AUSTIN, Texas—A national consortium led by the Regional Plan Association and directed by The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture is releasing a set of maps today which illustrate the continued vulnerability of the Gulf Coast to natural disasters, including numerous areas slated to be rebuilt with billions in public funding.
The National Consortium to Map Gulf Coast Ecological Constraints is composed of leading architects and landscape architects, urban planners, environmental and geographic scientists and other leading professionals in related fields.
Members of the consortium anticipate that the maps, prepared by consultants EDAW, will help planners determine how to rebuild the Gulf Coast and encourage other regions to perform similar analyses so that damage can be limited should disaster strike in the future.
“The Gulf Coast isn’t the only region of the country that’s vulnerable to natural disasters,” said Robert D. Yaro, president of the Regional Planning Commission. “We hope that these maps will start a national discussion about how we protect our coastal areas and invest public funds in a sustainable way.”
The maps illustrate the coastal vulnerability to a variety of environmental risk factors, such as high wind, storm surges, flooding, rise in sea level, loss of wetlands, marshes and barrier islands, demographic vulnerability and growth patterns. They portray an extended coastline and inland area threatened by multiple environmental factors.
“It is our hope that planners and architects involved in the local rebuilding efforts use these maps in their decision-making,” said Frederick (Fritz) Steiner, dean of the School of Architecture. “This information is valuable to state and national policy makers, national foundation decision makers and local elected officials, business people and civic leaders, as well.”
The maps are being released at the Regional Plan Association’s annual conference, “Come What May: Planning in an Age of Disaster” in New York City.
For more information contact: Amy M. Crossette, School of Architecture, 512-573-1078.