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Jeanne Gang Deals with the Carp Problem by Dealing with the River's Problems

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[Rendering courtesy of Studio Gang]

Architect Jeanne Gang is at it again with the pending release of her new book Reverse Effect , tackling the looming catastrophic Asian Carp invasion through the re-imagining of Chicago's waterways. According to a press release, the book is the result of a year-long collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council. It's built on NRDC's 2010 report "Re-envisioning the Chicago River", in which barriers are proposed to separate the Mississippi and Great Lakes watersheds, and green infrastructure touted to collect and filter rainwater.

Gang's collection of essays bring design savvy to the table, epitomized by a strategy that forges a more enclosed lagoon-like system by flooding barren parcels in Pilsen and Bridgeport. The new banks are greened, and urban and recreational development encouraged, going so far as to depict what is basically a second downtown in the rendering above. Alissa Anderson of Studio Gang, speaking with Curbed over the phone, described the book as a compilation of Jeanne Gang's essays, an original NRDC essay, an invasive species study conducted in England, and an array of designs from students of Gang's spring 2011 Harvard class. "We like to think of Jeanne as the book's MC," she added.

Gang leaves us with this, in the book's final essay: "Rather than seeking to control nature with technology, we will discover instead that in the 21st century, nature becomes technology... Can Chicago be the city that sets this new paradigm by transforming its waterways once again?” Available beginning November 7, these are ideas that can and should be taken seriously.
·Official Site: Studio Gang Architects
·Re-envisioning the Chicago River [NRDC]