Architects Propose “Bibs” To Protect NYC Against Flood Waters


Tingwei Xu and Xie Zhang from the University of Pennsylvania designed
an extensive membrane system to protect certain areas of New York City against water.

Global warming and rising sea levels create a really serious threat to Lower Manhattan, and some scientists believe that global warming’s floods could affect New York more than any other city in the world.

According to Xu and Zhang, the system of protective absorbent “Bibs” would be draped around building bases and the ground.

This system would feature a “transforming surface” that’d adapt to different weather conditions, offering more protection when it’s wet out and less when it’s dry. The transforming surface can also combine the numerous functions such as lighting and agricultural planting.

As the surface serves as a waterproof for the buildings, in turn, the building provides structure support to the surface.

Many architects and engineers believe that instead of trying to form a bulwark against flooding, cities should adopt it, while trying to soften its effects. They suggest doing that with what they call “soft infrastructure”–spongelike sidewalks, marshes, manmade islands, and other absorbent surfaces that can slow storm surges and soak up excess water. But these surfaces don’t dry out the streets altogether

Xu and Zhang’s “Bibs” seems to split the difference: It would let the streets to flood at the same time that it would safeguard the city’s architectural structures.

Resource:
Fast Co Design

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