The increasing contamination of the earth’s water has emerged as one of the greatest planetary challenges of the 21st century. Rethinking the ways cities deal with urban drainage is a significant part of this challenge.
What we Discovered:
Despite an extensive and fascinating history of adapting to the functional and health-related concerns of cities, the familiar infrastructures of the urban street have remained largely unchallenged and unchanged since the industrial revolution. We identified the typical urban street as both the source of the problem as well as the site of the potential solution. Rather than merely diverting and transporting wastewater, how might the typical street gutter be re-imagined a site for bio-remediation?
What we Did:
(C)urban Ecology is a modular micro-remediation infrastructure that integrates seamlessly within our existing streets, supplanting the mundane utilitarian curb-and-gutter system to offer new levels of amenity. A versatile and performative design provides opportunities for water permeation and street vegetation, while sequestering small scale debris before it reaches the larger scales of the urban watershed.
Semi Finalist, Buckminster Fuller Challenge (2008)