Project: Carbon T.A.P. (Tunnel Algae Park)
Competition: WPA 2.0 Whoever Rules the Sewers Rules the City
Competition Organizer/Host: cityLAB at UCLA
Award: Competition Winner
Timeline: November 2009

As Federal, state and local governments undertake consideration of large-scale investments in the renovation and replacement of urban infrastructures, we see a unique opportunity to reconsider the role of these systemic networks and their effect on contemporary urban landscapes.

In the scenario outlined herein, a new type of ‘green’ infrastructure is deployed at urban locations comprising concentrated sources of CO2 and GHG production.  This new infrastructure utilizes a proprietary system of industrial scale algal agriculture to sequester and consume emissions in order to limit their introduction into the atmosphere, while simultaneously creating a new economic resource through the production of oxygen, biofuels, bioplastics, nutraceuticals and/or agricultural feeds.

The proposal leverages the required infrastructural apparatus (containment bladder, bio-reactors, solar orientation, etc.) to create unique urban platforms for the creation of collective public space and hybrid nature. These platforms are infinitely reconfigurable, limited only by the volume of GHG being captured, and the public imagination motivating them.

Rather than considering urban infrastructures as a necessary evil only to be hidden or mitigated, we view the renovation and re-imagination of these systems as opportunities to create new forms of civic and social domain that have the capacity to positively transform the American urban landscape.