The River is the Solution: Infrastructure of Dwelling in Calgary’s Urban Landscape
Wilson, Emily Todesco
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This thesis explores the architectural implications of flooding through the lens of landscape urbanism. Developing a critical understanding of ecological discourse, I consider dualism as the underlying cause of climate disruption and examine the role infrastructure in mediating the relationship between nature and culture. Through a design methodology that involves data-driven mapping, typological analysis, and systematic site selection, I frame the thesis position in the context of Calgary, Alberta and propose design strategies at three interconnected scales to accommodate, absorb, and accept flooding as a natural process of riparian ecosystems. From this investigation, I draw several conclusions evaluating the administrative boundaries typically used to define territory in order to reach a more inclusive understanding of human inhabitation within ecological systems. By working with the river, not against it, infrastructure can create a framework for dwelling that enables cities to embrace the challenges of an unpredictable future.