Since the founding of Houston flooding has been an invariable hazard. Over time it has become even more frequent as we pave over acre after acre. 614 square miles of Harris County, an area nearly equivalent to the size of Houston, are either in a floodway, 100 year, or 500 year flood plain, this is 35% of all land area. In Houston nearly 500,000 people live in a flood zone. A major flood occurs in our city on average every two years. It is not uncommon for over 100 homes to be flooded in any single event. During Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 73,000 homes were flooded. More flood insurance claims have been paid here than anywhere else.
Flooding isn’t constrained to good or bad neighborhoods. The flood waters don’t discriminate.
The exhibit consisted of a 2,500-square-foot map that illustrates both the 100 and 500 Year flood plain over the City of Houston. Installed in the Atrium of Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture, the exhibit asked students, professors, and passers-by to locate their house with a pin. The interactive result is a commentary on what connects us, water, and what divides us, the supremacy of our individual homes.
The project was imagined and executed by the Community Design Resource Center and supported by the UH College of Architecture. The map was exhibited from Sept 20, 2010 to Oct 14, 2010.
Project team: Susan Rogers, Maria Oran, Jay Taylor.
With volunteer assistance from: Rachel Wilkins, Mike Cutulle, John Rezsonya, Josh Sawyer, Zhu Chen , Kim McGrath, Zach Copeland — Many Thanks
Flood Zone [Super Houston]