“Landscape architecture,” says architect Diana Balmori, “is an agile tool kit for dealing with the complexity of the city.” That complexity—exacerbated by the now annual recurrence of “storms of the century”—has inspired her work for decades. Balmori has addressed lake and flooding issues in Minneapolis and Memphis, and now wants to buttress New York for the next Hurricane Sandy. Balmori’s plan calls for floating islands on the edge of Manhattan. The man-made islands, woven from ropes and marshy plants, would provide a buffer against heavy rainfall as well as extra land for urban farming.
[Portrait illustration by Denise Nestor]