The breeze is positively balmy and there are drips on my head coming from everywhere as I make my way down to Lake Michigan for my weekday pilgrimage. I was sad to not get here yesterday, which wasn't due to the amazing snowstorm, but because I was sick.
That snowfall yesterday was quite a kick in the pants on top of all the near record-breaking amounts we've already had.
And now the melting begins.
What comes down has to find someplace to go. And with temps in the 50's in the coming few days, we're looking at the likelihood of flooding, especially because the ground is still frozen.
Naturally, this pilgrimage has me thinking a lot about water. There's something about standing at the edge of this vast pool …
I wonder about how much water is in an inch of snow. (Check out some beautiful maps at the Illinois State Climatologist site.) And whether all this snowfall will resolve the annual drought conditions. From what I can tell, there are still areas of moderate and severe drought in Illinois, and it isn't much improved over last year. (Check the 'change maps' here).
The Chicago Architecture Foundation is hosting a meeting tonight called "Shared Waters". It's a panel discussion; part 2, looking at ways Chicago, Milwaukee, Gary and St Louis share responsibility together with the water we all depend upon. Iker Gil of Archeworks and Joshua Stein of Radical Craft are moderators.
I first met Iker when I came across a wonderful book he created about rapid development in Shanghai, "Shanghai Transforming". Iker was strongly influenced by the rapid change in his native Bilbao when the Guggenheim came to town, and is an interesting thinker about architecture and urban issues. His meetings with my Shanghai students strengthened our understandings of what we experienced there.
The water discussion at CAF is also sponsored by the Chicago Expander at Archeworks, and is connected to "After the City, the City"; a futuristic forum looking at the effects of hyper-urbanity on our lives. The forum focuses on finding new ways of thinking about the city, and new possibilities for planning and restructuring the urban experience.
Bustler describes it like this:
After the City, the City is a forum to address the future of the city accepting that the actuality of our current version of urbanity has surpassed the scale and scope of what we once considered the city. What possibilities open once we let go of antiquated models of the city and what are the possibilities for effecting transformational change within this new configuration? What strategies are most effective in re-shaping structure at differing scales of governance and which actions influence trajectories across scales? As cities across the globe grapple with the notion of resilience and preparedness for cycles of disaster that move beyond the physical, this series assumes the potential for creative planning to emerge from multiple fields. Policy-makers, urbanists, artists, and designers will offer their perspectives on issues that increasingly transgress disciplinary boundaries.
Ok. I think I've quoted enough and given you enough to research and look at.
Water matters, y'all.
And that's where I'll leave it for today.
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