A commentary on what connects us in Houston -- water -- and what divides us -- the supremacy of our individual plots.

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 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’s 1,000-square-foot map illustrated both the 100 and 500 Year flood plain over the City of Houston. 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 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.

With volunteer assistance from: Rachel Wilkins, Mike Cutulle, John Rezsonya, Josh Sawyer, Zhu Chen , Kim McGrath, Zach Copeland 

Fall 2010
Exhibit Location: University of Houston
College of Architecture

Design Team:  Susan Rogers, Maria Oran, Jay Taylor