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Urban Research (UR) 
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New York NY 10014

T 212.627.9121


Waterproofing New York


Waterproofing New York


Editors: Denise Hoffman Brandt and Catherine Seavitt Nordenson

Contributors: Lance Jay Brown; Nette Compton; Deborah Gans; Jeffrey Hou; Lydia Kallipoliti; Signe Nielsen; Kate Orff; Sandra Richter; Frank Ruchala Jr.; Thaddeus Pawlowski; Janette Sadik-Khan; Hilary Sample; Judd Schechtman; Gullivar Shepard; Michael Sorkin; Byron Stigge; Erika Svendsen, Lindsay Campbell, Nancy F. Sonti and Gillian Baine; Georgeen Theodore

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With two destructive tropical storms in two years, New York City — like many other global cities — is entering a phase of adaptation to catastrophic climate events which are a result of carbon cycle disruption by human, urban, and industrial practices. Recovery will require more than a simple fix; it will necessitate systemic adaptation to escalating tidal and storm surges, precipitation, and wind events through the construction of new urban landscapes that have the capacity to merge social, cultural, and environmental forces.

Waterproofing New York gathers some of the most influential and thought provoking municipal leaders, engineers, planners, social scientists, and designers to explore the impact of past and future storms on New York City’s infrastructural systems: Water/Waste, Power/Data, Circulation/Fuel, Parks/Recreation, and Shelter. The essays and projects collected here use these urban operating systems to open speculation on possibilities not simply for waterproofing the city but for thinking beyond it to seek wider means of coordinated yet opportunistic, pragmatic, and inventive city design. Waterproofing New York is intended to support an emerging skepticism of a singular “big fix” as well as of the unplanned, uncoordinated, shoring up of individual enterprises and discrete sites that will ensue in the absence of design and civic leadership.

About the Editors

Denise Hoffman Brandt, RLA, is the Director of Landscape Architecture and an Associate Professor at the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York. She is Principal of Hoffman Brandt Projects, LLC. 

Catherine Seavitt Nordenson is an Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at the City College of New York and Principal of Catherine Seavitt Studio. 

"Hoffman Brandt and Nordenson's book suggests a more nuanced understanding of urban nature while challenging landscape architects, engineers, and policy makers to move beyond short-term pragmatic responses to extreme storms to engage a broader definition of everyday infrastructure. Landscape architects have only begun to engage the space in between the scales of the swale and the floating city, reimagining the evolution of existing urban systems to foster a more robust and resilient future." —  Thaïsa Way, ASLA, "Flooded with Ideas," Landscape Architecture Magazine


192 pages, full color, paperback, 8” x 11”
ISBN 978-0-9960041-2-1, printed in the United States, 2016.



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