canal. The Field Station will provide a physical location on the waterfront for people to gather where currently there is a lack of public space, integrating green infrastructure and interactive educational resources to “de-code” the canal. With the GCC, we share the conviction that decisions about the future development of the Canal be informed by the public and their understanding of the urban ecology through a spatial, embodied experience.

Working from a broad range of research, the class will explore design based solutions aligned with current and proposed waterfront policies. The designs will meld site with small scale installations, urban planning, and metrics based thinking around water, health, public space, and species diversity. A series of experts will be resources for the course, along with field trips to related built examples of green infrastructure and constructed wetlands. Skills including green infrastructure design and detailing, graphic presentation, metrics analysis, and urban design will be introduced and strengthened through the course deliverables.

We will also be working to define for our class and site what we mean by ‘green infrastructure’, an evocative term that is used more narrowly by the DEP in relation to storm water management, but also more broadly to consider a range of ecosystem services [another sticky term]. How can a green infrastructure proposal be a part of the range of solutions the city pursues in relation to flooding, while addressing other ecological and social pressures on urban space – such as local food production or increased biodiversity? What does a performative landscape look like, are there alternatives to the best management practices, is there room for experimentation / research when the stakes are so high? These are a few of the questions we will be tackling together and teams will be answering with their designs.

The primary focus of this course is to provide students with the opportunity to understand and apply the techniques of design, construction and implementation, gaining valuable experience and knowledge of the practical aspects of green infrastructure. Green infrastructure is more than storm water management and has the potential to create innovative urban spaces that provide ecological services for the city and other species, places for human recreation, education, and public engagement. Teams will research and design a site specific proposal, and while addressing larger neighborhood issues, spanning both a range of spatial and temporal scales.