In Impulse the documentary 'At The Edge' is shown, which is made by the MSc student Landscape Architecture and Planning, Marit Noest. The film will be introduced by Marit Noest and afterwards there will be time for discussion.
While Ian McHarg already warned about coastal vulnerability of the New Jersey Shores in 1966, Superstorm Sandy reminded the world in 2012 once again about the persistent cycle of storms and rebuild along the Jersey Shore.
In this thesis, human-centered research focusses on why this repetitive cycle persists in New Jersey, USA. Through academic filmmaking, this norm is challenged by encouraging awareness and discussions about the future of this coastal landscape. Design aims to show an alternative that links a regional and long-term perspective with local and short-term benefits, for the case study of Asbury Park, NJ.
A landscape analysis shows the natural vulnerability of the shore landscape, pressured by extreme urbanization and political fragmentation. Plans to deal with the flood risks, often struggle at the link between regional goals and the individual culture of the US.
The documentary shows different perspectives on how to rebuild to encourage understanding of the complexity of the situation and to spark reflective discussions on current norms. A discourse analysis of filmed interviews extracted common grounds from all the contrasting perspectives, that form a base for design choices.The reflective function of the documentary was tested though community outreach posters, were participants voted on their favourite rebuilding options after half of them saw a video clip about long- and short-term strategies. After seeing the video, participants voted more often for long-term options with large investments and also voted less divided.
The design for Asbury Park combines the double dune landscape of McHarg with local identity and preferences, whilst also linking to larger regional goals. This is done through constant changing of design and research scales. This way, the design connects local benefits to the larger goal of a paradigm shift towards a more sustainable way of coastal management.