October 15, 2012
It’s like an old saying goes: One man’s trash is another man’s 2,200 acre park.
In 2001, Freshkills was the biggest dump in the world. Hundreds of seagulls circled the detritus of 8 million lives. Slowly decomposing piles of garbage were pushed around by slow-moving bulldozers to make room for more of the same. Larger than Central Park, the Staten Island landfill was established in 1948 by Robert Moses, the self-proclaimed “master builder” of New York City, responsible for much of the city’s controversial infrastructure and urban development policies during the mid-20th century. The landfill, which was only one in a series of New York landfills opened by Moses, was intended to be a temporary solution to New York’s growing need for waste disposal. The dumping would also serve the secondary purpose of preparing the soft marshland for construction – Moses envisioned a massive residential development on the site. That didn’t happen. Instead, Freshkills became the city’s only landfill and, at it’s peak in 1986, the once fertile landscape was receiving more than 29,000 tons of trash per day.
Fast forward to 2012. Freshkills is the biggest park in New York City. Dozens of birds circle the waving grasses, spreading seeds across the hillside. Slowly drifting kites hang in the air above mothers pushing strollers along dirt paths and kayakers paddling through blue waters. It is an amazing synthesis of natural and engineered beauty. During my recent tour of the former landfill it was impossible to imagine that I was walking over 150 million tons of solid waste.
The nearly miraculous transformation is due largely to the efforts of New York City Department of Sanitation and the Department of Parks and Recreation, as well as many other individuals and organizations. It is an absolutely massive feat of design and engineering that is still 30 years from completion. To guide this development, the DPR have a master plan from a multidisciplinary team of experts led by landscape architect James Corner of Field Operations, who was selected to take on the development during an international design competition organized by the City of New York in 2001.
Corner, perhaps best known for his work on the Manhattan High Line, is also responsible for Phase One of Freshkills’s development, which focuses on making the park accessible to the public and installing smaller community parks for the neighborhoods adjacent to Freshkills. Schmul Park, a playground that will serve as a gateway to the North Park, recently celebrated its ribbon cutting, and new sports fields should be opened before the end of the year.
Corner’s plan identifies five main areas in Freshkills, each with distinct offerings, designed and programmed to maximize specific site opportunities and constraints. Planned features include nature preserves, animal habitats, a seed plot, walking and bike paths, picnic areas, comfort stations, event staging areas, and every other amenity you could possibly ask for in a public park. While James Corner may have planned the park, the landscape itself is being “designed” by the birds, squirrels, bees, trees, and breezes that have returned to populate the new landscape since 2001. These volunteers, including 84 species of birds, are helping to hasten the restoration of the wetlands landscape by dropping and planting seeds, pollinating flowers, and just generally doing what comes naturally. A 2007 survey also identified muskrats, rabbits, cats, mice, raccoons and even white-tailed deer, which are believed to have migrated from New Jersey.
But how did the Freshkills landfill become Freshkills landscape? How do you safely cover a garbage dump? My first thought was that they would just pore concrete over the entire thing and call it day. I apparently know nothing about landfills. And probably not that much about concrete. The reality is a lot more complex. An elaborate and somewhat experimental six-layer capping system covers the entire landfill. But if you’re like me –and again, I know nothing about landfills– you may be wondering if the mounds of trash will shrink as they decompose until the entire hillside becomes a grassy plain (or, as I speculated, subterranean concrete caverns).
The answer is no. In fact, the garbage has already compressed as much as it ever will and any future change will be nominal. But to ensure this stability, before the capping was done, the trash heaps were covered with compressed soil and graded into the terraced hills seen today. While the resulting beautiful rolling hills offer incredible views all the way to Manhattan, it’s also kind of disgusting to think 29,000 tons of garbage that will just be there forever. Good job humans. But I digress. The complex multi-phase capping process is perhaps best described with a simple image.
You may be wondering about the plumbing in the above image. The landfill may be stabilized, but it still produces two primary byproducts: methane gas and leachate, a fetid tea brewed by rainwater and garbage. During the renewal of Freshkills, the excess of methane gas has been put to good use by the Department of Sanitation, who harvest the gas from the site to sell to National Grid energy company, earning the city $12 million in annual revenue. The only sign that this site was a former landfill are the methane pumps that periodically emerge from the surface of the ground like some mysterious technological folly. The leachate, however, is more of a problem. Although Moses did have the foresight to locate the landfill in an area with a clay soil that largely prevents any seepage into nearby bodies of water, there is always the risk that some leachate will escape. The new park addresses this risk with the landfill caps, which greatly reduces the amount of leachate produced, but also with pipes and water treatments facilities installed to purify any runoff until it is cleaner than the nearby Arthur Kill. To ensure their system works, 238 groundwater monitoring wells were installed to track water quality.
