WPA 2.0

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Competition Entry, 2009

Recalling the Depression-era Works Project Administration (1935-1943), the WPA 2.0 is an open ideas competition that seeks innovative, implementable proposals to place infrastructure at the heart of rebuilding our cities during this next era of metropolitan recovery. The original WPA program employed architects, artists, engineers, and, ultimately, workers to design and build public buildings, parks, bridges, and roads across the nation, many of which are still in service today. This competition’s purpose is to raise awareness and ultimately move the political agenda beyond just maintenance and repairs, to long term, transformative and sustainable economic goals.

Our proposal took the form of a narrative satire in which we looked at the City of Los Angeles’ storm drainage system and the various Federal and State regulatory requirements that govern the water pollution control. Within the narrative, we propose a series of “designer” catch basin screens that meet the requirements of the recently implemented City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works’ engineering standards. Like the approved standard, the designs meet the requirements for limiting debris from entering the storm water run-off system and ending up in the Pacific Ocean.

 
COMPETITION ORGANIZER: cityLAB, an urban think tank at UCLA’s Department of Architecture and Urban Design
PROJECT TEAM: Peter Tolkin, Ted Rubenstein
JURY: Stan Allen, Cecil Balmond, Elizabeth Diller, Walter Hood, Thom Mayne, Marilyn Jordan Taylor

excerpt from United States Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq.) of 1972, authorizing the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate pollutant discharge into national waters

excerpt from United States Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq.) of 1972, authorizing the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate pollutant discharge into national waters

City of Los Angeles catch basin #516055461111084, located at NE corner of 11th Street and Alvarado Street, curb opening 42 in. by 8 in.

City of Los Angeles catch basin #516055461111084, located at NE corner of 11th Street and Alvarado Street, curb opening 42 in. by 8 in.

Los Angeles regional watershed map highlighting flow of urban runoff from catch basin #516055461111084 to Santa Monica Bay

Los Angeles regional watershed map highlighting flow of urban runoff from catch basin #516055461111084 to Santa Monica Bay

storm drain system flow chart

storm drain system flow chart

City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works Bureau of Engineering Standard Plan S-323-1 Low Flow Inlet and Outlet Structure, 1969

City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works Bureau of Engineering Standard Plan S-323-1 Low Flow Inlet and Outlet Structure, 1969

hierarchical list of agencies, codes and studies regulating the design and implementation of catch basin screens.

hierarchical list of agencies, codes and studies regulating the design and implementation of catch basin screens.

sample of debris diverted from storm drain by catch basin screen, catch basin #516055461111084, collected by design team August 5, 2009

sample of debris diverted from storm drain by catch basin screen, catch basin #516055461111084, collected by design team August 5, 2009

designer series catch basin screen specification and ordering information

designer series catch basin screen specification and ordering information

Kentucky Dam, public works project designed by the Tennessee Valley Authority, completed August 30, 1944 and photgraphed by Ralph Crane for Life Magazine, 1952

Kentucky Dam, public works project designed by the Tennessee Valley Authority, completed August 30, 1944 and photgraphed by Ralph Crane for Life Magazine, 1952

map of the United States watersheds with enlargement of a proposed Trans-State Infrastructural Bioregion. A decentralized network of semi-autonomous and diversely composed design collaboratives based on these bioregions will be enabled to address emerging ecological and infrastructural issues.

map of the United States watersheds with enlargement of a proposed Trans-State Infrastructural Bioregion. A decentralized network of semi-autonomous and diversely composed design collaboratives based on these bioregions will be enabled to address emerging ecological and infrastructural issues.

excerpt from United States Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq.) of 1972, authorizing the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate pollutant discharge into national waters thumbnailCity of Los Angeles catch basin #516055461111084, located at NE corner of 11th Street and Alvarado Street, curb opening 42 in. by 8 in. thumbnailLos Angeles regional watershed map highlighting flow of urban runoff from catch basin #516055461111084 to Santa Monica Bay thumbnailstorm drain system flow chart thumbnailCity of Los Angeles Department of Public Works Bureau of Engineering Standard Plan S-323-1 Low Flow Inlet and Outlet Structure, 1969 thumbnailhierarchical list of agencies, codes and studies regulating the design and implementation of catch basin screens. thumbnailsample of debris diverted from storm drain by catch basin screen, catch basin #516055461111084, collected by design team August 5, 2009 thumbnaildesigner series catch basin screen specification and ordering information thumbnailKentucky Dam, public works project designed by the Tennessee Valley Authority, completed August 30, 1944 and photgraphed by Ralph Crane for Life Magazine, 1952 thumbnailmap of the United States watersheds with enlargement of a proposed Trans-State Infrastructural Bioregion. A decentralized network of semi-autonomous and diversely composed design collaboratives based on these bioregions will be enabled to address emerging ecological and infrastructural issues. thumbnail