EXPLORING WHAT CONNECTS US, WATER, AND WHAT DIVIDES US, THE SUPREMACY OF OUR INDIVIDUAL HOMES

Flood Zone

Since the founding of Houston flooding has been an invariable hazard. Over time it has become even more frequent, as acre after acre is paved over. 614 square miles of Harris County, an area nearly equivalent to the size of Houston, is either in a floodway, 100 year, or 500-year floodplain, 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. In 2001, Tropical Storm Allison flooded 73,000 homes. More flood insurance claims have been paid here than anywhere else. Flooding isn’t constrained to good or bad neighborhoods. While the flood waters don’t discriminate, accessing the resources to recover are inequitable.  

 

The exhibit featured a 1,000-square-foot aerial map of Houston that illustrated both the 100- and 500-year floodplains. Installed in the atrium of the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture, the exhibit asked students, professors, and passers-by to locate their house with a pin. The interactive map was a commentary on what connects us, water, and what divides us, the supremacy of our individual homes.


Project Team: Susan Rogers, Maria Oran, and Jay Taylor 

Volunteers: Rachel Wilkins, Mike Cutulle, John Rezsonya, Josh Sawyer, Zhu Chen, Kim McGrath, Zach Copeland

Fall 2010 

Exhibit at University of Houston College of Architecture