The Causeway: Bridging Disaster Relief, Recovery, and Climate Adaptation in the Anton Ruiz Watershed
Schiavoni, Alexandra Elizabeth
MetadataShow full item record
The impact of natural disasters is often exacerbated by a disparity between resources for relief and recovery. When the barrio of Punta Santiago in Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria in September of 2017, many of its residents lived in the remains of their homes for over a year while they rebuilt from wind damage and flood waters that rose over 6 feet. As climate change leads to an even more constrained timeline for response with increasingly frequent and intense storms, the future of Punta Santiago and other coastal communities worldwide will necessitate strategies ranging from nature-based shore protection systems, coastal setbacks, and managed retreat. This thesis investigates the time disparate processes of disaster relief, recovery, and climate adaptation through the lens of their impact upon the interdependent identities of people and place as informed by theorists and designers including J.B. Jackson and Patrick Geddes. My approach works from the scale of the Antón Ruíz watershed to the delta to uncover the historical and contemporary processes that knit people in the region to the land. I identify commonalities in the immediate recovery needs and long-term resiliency of the community and ecosystems, and seek to support ongoing globally significant research of the rare coastal systems surrounding Punta Santiago. The proposed design, a causeway linking the coast to the hills, dovetails disaster relief and recovery with climate adaptation by providing a persistent connection that restores and reveals the dynamic coastal landscape.
- Masters Theses