As the DPR continues the development of Freshkills, they’re dedicated to using state-of-the-art land reclamation techniques, safety monitoring equipment, and alternative energy resources to ensure that the new landscape is safe and sustainable.
Today, Freshkills may look like a wild grassland, but not all the piles of garbage are capped yet, although its almost impossible to tell. Take, for instance, the green hill at the center of the following photograph:
You’re looking at what remains of the rubble transported off Manhattan in the wake of 9/11. Freshkills was reopened after the attacks to help expedite the cleanup and recovery. Today, the rubble just looks like part of the park. The only step that has been taken is to cover the area with clean soil. All the grasses and bushes are natural. It’s amazing and a little unsettlling. When you see the site in person, and you know what you’re looking at, it’s still hard to comprehend what you’re seeing. It’s a strange and visceral experience to see this green hill and then to turn your head and see the Manhattan skyline and the glint of the clearly visible One World Trade Center. It’s hard to reconcile the feelings that so such beauty can come from so much destruction. Currently, there are plans for an earthwork memorial to be installed on the site.
In 2042, Freshkills will be the most expansive park in New York. A symbol of renewal for the entire city. Slowly rotating wind turbines and photovoltaic panels will power the park’s comprehensive network of amenities. The biome, baseball fields, and bike paths concealing the refuse of another generation. A symbol of wasteful excess will have become a symbol of renewal.
If you’re interested in visiting Freshkills, the next public tour takes place on November 3.
September 24, 2012
We’re three weeks into football season in America and since every team I root for has a losing record, I thought it might be a good time to take a break from watching games to look a little closer at the game itself, starting with the field.
The origin of American football is surprisingly complex, but here’s the abridged version: professional football was formally organized in 1920, from loosely affiliated professional organizations that evolved out of college football, which was born out of rugby, which, of course, has its origins in soccer – also known as football to everyone else in the world. While American football bears little resemblance to these earlier games, the fields are vaguely similar large, green rectangles that connote their shared history. However, American football is unique in that the field exists independently of the ball. That is to say, the field does not need to be a perfectly flat or consistent surface in order to accommodate the rolls or bounces of a ball. Football is a battle for territory as much as points, and so the field primarily serves as a way to measure the progress of this battle. And it also cushions tackles. Well, it mostly cushions tackles – but more on that in a minute.
Rule one, section one of the National Football League rulebook addresses all things related to the playing field. So let’s start with page one and get the basics out of the way: The field, end zones included, is a rectangle that measures 360 feet long by 160 feet wide. To put that into perspective, it’s roughly the size of one whole football field. According to official NFL rules, 30-foot deep scoring end zones bookend the field, which is demarcated by horizontal lines every five yards, with two-yard-long numbers indicating yard lines in multiples of 10 placed exactly twelve yards in from the sideline. Their font, surprisingly, isn’t officially standardized. Around the perimeter of the field, space must also be provided for stopping room, in theory giving players an area to slow down so they don’t accidentally charge into something (or someone) once they exit the field of play (unsurprisingly, it doesn’t always work). All lines and field markings must be painted white. The grass must be green. This is the basic field. It remained largely unchanged for the first 10 years of the game.
The first significant changes to the field –and to the game– came in the 1933 when two rows of hash marks were added near the center of the field at one-yard intervals. More than just aesthetic, the hash marks heralded one of professional football’s first deviations from the college game: at the end of each play, the ball would now be placed on the nearest hash mark. Prior to the rule change, all plays began where the ball was declared dead.
But what of the ground below these painted markings? The turf, the dirt, terra ludus. From its inception, football was played on grass. But, depending on the region, different stadiums use different types of grass: Kentucky Blue, Bermuda, Rye, Fescue, and so on. Of course, different types of grass result in different playing fields and practice fields, giving credence to the idea of home-field advantage as local players become accustomed to the barely perceptible variations in the ground beneath their feet.
