AHBE Landscape Architects is collaborating with Cal Poly Pomona landscape architecture students on a coastal resiliency design studio with Professor Barry Lehrman and his fourth-year undergraduate students. AHBE Lab will be highlighting selections of the student’s work nearly every Wednesday for the next several weeks. The project site is the coastline from the Port of Long Beach to Anaheim Bay. Students are in their third week of class (field-trip week) and this week they will be meeting with Dr. Christine Whitcraft of Cal State Long Beach Wetlands Ecology Lab; Carrie Metzgar and Larry Rich from the City of Long Beach’s Office of Sustainability in addition to exploring areas around the Long Beach waterfront.
Working with the students has already challenged us to expand our thinking about the interface between natural and man-made systems, alongside the role of landscape architecture in climate resiliency practice. Questions that have arisen in light of this collaboration include, “What is a sand engine, and can it be effectively used in our project area to help prevent coastal erosion and vulnerabilities to coastal flooding impacts, or help mitigate the effects that even minimal sea level rise will have on the movement of goods through the port of Long Beach?”
Barry Lehrman is a terrific partner in this effort and is a bit of a landscape provocateur—he likes to agitate stagnant ideas held within the profession and purse previously underexplored lines of inquiry, all with an eye toward the future of our profession.
We invite you to follow the student’s progress as they work out strategies and tactics for the waterfront communities of Long Beach to adapt to rising seas, urban flooding, and increased storm events, and develop site-specific soft infrastructure typologies suitable for wide-scale deployment around Southern California to sustain our ports and vibrant waterfronts.