Tuesday, December 13, 2011

All the Water We Have Now is All the Water We Will Ever Have

it's been a while since i've discussed the major piece of work i am, uh, working on... mostly because it has been placed on the back burner for longer than it deserved and way longer than i would have liked. the last time i spoke of this thing, we shall call it a 'thesis', i was ready to jump off the brooklyn bridge. i just couldn't wrap my head around my topic or come up with a plausible topic for that matter. and then all of a sudden (okay more like gradually, slowly, painfully, NERVE-RACKINGLY) on a saturday afternoon after a gowanus studio working session i got to talking with another student who happens to also think the environment is the center of our world... and i started to feel better about what i was proposing.

ah, now you may be wondering "what the fuck are you proposing this time?" well, it's not much different than what i was thinking about a year ago... stormwater management, in gowanus, using natural systems. alright, that's it. i got all nervous and sidetracked because i wanted my thesis to be more badass, more feral.. i.e. "transforming streets into feral landscapes to manage stormwater" ... and i could have gotten there if i just had more time, more energy, straight up just felt more comfortable talking about something i really believed in. it also didn't help that i go to school with some really brilliant people who are working on topics that involve people and i just felt like my topic was irrelevant...

....until i thought about what i had learned for 5 years living in vermont and paying for a kickass education, i.e. the environment matters and without it none of us would be here.. so you can write and write about the human race and the possibilities within it but without clean water [and healthy, functioning eco-systems] we'd all be dead. terrifying, i know.. but it's a fact. and it's now or never that we start to value stormwater as the ultimate resource, a blessing from mother earth, that keeps us going.. it's not a waste, it's not something we must dispose of. NO! it's something we must learn to use, to benefit from, to work with.. to manage. but more importantly, we must learn to live with stormwater, with water in general.. we must understand that water will always be more powerful than we are because we are mostly water and we depend upon it for survival - and water will always come back to reclaim what once belonged to it... that includes man-made land.. man-made land that is now the gowanus neighborhood.

the gowanus has so much potential.. it's a working waterfront! coastal folk tend to forget how lucky we are to live along the coast.. we can import and export with ease.. we can flee if we must.. we are not landlocked. but back to the point... gowanus is great but it won't be for long if some serious infrastructure issues are not addressed - and i believe we can address these issues in a positive, less costly way. we do not need to disturb the earth more than we already have.. i say let's give nature back a bit of the urban pie! let's use natural processes to manage, harvest and REUSE stormwater.

All the Water We Have Now is All the Water We Will Ever Have - much like energy.. it cannot be created nor destroyed.. but it can be altered significantly but that comes with a major price tag that we simply cannot afford.. and does it really make sense to rebuild the wheel when it rains down on us nearly once a week? [you might have to re-read that to have it make normal-person sense but then hopefully you'll get what i'm saying].

what i am saying [or as always, trying to say] is my thesis is gonna be badass because i love my topic, i am an aquarius for pete's sake - HELLO WATER BEARER  - i love water and i value it in a way i never thought i could and i want to stand up for the one resource we simply cannot make due without. bringing nature into urban landscapes is something modernist had been proposing for nearly 3 decades, amongst other things and of course people only listened to other other things - eww, all concrete buildings on piloti, really, that's what people chose to focus on?!

as a self-declared modernist, environmentalist, and just an over cautious planner, i am seriously excited to give so much needed time and love to my research. my thesis will not be the end of me [like i thought] but rather an extension, a new phase, of what i have always believed.. we can be better than what we are, we just have to push ourselves to achieve the what some may say is impossible and what we should really call sustainable. humans have survived with nature for thousands of years, why stop now? go with your gut, stick up for your thoughts because you're probably right.. the environment is the center of our world.

oh and this is my research site where i shall test my theory that nature is awesome:  Badass Batcave

me + the gowanus [thanks j.rec for the photo]

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