By Noreen Ahmed-Ullah, U of T News
A group of architecture students at the University of Toronto tapped into their creativity, planning and design skills to reimagine new ways southern Florida can tackle climate change-related flooding, rising water levels and salt water entering canals and corroding existing infrastructure.
Their ideas include plans for communities under threat of flooding to relocate behind a giant arc-like sea wall that could double as a civic monument, a network of complex canals built in public rights-of-way with specialized plants to treat water pollutants in agricultural areas, and a series of fresh water catchment basins in a neighbourhood where salt water is intruding into the groundwater aquifers.
On a recent Thursday, the master's students who are specializing in architecture, landscape architecture and urban design at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design presented nine proposals to a team of local planning and architecture experts and officials from Florida's Broward County. The southeast Florida region, just north of Miami, has been struggling with rising water levels – a recent report showed sea levels rising six times faster than average – as well as an onslaught of hurricanes and ongoing development in flood-prone areas.