CRITIC / SULAN KOLATAN
COMPLETED / SUMMER 2013
Since the 1980s, the Golden Horn has been the focus of a long-term remediation effort, that by all accounts, has been tremendously successful in achieving what it is set out to do. The successive removal of industrial facilities, halting of industrial and toxic waste, and construction of public parks and buildings dedicated to cultural activities has significantly improved the estuary and its urban edge.
And yet, when we evaluate the improvements within the framework of the emerging ecological discourse, it becomes quickly apparent that the solutions and tools applied to the problem are part of the standard repertory of the 20th century (smooth and hard land water edges, shallow-grass dominated parks, object buildings) and as such fail to take on the challenges and opportunities of the super wicked problem that is the Golden Horn Watershed.
Ecology is teaching us to reconsider our ways of breaking down the world into ‘meaningful’ entities. As far as water systems are concerned, any meaningful way of looking at a river or estuary implicates the entire watershed. Issues occuring anywhere along hierarchy does not produce the kind of shift necessary, namely, long-term change in urbanization strategies.