Ayami Akagawa

MLA I

Surviving Survival: Landscape Futures for Climate Catastrophe

Advised by Pablo Pérez-Ramos

This thesis advocates for landscape architecture to mitigate risk and plan for adaptation to catastrophic climate events. It develops an adaptive response and critique of Tacloban, the Philippines, as it responded to Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. As government authorities displaced populations from places of risk, the relocation burden heavily fell on informal coastal settlers. The process of relocating inland reinforced injustice by stripping them of their identity and livelihood. This design thesis proposes landscape interventions to enable a more culturally relevant and ecologically informed path toward adaptation. The project explores landscape approaches to embed income-generating agriculture and fishing activities in green infrastructure systems that alleviate calamity. The design of social spaces within productive communal landscapes strengthens the community’s identity despite the chaotic resettlement histories. Furthermore, the proposed flexible spatial usage of the existing engineered solutions honors the local population’s agency. 

Image in the shape of a roofed structure, with adults sitting and children playing atop a pile of construction rubble highlighted by an overlay of white tree and root outlines.