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Design Disrupted

Weathering the storms: How one team of Illinois researchers is addressing urban flooding

Landscape Architecture professor Mary Pat McGuire shares her vision for addressing urban flooding in a recent feature-length article by Abigail Bobrow published in Illinois Storied. Mary Pat is leading an interdisciplinary team of landscape architects, geologists, and civil engineers to change how cities deal with stormwater by transforming the ground itself.

“I believe that if landscape architecture is going to be an effective profession in climate adaptation, we need to tackle and redesign our primary medium—the urban ground plane itself—by working in partnership with cities and engineers,” Mary Pat says.

“We’re understanding that the future of cities is not about trying to control nature and get rid of nature. Instead, the future of cities relies on how we integrate natural processes for greater resiliency so that when storms come in with increasing frequency, we have actually designed for them.”

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