Is your city flood-proof? More creative approaches needed!

Today’s Artdog Images of Interest focus on the flooding of Manhattan that happened during superstorm Sandy in 2012. It’s part of this month’s ongoing focus on the environment. Let’s take a look at what happens when a city is unprepared.

The Plaza Shops of Manhattan, after Hurricane Sandy in 2012
Construction sites didn’t fare well either. This is the Ground Zero site in 2012.
Commuter nightmare: still-flooded South Ferry subway station in lower Manhattan, a week after Hurricane Sandy.

Recent thinking among some city planners for coastal cities around the world is that the floods will come. Old-style thinking calls for building higher levees and praying a lot (ask New Orleans how that worked out). 

More creative approaches, however, are calling for flood-conscious building–that is, knowing the floods will com, but being ready for them. An article reposted on Arch Daily from ArchitectureBoston calls it taking a layered or tiered planning approach.

Manhattan flooding predictions from the Union of Concerned Scientists. Will they be better prepared next time?

How can cities proactively plan to minimize flood damage? Avoid building in floodplains (What an idea!). Reclaim “buffer” wetlands to mitigate storm surge. Build so lower levels are flood-ready, and place more vulnerable parts on higher levels. Making some parts of the city “floatable.” These are just a few of the more creative and environmentally savvy approaches proactive planners are trying.

IMAGES: Many thanks to Slate.com for the photo of the flooded Plaza Shops, to NBC News for the photo of Ground Zero, to The Atlantic for the flooded subway picture, and to Kat Friedrich for the apocryphal map from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

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jansgephardt

Kansas City-based Jan S. Gephardt is a writer, artist, and teacher. She makes nationally-recognized paper sculpture and writes sf mystery novels about a sapient police dog.

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