In the 1960s, as domed fields became popular, natural grass became more incredibly expensive –if not entirely impossible– to maintain, and in 1966 an artificial playing surface was used for the first time in professional football. AstroTurf, a brand name that’s often used as generic description for artificial grass, was initially developed in the 1950s and 60s by the Chemstrand Company, a subsidiary of Monsanto, for use in more durable carpeting. During this same time, the Ford Foundation was interested in improving physical fitness programs in schools and approached Chemsand to create a versatile urban sports surface for schools. In 1964, “Chemgrass” was born. The synthetic fiber surface was re-dubbed “AstroTurf” after making its debut in 1966 in the Houston Astrodome.
Although AstroTurf was designed for both foot traction and cushioning, players claimed that the surface grabbed their cleats, making sharp cuts more difficult and, perhaps more importantly, AstroTurf was hard. Getting tackled on AstroTurf hurt – more than usual. Studies performed in the 1980s and 90s determined that playing on AstroTurf was more likely to lead to injuries. Contemporary turf alleviates many of these problems, and is much more similar to real grass.
Today, most fields using a synthetic playing surface have opted for FieldTurf, a brand first used in 2002. The new turf is made from more grass-like polymer fibers designed for durability and traction – each “row” of fibers matches the average width of a football cleat. These fibers are surrounded with a mix of high-grade rubber and sand particles to provide cushioning for players and make it easier for sharp cuts. Finally, a porous mat binds the turf to the ground and allows for draining. Not only does FieldTurf look better than the original AstroTurf, it’s safer – the rubber in-fill provides much more cushioning and the polymer “grass” doesn’t cause turf burns. Finally, because the grass is artificial it could, technically, be any color. Thankfully, the NFL mandated in 2011 that all playing fields must be green. The so-called “Boise rule” is named for Boise State’s unique blue field – aka “smurf turf.” The rationale doesn’t have anything to do with the tradition of sport, but with the ubiquitous sponsorships that seem to be plastered over every possible surface in a professional sports stadium or arena. League owners wanted to preempt any advanced marketing strategies calling for red Coca-Cola fields or blue Chase bank fields.
Perhaps one of the most visible changes to the game –and one that had the most impact on how the game is played– came with the redesign and relocation of the goal posts. Goal posts originally consisted of two separate vertical posts with a cross bar between them, and were installed on the goal line at the front of the end zone. As you might imagine, this did sometimes lead to players colliding with the goal posts (in Canada, goal posts are still located on the goal line, which still results in some nasty collisions). Today’s model, known for obvious reasons as “the slingshot” goalpost was first proposed in 1967 by Joel Rottman, a retired magazine and newspaper distributor and part-time inventor who came up with idea while eating a steak lunch and noticing the prongs on his fork. As seen in Rottman’s patent, the original design called for 10-ft uprights. The uprights were extended at the request of NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle, who then agreed to allow their use in professional play. Within the year every NFL team was using the new slingshot uprights. In 1974 the goal posts were moved from the goal line, where they had been since the first rule changes in 1933, to the back of the end zone.
These are just a few of the more prominent changes to the game. Of course, the technical aspect of a football fields –drainage, irrigation, and maintenance– must also be considered in the design of a field. And it should be noted that stadium design has changed drastically as well, undoubtedly having an impact on players, as professional sports has become an incredibly profitable industry. Though at first glance, today’s field may not look that different from its predecessors, it didn’t spring into existence as a perfectly designed field of play. Neither did the game. Minor changes effect strategy and impact scoring. It’s taken more than 100 years for the professional football field to evolve to its current state, with every alteration, no matter how small, adding up to profoundly change the game.
August 9, 2012
When the Olympic Games come to a close in a few days, many of the buildings that were designed and constructed specifically for these two weeks of international mayhem will lose their primary function. But the Lee Valley White Water Centre will not.
The artificial whitewater park, which was designed by UK-based Faulknerbrowns Architects, was conceived from the start with the intention of creating a permanent recreational destination on the northern outskirts of London. The center opened well before the games at the end of 2010, and was the only Olympic venue that was open to the public before the official event. With the games done, the facility becomes a playground for amateur rafters and a training location for elite slalom canoe competitors.
