Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Dumbo Future Visions: Learning to Love Water


Here's a fun one. On the heels of some interesting discussion about New York Citys future that you can check out here and here, we came across a fun prediction in a release about a new show called Futuristic Dumbo that we found out about on Dumbo NYC. It opens tomorrow (Feb. 8) at Gallery 208 at 111 Front Street. It's sponsored by the Dumbo Improvement District and Two Trees Management. There are a number of interesting visions, including running trolleys through Dumbo, but we read the PDF press release about the work done by Pratt students and found this especially compelling:
The most provocative exhibit of the four is the one in which students used NASA projections for rising sea levels for the next 50 years and found that, according to the data, DUMBO would be flooded up to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway by 2056.

In response, the students created a plan for building a new, higher ground and raising the streets, as well as creating a series of hydrodynamic islands and connecting upper floors of buildings. This plan also calls for moving the Empire Stores to a new, more elevated location. Visitors to the exhibit will be able to see a small-scale rendering of this futuristic, waterchallenged DUMBO. The students have created a laser-cut model of the neighborhood and several compelling images.
Water up to the BQE in Dumbo by 2056, huh? (We're not sure where the data comes from, as "only" a one-foot rise in sea level is generally predicted by 2050 and maps show it wouldn't be enough to submerge Dumbo, but what do we know?) Kind of makes us glad that by the time Water World happens, the odds are very good we won't be here to see it. (The image above, by the way, is Alexis Rockman's Manifest Destiny, which was on display at the Brooklyn Museum in 2004.)


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