The CAU Strategies for Urban Stormwater Wetlands is a research project that combines climatically engineered wetland solutions with key formal and functional landscape designs in urban planning. The project offers me an unique experience as an architecture student to work with fluid mechanics engineers and urban designers. The diverse team is working beyond ambiguous green space designs and towards an urban infrastructure composed of technically sound wetlands and aesthetically pleasing urban landscapes.
As a research assistant, I have been challenged to incorporate both the science of wetland dynamics and design aesthetics of landscape urbanism in a non-linear sequence. The process has developed into an interlocking wetland design that begins to parametrically respond to the specific challenges of urban sites. Looking forward, I will continue to help the team establish agency in stormwater wetlands as the designs will be deployed onto various sites and conceptualized for future planning.
As a member in “Strategies for Urban Stormwater Wetlands” project, I have been looking into representative wetland projects that have been completed in Los Angeles, Houston, the U.S. and other places in the world. As such, I have comparatively collected and studied the physical features, engineer innovations, budgets/cost, treatment performance, local weather/hydraulic data and other information about the selective projects. By doing so, the goal is to exam how to better embed wetlands projects with urban planning at the early stage as well as ensuring well engineering performance throughout the whole process. It is a comprehensive and pragmatic case study on the relationship between wetland, urban design, and engineer issues.
As part of this research, I have also looked at cutting edge design research that explores urban programs, fluid dynamics, and landform typology of stormwater wetlands system. By adding up these layers, the research contends a multi-dimension consideration of wetland projects. Wetlands are part of the urban system and should not be regarded as isolated parcels such as water treatment facility or urban recreation park.Strategies for Urban Stormwater Wetlands is led by professors Heidi Nepf and Alan Berger. Funding for this research was provided by the Abdul Latif Jameel World Water & Food Security Lab (J-WAFS) at MIT.