Work details
Application Number 0000701591
Author Hansen, Maggie E, United States
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Work title: Re-Urbanizing with Water: A Hydrological Framework for Retrofitting East Cleveland (0000701591)

Above ground, neighborhood character creates borders and divisions. But below the surface, soil, plant roots and bedrock create a specific regional hydrology. This project examines how uncovering the specific hydrology of the ground can re-urbanizie depopulated cities. Individual lots evolve with the layered functionality of river systems, an aggregating, lot-scale system of water management develops. This decentralized infrastructure layers social and economic function with water filtration, collection and reuse to create vibrant spaces for occupied and unoccupied lots. This system capitalizes on the power of the existing community to reinvest in itself, and is in contrast to typical bureaucratic or commercial redevelopment strategies. East Cleveland is a first ring suburb that has suffered from extended periods of depopulation and disinvestment as a result of suburbanization, inner city crime and reinvestment, and the recent foreclosure crisis. It is a stark example of post-industrial USA communities. Within this bottom up strategy for reoccupation, each lot is responsible for managing stormwater, encouraging the development of new technologies, and revealing the specific ecology of the regions riparian systems. Vacant lots are reborn as both hydrological and social spaces. New commerce incorporates available water into food and fuel production. Residential lots celebrate seasonal water in dynamic, connected yard spaces. These new surface systems of water management value the existing community and allows a new infrastructure to aggregate around it, through maintenance regimes. This network contributes to improved conditions for residents and their ecological habitat. Gardens and street canopy provide shade and filter air pollutants, while collected stormwater lessens the strain on outdated sewer systems (currently contributing to pollution in Lake Erie). By viewing our residences as components of hydrological infrastructure, we reconnect our infrastructure with the ecological systems of the ground.