Southern California Hydrologic Region Climate Adaptation

ARCH 542: Landscape Architecture Design

Instructor: Esther Margulies

Southern California is a microcosm of global climate impacts and conditions experiencing extreme heat, drought, wildfires and sea level rise. The economic engine fueling the development of the region over the past one hundred and fifty years has resulted in a growing megalopolis stretching from the Baja Peninsula to the agricultural valleys of central California. Federal policies subsidizing low density housing, the growth of industry in the auto age, urban petroleum mining, erasure of natural waterways and wetlands and freeways as the primary methods of transportation have exacerbated issues of urban heat, air pollution, loss of agricultural lands, elevated GHG emissions, lack of bio-diversity and impending sea level rise. We have the resources and the creative capital to lead the discussion of how to better shape our transient use of the earth. Human impacts of urbanization have created our current conditions in California for an instant compared to the natural processes that have shaped this region. Now is the time to advance scenarios that will adapt to a changing planet.