Living Landforms

by Ziwei Zhang (MLA ’17)

As sea levels rise, Miami must adopt new urban models that embrace the incoming waters. In the coming decades, new construction of seawalls, breakwaters, and other coastal defense systems must be coupled with green infrastructure to maximize resilience and local ecological assets.

This project integrates landform as a new kind of infrastructure that simultaneously informs the city’s future urban block structure. New landforms shaped by flow dynamics and habitat formation provide a landscape structure to avert seawater, absorb tidal water, and hold stormwater. Further inland, a combination of sunken inner courtyards, elevated roads, and elevated buildings create a new drainage system that augments existing engineered solutions and streamlines public to private thresholds.