Lost and Alternative Nature: Vertical Mapping of Urban Subterrains for Climate Change Mitigation

This seminar aims to come up with mitigation strategies informed by planar and vertical mapping of lost geomorphologies (topography, waterbody, subsoil, groundwater, carbon cycle, etc.) in highly urbanized cities, by designing the disposition of natural and artificial resources, both aboveground and underground, that have mutual impacts. The set of disposition strategies is aimed at becoming a useful tool for designers and decision-makers who make inevitable underground disturbances.

The instructor has already made progress in the planar mapping of eleven cities, including New York, Seoul, Boston, and Paris, so the seminar will start by reviewing these maps and then move on to vertical mapping. Each student will be asked to choose one city for their own investigation to develop a vertical map of the lost natural resources during its urbanization process. The map must be accompanied by individual research on the city’s history of urbanization, geology, and subterrain extraction, that aims to figure out the relationship between “what had been lost” and “what is going on now,” to eventually come up with a set of more profound and holistic strategies for climate change mitigation that look into “the origins of the problems.”

The outcome of this seminar for each student is a set of three vertical maps, at minimum, focused on “process and causes” in contrast to typical “sections.” Each map must dissect one region of the city that represents the consequences of its singular urbanization process. The first map should show the conditions of pre-urbanization. The second map should show the current condition of both grounds and subterranean, including natural and artificial resources. Lastly, the third map should represent the student’s speculative disposition strategy for aboveground and underground natural and artificial resources to mitigate the impact of climate change. To reach these final products, the class will invite diverse experts, including a geologist, a hydrologist, an ecologist, urban historians, and respective city officials, in lecture, discussion, and workshop format.

This seminar is open to students enrolled in Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Urban Design, and Master in Design Studies in the domains of Narratives and Ecologies.
· To understand how the planar and cross-sectional changes brought about by urbanization have affected the climatic challenge currently experienced in densely developed mid-latitude cities.
· To identify similarities and singularities between cities by mapping in planar and sectional dimensions.
· To speculate a set of mitigation strategies by designing disposition of natural/artificial subterranean resources, informed by the planar and sectional mapping.
· To manifest and discuss what the profession of landscape architecture can and should do to tackle climate change through landscape architectural methodology.
· To determine the singularities and commonalities of the cities in terms of the ramification of urban development for ongoing climatic challenges.

Final presentation of the semester’s research and the vertical maps with an accompanying 1000- word-essay: 50%
Midterm review and one (1) intermediate presentation: 35%
Participation and attendance: 15%

This course will meet for the first time on Wednesday, September 7th.