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

This seminar aims to come up with mitigation strategies informed by the planar and vertical mapping of lost geomorphologies (topography, waterbody, subsoil, groundwater, carbon cycle, etc.) in highly urbanized cities; this is done by designing the disposition of natural and artificial resources, both aboveground and underground, that have mutual impacts. The disposition strategies developed through this seminar are expected to be a valuable tool for designers and decision-makers who inevitably cause underground disturbances.

The instructor will share the planar maps of 13 cities: New York, Seoul, Boston, Paris, Madrid, Vienna, Rome, Antwerp, Shanghai, Tokyo, Berlin, Helsinki, and London. The seminar will begin with a review of these “Lost Nature Maps” and then move on to vertical mapping. Each student will be asked to choose one city for their own investigation and develop a vertical map of the natural resources lost during its urbanization process. The mapping will only be possible if the students conduct thorough individual research on the city’s history of urbanization, geology, and subterranean extraction to understand the relationship between what was lost and what is happening now. The objective of planar mapping and the associated research is to develop a set of profound and holistic strategies for climate change mitigation based on the problem's origins.

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 city region representing the consequences of its singular urbanization process. The first map should show the conditions of pre-urbanization. The second map should show the current state 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.

The course is open to students who went through the core studio sequence of the GSD. The MDes students who would like to enroll must contact the instructor before registration to show their 2D/ 3D visualization proficiency.

· 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 the 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 regarding the ramification of urban development for ongoing climatic challenges.

The 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%

The first day of GSD classes, Tuesday, September 5th, is held as a MONDAY schedule. As this course meets only on Tuesdays, the first meeting of this course will be on Tuesday, September 12th. It will meet regularly thereafter.