With the arrival of a new hurricane season, the Rice Design Alliance announced a series of civic forums focused on examining the risks facing the Houston-Galveston region and the possible solutions to public policy and design challenges.
Three public meetings at the MFAH Brown Auditorium were scheduled. The first gathering took place on July 15, with a group of nationally recognized meteorologists, experts in surge-tide modeling, and others who addressed the question: What are the dangers and hazards of living on the Gulf Coast? You can read about the event and download the Powerpoint presentations from this OffCite blog post. Another way to catch up before the next event is to read the Hurricane issue of Cite now available free online.
The second event took place on Aug. 19 and focused on possible design solutions to the potential devastation brought on by a future storm. Among the various topics of the evening, the panelists discussed the so-called “Ike Dike,” a proposed multi-billion dollar plan to build a 60-mile wall along the coast. You can read a wrap-up of this panel at this OffCite blog post as well as listen to audio of the various speakers and download their Powerpoint presentations.
The third forum took place on Aug. 26 and included a discussion by experts on what we have learned from Ike and what kind of data has been gathered. The panel, Planning: Post Hurricane Ike, was moderated by Joe Webb, of Webb Architects and RDA board member. The panelists included: Dr. Cumaraswamy Vipulanandan, a professor and chairman of the department of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Houston and Nitja McGrane, the community education and outreach coordinator for DHS/FEMA Region VI.
During the talk, McGrane revealed that FEMA had developed plans to buy out roughly 700 homeowners along the Bolivar Peninsula. You can read a wrap-up of this panel at this Offcite blog post as well as take a look at some of the studies the speakers’ respective organizations have undertaken.