Esri created this fictional rendering of urban redevelopment
in Philadelphia using GIS data and 3-D modeling.

What Is Geodesign–and Can It Protect Us from Natural Disasters?

By Larry Greenemeier | January 25, 2013

As New York, New Jersey and other states hit hard during Superstorm Sandy last fall begin their long road to recovery, the decisions they make on how to rebuild are crucial to determining how well they’re weather than next big storm. The choices range from installing large storm-surge sea barriers near Staten Island and at the mouth of New York Harbor to keep rising waters at bay, to cultivating wetlands around the southern tip of Manhattan that can provide a natural buffer.

Both concepts are on the drawing boards and are being fiercely debated on their merits. Although they are radically different, each one takes geographic design into consideration to some degree. Geodesign is an approach to city planning, land use and natural resource management that takes into account the tendency in recent years to overdevelop land at the expense of natural habitats, as well as population growth and climate change, which have left communities increasingly vulnerable to natural disasters.

Read more: What Is Geodesign–and Can It Protect Us from Natural Disasters? | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network.

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