The building itself is elegant—a modern clamshell structure encased in wood, with generous glass facades looking out over the floodplain in which the artificial river is inserted. Perhaps more remarkable than the building itself, though, is the design and engineering of the rapids. Recent innovations from Colorado-based S2O Design allow the whitewater to be fully adjustable in intensity and trajectory, enabling the course to be tuned exactly to ICF regulations, and then dialed back for inexperienced daytrippers.
S2O Design was founded by Scott Shipley, a three-time Olympic competitor in the slalom canoe event, and U.S. national champion in 2010. Shipley is also a mechanical engineer, and each of the members of his design firm are, like him, kayaker-engineers. “We grew up as paddlers, we grew up as racers, we grew up as extreme paddlers, we grew up doing freestyle,” Shipley says of his team, “and I think that’s so crucial to the design of whitewater parks…you’re bringing natural whitewater in some cases back to a community that’s industrialized their river, you’re opening that river back up, you’re recreating a riparian zone, you’re recreating natural whitewater, you’re recreating a river system.”
In the case of London, S20 was tasked with creating rapids in an environment quite different from where you’d naturally find them—a flat piece of land with wide, nearly still expanses of water. At the most basic level, the first thing that’s needed is a powerful pumping mechanism to get massive volumes of groundwater moving quickly through the course infrastructure. But speed isn’t the only requirement. Creating a consistently challenging, but naturally varied course requires shaping the movement of the current. For this, Shipley’s company has designed a product called RapidBlocs.
Since the earliest whitewater slalom competitions in the 1930s, most artificial courses have been constructed primarily of concrete, with static forms inserted to mimic boulders, logs, and other features that ordinarily create rapids. S20′s design turns the static features into adjustable plastic modules—a bit like underwater Legos—which can be positioned with a high degree of precision, and moved at no cost, essentially creating a new stretch of river each time. Because competitive sports evolve over time, RapidBlocs also promise whitewater park managers the ability to remain at the leading edge of course design without having to rebuild or invest huge amounts of money to make updates.
In addition to using this design for racing venues, Shipley hopes individual kayakers will take advantage of the innovation as a way to train towards international competition in their own waters. Because RapidBlocs can be configured in small-scale locations to create short courses, Olympic hopefuls could theoretically install a few blocks wherever they paddle, elevating the complexity and difficulty of their training.
A nice short video of the Lee Valley whitewater course, created by Twelve Productions, can be seen below:
June 4, 2012
Every plane that flies over the United States is guided by an elaborate national air traffic control system from the time it pushes off from one gate to the moment it parks at another. The most visible, and most disparaged, element in this system is the local air traffic controller perched in the panoptic towers above airport terminals. While a plane is in sight of an airport these men and women are responsible for almost every aspect of the flight that doesn’t require a pilot’s license. They queue up planes on runways, issue take-off clearance, keep planes at safe distances from on another, and alert pilots to any potentially hazardous weather conditions. Their role is indispensable. Their perches, however, may not be so vital. In fact, if Saab has anything to say about it, the local air traffic controller may soon go the way of the technical support specialist.
Saab may be best known as an automaker but it also has a vast portfolio that includes advanced aircraft and flight support technologies. The Swedish company has designed advanced guidance systems, standard air traffic control (ATC) towers, mobile ATCs, and now it is making a potentially paradigm-shifting leap with the development of a remote air traffic control tower. The r-TWR was designed to “combine a dynamic use of resources, information sharing and safety enhancement features at a preferred and safe location.” In the r-TWR system, a low-cost mast supports a small platform containing fixed HD cameras that capture a full 360-degree view of an airfield, while a separate remote-control camera offers pan, tilt, and zoom capabilities. Additional tower systems include signal flares, climate sensors, radar systems, and automated hazard detection—all in a relatively small and relatively cheap package. The data collected by the experimental digital tower is live-streamed to an off-site facility where an operator sits at the center of a ring of digital screens displaying live feeds of any r-TWR equipped airport. In many ways, these remote operators have access to more information than their local counterparts. Other than the capabilities to zoom-in with the PTZ camera, the remote system is equipped with infra-red vision, image enhancement, and real-time object tracking software that functions like an augmented reality overlay to assist during low visibility conditions. The r-TWR offers more more reality than reality.
Saab suggests that not only will their system reduce costs, but also increase safety—perhaps by relieving some of the stress from what, as Pushing Tin illustrated, is a notorious high intensity job (“to gain control, you have to lose control”). Plus, with its array of recording devices, the towers can capture and replay any aircraft landing or takeoff, which could assist in the training of controllers and the investigation of aircraft accidents.
