Our driving goal in St. Bernard Parish was to alleviate flooding that had hindered public life and damaged property.
St. Bernard Urban Wells
At the south side of the parish, part of our strategy was to increase capacity in several existing canals. Canals cannot be left stagnant for more than a day at a time to keep them safe from mosquito breeding, however, so we had to find an inexpensive way to keep water flowing. Soils analysis four areas where soils suggestd that subsurface fresh water is flowing underground from the Mississippi River toward the 40 Arpent canal and our strategy was to tap into this hydrologic energy with wells at the river-side of the canals.
We designed injection wells to monitor and aid water flow through the canals at all times and used them as a public amenity and educational device in the plan.
At the core of all our urban design projects was a battle to sway the hearts and minds of New Orleaneans to think of their city as interdependent with water. To "live with water" in their delta city instead of fearing, hiding and controlling it. I used a phenomenological approach to communicate this in my design for the wells, where spending time near one becomes a reminder that we are not separated from, but surrounded by water; a beautiful, life-giving force.