Taubman College

Course List

Term Fall 2011
Class UP 515
Class Title Liquid Planning
Description Located in one of the most polluted watersheds in the Great Lakes Region, the Detroit metropolitan region is in a unique position to challenge the course of its inherited system of water infrastructure. In order to do so, multiple design disciplines must collaborate through a multi scalar approach to stormwater management. From the scale of massive infrastructural works to the surfaces of residential rooftops, Liquid Planning proposes an interdisciplinary design practice through the careful consideration of Detroit’s complex stormwater network.

Water quality management throughout the Great Lakes watershed is an institutional effort handled across many disciplines, scales, agencies and individuals. Detroit is a particularly important stakeholder owing to its size, industrial influence and position at the most heavily trafficked international boundary in the United States. Despite coordinated efforts to simplify management and fight pollution more efficiently, the Detroit and Rouge Rivers continue to be listed as Areas of Concern in the Great Lakes Basin, an indicator of severe water pollution according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Lying at the crux of this are Detroit’s patterns and materials of urbanization. Today, the city’s shrinking population can no longer afford large-scale infrastructural solutions to storm water management. In turn, approaches that operate between the scale of neighborhoods and building assemblies position environmental design expertise at the forefront of a new hydrophilic urbanism paradigm. Liquid Planning posits that a single disciplinary model is not sufficient to independently tackle problems with high degrees of interconnectivity, scalar multiplicity and cultural parameters. Therefore, the class welcomes students from Taubman College, the School of Natural Resources and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy to foster a diverse, collaborative classroom environment.

The class will integrate readings, site visits, lectures, discussions, design exercises and software tutorials (ArcGIS and Rhino). Lectures will include several invited specialists considering watershed resource planning and management from other disciplinary points of view. Tutorials will teach how to use software critically, thereby enabling an innovative approach to input, analysis and output of data through the specific parameters of research questions. Visual representations will play a key role in providing a platform to organize and communicate information associated with complex problems with precision and clarity to a wider audience. Assignments will be organized around group work that will ultimately produce design documents, three-dimensional models, material tests, and a short report documenting the work performed through the semester.
Prereq none entered yet
Crosslist none
Required No
Elective Yes
Meets Monday 2:00-5:00pm 2213 A+AB
Credits 3
Faculty María Arquero de Alarcón, Jen Maigret
Syllabus Arch505-UP515.pdf