The most impressive aspect of the r-TWR is the capability for a remote tower controller to manage multiple airports simultaneously. Teams of coordinated controllers could manage large airports from a centralized warehouse facility (think aircraft hangers full of air traffic controllers instead of planes) or a lone operator could oversee a series of small, regional airports from a single office. With the press of a button, the tower controller is virtually transported to any airfield instantly—or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that the airfield is transported to the tower controller. Imagine: a local controller surrounded by the glowing landscape of Washington Dulles International Airport, guiding planes safely to their gates from the comfort of his office in downtown Cleveland. Such virtual realities aren’t new, of course; video game designers and science fiction writers have been exploring the technology for decades. But the effect of completely immersing a viewer in a foreign landscape has an origin that dates back more than 200 years. Specifically, it brings to mind the 18th and 19th century panorama.
The panorama, also sometimes known as the cyclorama, was an elaborate construct designed for a single function very similar to the r-TWR: the transportation of a landscape. Though its invention is contested—some attribute its creation to American engineer Robert Fulton (he of steamboat fame)—the panorama was patented by British painter Robert Barker in 1787. It was comprised of an enormous 360-degree realistic landscape painting installed on the interior surface of a cylindrical building and viewed from a carefully located platform at the center of the structure. The paintings might depict idyllic landscapes of far-off lands, recreations of historic battles or even views of another city from the tower of its cathedral. The experience of the panorama was much more profound than the prosaic exhibition of a large painting. It was truly immersive, evoking visceral reactions from many viewers. The entire experience was painstakingly calculated to create the illusion that the visitor was gazing out onto a foreign land; that they had been transported to another time or place.
The technical challenge of creating the paintings alone was immense, but just as important was the building itself. Indeed, the effort that went into creating a panorama could be compared to today’s Hollywood blockbuster; unfortunately very few still exist. They were incredibly complicated to construct and required teams of talented artists, architects, and engineers. To strengthen the naturalistic effect of the painting and the illusion of depth, the orientation of the painting was matched with the building to ensure that the light matched the shadows within the paintings. Not only that, but it was essential that a uniform level of light disperse across the entire painting, thereby creating the illusion that light is actually emanating from the painted landscape. Views had to be constructed to block any outside imagery that would disrupt the illusion. The resulting effect was viewed by some as a testament to man’s mastery of nature. It’s hard to believe now, but at the time the panorama represented a revolutionary change in perception - nothing less than an early form of virtual realty. It implied a sublime dilation of time and space by bringing nature into the heart of the modern metropolis. It represented a commodification of landscapes and history; cities and countrysides became objects of consumption. The panorama was an architectural optical device, a true building-machine.
The standard ATC tower is also an optic building-machine built to serve one incredibly specific function. And the r-TWR is also an optic building-machine—although one without a building. Instead of immersing its centralized viewer in an idyllic landscape, it immerses him in the heart of an airfield. The scale may be much smaller, but there is an urgency to reading the virtual landscape that makes the experience of the r-TWR even more immersive. Things are further complicated when the operator is surrounded by multiple physical landscapes simultaneously, as well as a landscape of data.
While the use of high resolution live video makes remote ATC a technical possibility in the near future, the technology also introduces an entire set of new problems, the greatest of which may be convincing remote operators to trust Saab’s system and to look upon the virtual landscapes with the same careful gaze they now cast out the window of the local tower while mentally keeping each separate reality distinct. But today we’re adopting technological changes into our daily lives faster than at almost any other point in history. We’re training our perception to engage with virtual environments every time we search Google maps. So virtual ATC may not be so far off. The next time you’re stuck on the runway playing Angry Birds, think about directing your scorn away from the invisible overlords in the tower above the airport, and out toward a guy in an office park in Cleveland.
May 14, 2012
While most people understand climate change in the abstract, few consider the extent to which our existing infrastructure and land use were shaped by—and depend upon—specific climatic conditions that are quickly fading away. “The majority of our water comes from snow,” says architect Peter Arnold, referring to the water supply of the American west, “But that regime is changing. It’s going to come less from snow and more from storms and rain, and we’re not designed as a culture, nor do we have the infrastructure available yet, to fully take advantage of it coming in the form of rain.”
