Comparative Landscape Infrastructure in Kolda, Senegal and Washington, D.C.
Cadwallender, Mary Virginia
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This comparative study of two urban areas—Kolda, Senegal and the Historic Anacostia Neighborhood in Washington, D.C.—explores how landscape infrastructure can decrease the scalar disconnect between the global water crisis and local water use practices. By looking at one city in the Global North and one in the Global South with similar risk of water stress, I am able to compare cultural aesthetics and engage two different levels of infrastructural build out (World Resources Institute, Water Risk Atlas). The design approach draws inspiration from Lawrence Halprin's notion of "experiential equivalents," and proposes a suite of site scale water sources and seeps (Halprin, Ghirardelli Plaza). Unlike Halprin, whose designs primarily use, interpret, and express natural elements, cultural interactions with water as well as natural systems drive the designs in Kolda and Anacostia. Thus, the speculative designs I am presenting weave the experiences of sourcing water, filtering water, and water seeps into the existing urban and cultural fabric. By taking a systemic and episodic approach to public landscape development, not only will these infrastructural landscapes serve the community but the aesthetic experience of the designs also becomes part of daily life. Perhaps as Elizabeth Meyer theorizes in "Beyond 'Sustaining Beauty'", these designed landscapes "can contribute to…]a new ethos of a sustainable perception and living." Furthermore, this project presents a kit of parts for community-based development, suggesting the ability to extend the landscape infrastructure systems in Kolda and Anacostia and providing the tools for other communities.
- Masters Theses