infrastructure design for climate change

Prerequisites: None

Load: 10 A.M. - 12 P.M. on Jan. 9 - 13, 19 (Six 2-hour sessions over 2 weeks)

Time Outside Class: 10-15 hours per week project work time

In this team-oriented, project-based class, students will work to find technical solutions that could be implemented to mitigate the effects of climate change, bearing in mind that any proposed measures must be appropriate in a given region’s socio-political-economic context. The specific problem will be the effect of sea level rise. As a case study, students will work on measures related to the cities of Cambridge, Boston, and, as much as possible, Singapore, with input from officials of appropriate city agencies and/or local NGO’s. The issues and solutions will have direct relevance to large, coastal cities elsewhere.


Students will also learn the basics of the observational/adaptable approach to design, essentially having a feedback loop of “design-construction-operation-design adaptation”. This approach to design is already practiced to some extent, but is likely to become much more common in the near future, both because of advances in embedded-sensor technology and because of its relevance to high-uncertainty contexts such as those presented by climate change.