sea level rise

#PARK(ing) Day Highlights

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our PARK(ing) Day installation on Friday!  We had a blast talking to the community about climate change, the role of landscape architects in resiliency planning, and how we can make positive changes for the future. For those of you who missed it, here are the highlights from the day:

We talked to passers-by about current sea level rise projections and what that means for Providence and Rhode Island. In turn they shared their thoughts and ideas with us on index cards and added them to our wall of hope throughout the day, creating a colorful mosaic. Some of our younger participants added to our chalk art of Rhode Island on the ground. Sailing flags spelling out H-O-P-E hung below the banners on the sidewalk.  We used inundation-tolerant plant species to catch people's attention and make an attractive and informative display. The signage shows maps of sea level projections in Providence for 2050 and 2100 and talks about the causes, effects, and solutions to the problems coastal cities like Providence are facing.


DesignWeek by DESIGNxRI September 14 - 25

As one of the local design talents being spotlighted this year, our very own Taber Caton will be giving a lecture and tour of Roger Williams Park Botanical Center. Searle Design Group completed the Master Plan for the center in 2010 to implement sustainable updates to the exterior grounds of New England's largest indoor garden.

This event is taking place THIS THURSDAY September 22 at noon at Roger Williams Park, 1000 Elmwood Avenue in Providence, RI and is SOLD OUT as of today. Click here to learn more.

Progress in the Fight Against #climatechange @PARK(ing)DayPVD! #sealevelrise #oceanstate #renewableenergy #sustainablepower

Climate Change is not all doom and gloom - while we still have a long way to go to return the Earth's climate to a sustainable condition, there are some positive developments. One of our greatest successes to date is the increased feasibility and implementation of renewable energy sources. 

Rhode Island is a leader in renewable wind energy. The Block Island Wind Farm is the nation's first offshore wind farm. The project is small, consisting of five turbines capable of powering about 17,000 homes, but symbolic.  You can read more about it here:

In 2000, 9.4% of the United States' generated power came from renewable sources (solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal, and biomass). By 2013 this percentage increased to 13.1%. The biggest game changer among these has been the increased use of wind power.  In 2006, Rhode Island had the ability to produce 1 Megawatt of wind power. We can now produce 9.  While we can't reverse the environmental degradation that has already occurred, changes like this are a small step in the right direction and lay an important foundation for policy decisions based on sustainable growth.

THIS FRIDAY September 16, 2016 come eat, drink, and play with us as we reflect on the past and look toward the future to celebrate PARK(ing) Day 2016!  We'll be at 201 Westminster Street from 8am-5pm! Take a walk around the city and check out all the amazing pop-up parks brought to you by your favorite local designers and artists - including the debut of RISD's brand new student chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects at 63 Washington Street.  

If you want to learn more about the history of the fight against climate change, check out this interactive timeline of the progress made created by the United Nation's Framework Convention on Climate Change:

Getting Ready for @PARK(ing)DayPVD! #climatechange #sealevelrise #oceanstate

We've been hard at work planning, modeling, and prototyping a pop-up park to engage the community about the issue of sea level rise in Rhode Island.  The neighbor's cat came over to lend a helping paw with our prototype. If you're curious about what we've been up to, come see us on September 16 from 9-5 in front of the Bank of America Building at 111 Westminster St. in downtown Providence!  Come enjoy cold drinks and fun (there'll be sidewalk chalk), and help us envision a better future for the Ocean State. 

Climate Change Fact of the Day:

  • The average carbon footprint per person/per year in America is 20 metric tons.
  • The average carbon footprint per person/per year for all other nationalities is 4 metric tons.
  • The worldwide target for combating climate change is 2 metric tons.

To learn how you can reduce your carbon footprint, visit (big hint: drive less)


Many important questions posed in Newport about how to handle sea level rise and increased frequency and intensity of storms on our coasts and further inland. @unionstudioarch posed an important question: elevate, move to higher ground, or let the structure fall into the ocean?