ARCH 642L: Landscape Architecture Design

Waterscape: Protecting Oakwood Against Sea Level Rise

The beautiful neighborhood of Oakwood in Venice California is at an increasing risk of extremely destructive and permanent tidal flooding over the next hundred years. Drawing lessons from the historical ecology and hydrology of the region, and seeking inspiration from the historic Venice canals and SLA Architects’ Cloudburst plan for Copenhagen, I propose creating a new network of canals, transitional green canals, and wetland parks throughout the most at risk portions of the community to capture and circulate these changing sea levels. A lower system of curved-bottomed canals will run throughout the lower topographies of the community capturing and circulating sea water with natural tidal movement. A second network of green canals will be connected to these canals by tide gates which can be opened to release water into them during extreme El Nino storm years which would bring much higher storm surges than normal. But during normal, sunny days along the Southern California coast, these green canals with their diverse topographies can act as much needed and desired recreational and community gathering spaces. These canals and green canals will also be connected to a series of tidal and freshwater wetland parks. A parallel stormwater system will separately capture, filter, and recirculate freshwater runoff for reuse in the community.