Spring 2017 Grant Recipient
Meredith Blake (Architecture) Part of acknowledging the new epoch we live in, the Anthropocene, requires we redefine our politics to acknowledge that climate change knows no borders. Our relationship to the planet we live on, the land we occupy and the policies that govern our movement need a new paradigm that allows migration as an adaptive strategy to respond to sea level rise, desertification, drought, and/or soil degradation. My research project is taking a rust belt city, my hometown, Erie, Pennsylvania, and using it as a pilot model to become an arrival city for planned migration and relocation of climate refugees. My research focuses on the agency of the neighborhood, and works to establish migrant-created urban quarters that support both the integration of vulnerable populations while generating a new creative and commercial class that economically supports the growth of the city. My research is beginning in Amsterdam and Berlin and looking at these cities tactics currently being employed because of the influx in political refugees. My project is as much of an urban design project as it is a critique and rethinking of how the entire refugees system could operate. My the project will culminate in a migrating exhibition that will tour through ten rust belt cities, illustrating this imagined policy and arrival neighborhoods.