Each year, Arnold and his wife and architectural studio partner, Hadley, take their students away from their homebase at Woodbury University’s Arid Lands Institute in Los Angeles, and travel to northern New Mexico, where they work in a vast outdoor classroom known as the Lower Embudo Valley. In this region, water management technologies and practices are still in use that were developed many centuries ago by the Pueblo Indians, and have roots dating back even further to Moorish culture in Spain.
At the center of the water management tradition here is a ditch, called an acequia—a word that refers not only to the physical trench in the ground, but also to an entire system of community governance that ensures each member of a community has access to adequate water for irrigation and household needs. “You don’t just have a ditch, you belong to an acequia,” explains Hadley Arnold, “which is a small coop of farmers who share the ditch and who govern themselves and their use of water in a collaborative dialogue according to rules that were established about 1000 years ago in Spain. It’s a perfect example of ‘water democracy.’”
The physical feature of the acequia is built by diverting water from a river—in this case the Rio Embudo and the Rio Grande—into a parallel channel that runs with gravity, using no pumps. The acequias slow the flow rate of the water, allowing farmers (and the land) to capture it before it becomes runoff or flood. The ditch can be opened at intermittent points along its length to allow irrigation to reach crops. That distribution process is determined by a commissioner—or mayordomo—who assesses how much water is available on any given day, and permits each farmer a certain period of time during which the acequia can be opened onto their land.
“The acequia is its own entity and it’s a subdivision of local government,” explains Estevan Arellano, a writer, historian, and former mayordomo. Arellano spends much of his time advocating for and teaching about the acequias, working to maintain the ditches themselves and the social structure around them, even as modern life seems to draw people away from land-based livelihoods.
Arellano’s presence in this conversation is impossible to overlook. When I called up landscape architect Kenneth Francis, a former student from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design who had researched the acequias in school, he told me Arellano had been his guide several years ago as he walked the ditches and tried to learn how the model could be adapted for urban water management and landscape design.
Having graduated and established a practice, Surroundings Studio, in Santa Fe, Francis is now taking the lessons he learned while studying the acequias into client projects. Currently, his firm is working with the city of Santa Fe to create what Francis calls “stormwater acequias“—a green infrastructure system that provides conduits for heavy rain to flow off city streets and into the ground, hydrating a corridor of trees that line the urban parkway.
“Right now rainwater gets point-sourced right out into the river,” Francis explains, “It creates a strong erosive condition and also concentrates pollutants in one area. We started to create a wider distribution network where water would infiltrate under the sidewalk and into these linear acequias.” Built using scoria rock—a pumice-like stone with micropores throughout—the urban acequias are able to hold water for long periods of time, hydrating and restoring the riparian zone within the city. Francis’s project involves planting fruit trees along the corridor where orchards existed long ago, reintroducing heritage varieties that will thrive on runoff from impermeable surfaces.
But what happens to all the other aspects of the acequia in this case—the social networks and cooperative governance that form around the waterways? Francis says that park maintenance staff will be in charge of maintaining the stormwater acequias, so the design doesn’t require the community’s hands-on, cooperative management to the extent of its rural counterpart. “Acequias are one of our tools,” he says, “It’s more of a contemporary cultural expression of a system that brings water into an area that doesn’t have it. It’s interpreted not just to water an orchard, but also to take water off the street and help clean it.”
Francis’s application of the traditional water management system in an urban context is one example of what Hadley and Peter Arnold’s students may do with the knowledge they gain during their immersion in the Embudo Valley. This is one of the few places, the Arnolds say, where a young landscape architect or urban planner can see a living example of a low-carbon, low-energy-demand innovation that can adapt (and has) to dry and volatile conditions over time. “The students are asking, How do you use land differently if your snowpack is dwindling and your land isn’t supporting things the same? How do you plant differently to harvest some of the rain? How does the settlement pattern change if you recognize that arroyos aren’t just a flood problem but also a possibility for banking water?”
There’s no question the Arnolds’ students learn from the acequias, but Peter points out that they also contribute to the community when they visit, bringing mapping, modeling, GIS and land use planning skills to bear to support and strengthen the existing systems. ”If there’s going to be a technological approach to climate change mitigation in terms of understanding how to budget our water,” says Peter, “it has to be a fusion of design strategies, leveraging policy and scientific analysis into to make spaces more dynamic, infrastructure more visible, and public space more robust.”