This article was originally published on March 2, 2010.
It's long been known that if the seas rise due to Climate Change, New York City is in trouble. With buildings built right up to the waterfront, the city could be in a soupy mess with just a small increase in water levels. Enter the Museum of Modern Art. Eight months ago they commissioned 5 teams of designers and architects to take up residency and create real world solutions for the Big Apple. On March 24th the exhibit "Rising Currents: Projects for New York’s Waterfront,” goes on display.
The project was sparked by Mayor Bloomberg’s announcement last February of the report by the New York City Panel on Climate Change that predicted that New York City would quickly sink under water if sea levels rise. “Rising Waters” was initiated by the Latrobe Team, a multi-disciplinary Princeton University affiliated group led by Professor Guy Nordenson, a structural engineer. Each of the five teams was given a geographical area to focus on. The project is meant to create real adaptive solutions for New York city and New Jersey.
The teams chosen by MOMA to explore the problem took up shop at P.S. 1 — the MOMA satellite in Long Island City — in November. Their solutions range from the immediate and practical idea of installing pipes under sidewalks and roadways to divert water to the futuristic restructuring of higher ground areas into small islands connected by water channels. Not only do the solutions provide modes of real action for the area they also depict how New York City might look besieged by tidal waves and rising currents.