HOUSTON, TEXAS – Flooding & Drainage Design – August 28, 2017

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums STORY BOARD HOUSTON, TEXAS – Flooding & Drainage Design – August 28, 2017

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    Tara Klein
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    https://www.texastribune.org/2017/09/13/follow-conversation-houstons-flood-czar/

    It all boils down to money folks!  Those of us who live in Houston and practice here daily should be at the forefront of this conversation.  And yes- I have pulled off of many social media sites due to the ridiculous statements being posed at Houston including one article posted the Tuesday after the floods by Texas A&M’s LAUP department.  Can we come up for air first before the folks in California and the rest of the world start pointing the finger at our lack of zoning codes being the problem?  There is a bigger problem that no one seems to have a solution for and its money.  As mentioned in the “landscapeplanner” commented most of these areas were built and developed well before a “planned community” in outskirts of Harris County was even imagined.  The 610 loop was the suburbs and since everyone who’s anyone wants to have job security they packed up and headed down to Houston from all over the country.  We have a huge population and lots of land– and lots of cheap land that they have acres and acres of detention basins on.  Most of which designers are trying to turn these basins -a functioning civil infrastructure- into a park because when it isn’t in use as they were in Harvey they look like a big waste of space.  But when you get 50″ of rain that waste of space is your best ally.  (this is when you pull out a measuring tape and mark off 50″ and think off how fast it must have come up in 3 days of just rain+ wind that didn’t stop.  Being 62″ myself– 50″ is a lot!  Read articles from scientists that will tell you any other community would have been completely wiped out with that much rain and how well Houston did in lieu of the amount that came out of the sky.  And this may come as a shocker (sarcasm) but one thing all the real scientist after saying the rain-rain-rain was climate change and the heat of the gulf that is the catalyst for these mega storms.

    As I say climate change and the weather in Houston is amazing right now for September- 80’s when we are usually at 100.  However the sadness is that after that much rain the irrigation systems are already on and at work pumping gallons of potable water out.  Wow-what if that water could have been stored for irrigation by HOA’s, MUD’s, commercial, and residential properties?  This is my typical educational lesson to my developers 🙂

    Yes this is a crisis but so are the wildfires, earthquakes, and other disasters that ravage a community.  Too bad we can’t run a pipeline to California to put out those fires. The positive is that we are talking and that Houston is strong and has come together along with strangers from out of state to help be human again.  Don’t just read the articles about what was wrong- read about the right!  Read about the people who are coming together to save and rescue those in a devastating time of need.  It will make you cry- or it should if you are human.

    Overall, solutions are going to come with a BIG price tag and who’s paying that price tag?  Will other states start picketing when American tax dollars are used to rebuild the levees in New Orleans or even more like the article discusses utilizing the funds to buy up properties in areas like Meyerland which has flooded all three times- 2015/2016/2017?  This is an untouchable area for my husband and I on two principal of landscape architecture firm’s salaries- we can’t afford it! But we would want to live there cause it’s beautiful and not urban sprawl.  I like the door frame comment cause so many are so quick to judge but most (and again I say most) aren’t willing to attempt to sacrifice time or money to really study the problem or take the time to understand even what a MUD is… if you can’t answer this question then you have no idea anything about Harris County and Houston.  We are living on this earth together and everyone has opinions but if you aren’t going to help find a solution and just point the fingers then please, stay out of the conversation.  

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