design | March 17, 2013

Permeable Waterfronts: Mitchell Joachim Uses Boats To Prevent Storm Surges

Design speaker Mitchell Joachim and his team at Terreform ONE are known for thinking way outside the box when it comes to creating sustainable design solutions. Their newest project, the Urbaneer Resilient Water Infrastructure, continues the tradition. Winner of the AIA New York Award for Urban Design, Joachim's latest eco-architecture proposal focuses on the issue of storm water retention in the Brooklyn waterfront area. Instead of trying to keep water out, Joachim has devised a way to allow the water to slowly flow along the natural water edge without surging. And he's done it by using old military boats.

The overall concept Joachim and his team came up with involves assembling recycled U.S. Naval ships from the National Defense Reserve Fleet [NDRF] along the water's edge—eventually letting sediment, grass, and wildlife grow over the structure. This would restructure the natural coastline and control the water that comes up onto the mainland without completely disrupting the water flow altogether. The "new land" created through this process, known as a "riparian buffer zone," creates a viable solution for a problem that could potentially destroy the city.

In addition to his work with Terreform ONE, Joachim is a TED Fellow and partner at Planetary ONE. His work weaves together biology and architecture in mindbending projects that dramatically re-envision the environments and structures of the future. In his talks, he explores the next big things in sustainable design—presenting a revolutionary way of solving urban and societal issues and improving the way we live.

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education | March 14, 2013