Giovanni Santamaria, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of architecture, served on the "waterfront" team, one of five multidisciplinary groups to study and propose design solutions as part of the months-long Post-Sandy Initiative, "Building Better, Building Smarter – Opportunities for Design and Development," organized by the American Institute of Architecture (AIA) New York Chapter. Santamaria's team worked with groups specializing in transportation and infrastructure, housing, critical and commercial buildings, and adaptation and advocacy, to discuss and design possible scenarios for the future of New York communities in relation to the dramatic effects of climate change and their consequences for waterfront areas. A series of experts, designers, and decision-makers shared their experiences with participants.
The waterfront team considered the regional and metropolitan scales of water issues, such as overflooding due to storms, rising currents, and combined sewage systems. Members proposed a design solution for coastal areas that calls for soft edges working in system with an archipelago of dynamic water pockets and inland rooted water canals to redirect, collect, reclaim, restore, and reuse water.
The workshop culminated with production of an informational pamphlet and an AIA exhibition, "Future of the City," through Saturday, June 29 at The Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place, New York City. The exhibition is the synthesis of consistent material produced by the workshop teams and extensively documented on the AIA's website.