Rising Currents
September 21, 2010  |  Rising Currents
Rising Currents: Transformation through Creative Collaboration

Architecture Research Office and dlandstudio's New Urban Ground transforms Lower Manhattan with an infrastructural ecology. Courtesy Architecture Research Office and dlandstudio

At one time, climate change could be thought of as a distant threat that could be diffused through prompt collective action. That time is past. Greenhouse gas emissions will not be reduced quickly enough to prevent significant changes to the composition of our atmosphere. Even as we hope for the best, we must prepare for the unpleasant eventualities that scientists expect will arise.

Rising Currents brings home the abstract notion of “global change” by vividly depicting the impacts of sea level rise on the New York Harbor Estuary, including Lower Manhattan, New Jersey, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. But the exhibit presents this admittedly undesirable outcome as both a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge of rising sea levels calls not only for preservation but for transformation. To meet our needs, human beings have always reshaped the landscape, and we can and will continue to do so. The question is whether we will continue to work against the natural environment, or whether we will begin to better appreciate and utilize natural capital in a more sustainable manner.

At the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), our mission is to protect human health and the environment, and taking action on climate change is a top priority. But the task of mitigating and adapting to climate change is far bigger than any one agency. As Rising Currents illustrates, this undertaking will cross jurisdictional boundaries throughout the New York Harbor and involve contributions from across our society in ways that transcend conventional thinking. We welcome creative solutions to this far-reaching problem and look forward to working together with all those who strive to create a better future.


u a so beatiful

I love a green ecology but really this is the ugly thing ever it look like a swamp where gators and snkae might live

Very inspiring – rarely find you so many break-through ideas packed in so little space. So overall tone is optimism: we can engage with a potentially threatening in a constructive way, even transform the threat into heightened quality of life!

I was struck by the fact that none of the five groups considered the possibility, or need, of giving up currently used and built-up areas. Was it too sensitive, politically, to consider re-lcoation?

I am asking, because I expect in many coastal cities re-location will have to be part of the solution – painful as it may be.

Again, congratulations. Konrad v Ritter

I agree with Konrad an amazing amout if creative ideas packed into one small space.
Very inspiring because maybe we humans have another chance to make this place habitable — for all.

What about just building two huge dams to protrct New York instead of giving in to rising sea levels?

Thank you. This is beautiful design and necessary care of our cities health. Wonderful!

Amazing, great work! Loved it. Keep up the good work.

very noice

i think this exhibit is remarkable. it gave me chills and i am glad that i now know a little more about whats going on in the world and the future. you learn something new everyday (:

Thank you. But when considering new infrastructure in for heat, water and power, please America see to a long term solution and` don’t build a system that rely on gas for heating up homes. Please consider district heating instead so the heat out of power production also can heat up homes and offices on Manhattan.

This exhibit shows great architechual design about out future, in water. It was a pretty remarkable design. I hope this exhibit will return to the museum.

This exhibit is very interesting and presents many intriguing and realistic ideas about the future of New York. Design will save the world if anything does!!

What a great exhibit! I really learned a lot. I hope we can stem the tide!

Thank you for this exhibit and information. Now I know what is happening to the waters in NYC. We must go “Green” and we must start to take actions so that we prevent this event from happening. We must plant more trees, stop using plastics and “Recycle”.

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