Transitional Territories

The works presented in the exhibition “ACCUMULATION—CLEARANCE” continues the new three years cycle of Transitional Territories Studio on the de- / re-territorialization of places, structures and cultures between land and sea: the palimpsest of traces of inhabitation, production, and infrastructure projected on land, river and ocean grounds, which define the urban as a material and socio-ecological space. As guiding principle, the opposing and/or at times iterative notions of accumulation and clearance are at the core of the study. By looking into centres and repeated cycles of accumulation and their externalities, we aim to document urbanisation, its impact on present and future environment and life. The project continues in a search for alternative forms of critical design as acts of care.
The research on the state of the territorial project is developed in collaboration for the second year with Diploma Unit 9 at the Architectural Association. The Unit develops projects on a territorial scale, with a strong focus on spatial diagnostics and territorial transformation. At the heart of the studio lies the idea that crises should be revealed and designed rather than latent and suffered. This year, DIP9 continues to diagnose the current condition of the built environment and reveal its latent crises, with a specific focus on those of funding. Advocating for territorial trans-formations and institutional adjustments, the unit will propose strategies of collective responsibility towards our environment, consider ecological restoration as a catalyst for profound spatial and political change, and weave together spatial conditions through the dissemination of civic infrastructures.

Four lines of inquiry
subjects. composition. alteration. limit. projections
. Matter
. Topos
. Habitat
. Politics

Mapped and projected under the lenses of the notions of
. Accumulation
. Clearance

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Curated by
Transitional Territories Studio 2021-2022
Website
o-ko
Photography ‘Image’
Oana Irina Ionasc (Venice, Italy)
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Transitional Territories 2021-2022:
*Inland, Seaward. The Form of Time and the Politics of Space*
Enzo Yap
Esmee Kuit
Hugo López Silva
Isabella Trabucco
Katerina Inglezaki
Kelvin Saunders
Luiz do Nascimento
Minyue Jiang
Monserratt Cortes Macias
Oviya Elango
Patrisia Tziourrou
Samuel van Engelshoven
Xiaoling Ding


Pantopia / AA Diploma 9 2021-2022:
*No Money, No Cry*
Anahita Brahmbhatt
Rashad Fakhouri
Sabrina Hoi Ching Lee
Charlotte Li Wen Phang
Jia Wei Huang
Zeena Jamil
Pierre Zeboni
Nikitas Papadopoulos
Jean-Daniel Maly Kouassi
Ioana Iordache
Judi Diab
Yanhua Shen

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The exhibition opened on March 17th 2022 with invited design critics Daniel Daou (UNAM), Johanna Just (ETH), Chiara Cavalieri (UCLouvain), Roi Salgueiro Barrio (MIT)

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TUDelft
Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment
Transitional Territories Graduation Studio 2021-2022: 'Inland Seaward. The Form of Time and the Politics of Space'

Transitional Territories is an interdisciplinary design studio focusing on the notion of territory as a constructed project across scales, subjects and media. In particular, the studio focuses on the agency of design in the (trans-)formation of fragile and highly dynamic landscapes between land and water (maritime, riverine, delta landscapes), and the dialectical (or inseparable) relation between nature and culture. The studio explores through cross-disciplinary and situated knowledge (theory, material practice, design and representation) lines of inquiry and action by building upon Delta Urbanism research tradition, yet moving beyond conventional methods, spatial concepts and constructs.

For the academic year 2021-2022, the studio continues the three years cycle “Inland Seaward” on the de-/re-territorialization of places, (infra) structures and cultures between land and sea. The studio approaches the contemporary instability of environmental, climatic, political and socio-economic structures and urban formations, the sense of disruption and mutation that they cause, as the object of design. We understand that the traditional instruments for urban design and planning are not able to address the complexity and urgency of societal and environmental challenges defining urban life. Therefore, we approach the instability in our disciplinary practice as our collective effort in the studio, envisioning, programming and designing material and ecological spatial interventions that are able to imagine and demonstrate different futures for climate adaptation, water related risk management, energy transition, forms of inhabitation and productivity in highly dynamic and/or severe altered landscapes.

Transitional Territories builds upon a long-established collaborative platform (science, engineering, technology and arts) on ways of seeing/seizing, mapping, projecting change and critically acting on highly dynamic landscapes. At the core of the Delta Urbanism Research Group, the studio is embedded within/and supported by the interdisciplinary TUDelft Delta Futures Lab, in close collaboration with the CEG and TPM Faculties.

For the second year, the studio closely collaborates with the Architectural Association, School of Architecture, London - Diploma Unit 9 / Pantopia on the current status of the territorial project. Tutors: Stefan Einar Laxness | Antoine Vaxelaire.


Transitional Territories
Studio Leader
Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin

Studio Coordinators
Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin
Luisa Maria Calabrese

Instructors | Mentors
Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin
Luisa Calabrese
Fransje Hooimeijer
Denise Piccinini
Diego Sepulveda Carmona
Nikos Katsikis
Leo van den Burg

Students
Enzo Yap
Esmee Kuit
Hugo López Silva
Isabella Trabucco
Katerina Inglezaki
Kelvin Saunders
Luiz do Nascimento
Minyue Jiang
Monserratt Cortes Macias
Oviya Elango
Patrisia Tziourrou
Samuel van Engelshoven
Xiaoling Ding

Graduation Sections/ Chairs
Urban Design
Environmental Technology & Design
Spatial Planning and Strategy
Landscape Architecture

image

Katerina Inglezaki

Three drawing sequence:
Composition - Alteration - Limits of 'Matter'

The Association of Naturalists of the Southeast presented in March 1999 a Complaint before the European Commission for the possible non-compliance in the Region of Murcia of the Nitrates Framework Directive (91/676 / CEE). Directive 91/676 / CEE, of December 12, relative to the Protection of Waters against pollution produced by nitrates of agricultural origin, was transposed into the Spanish legal system by Royal Decree 26/1996, of February 16. The Directive obliges member states to identify bodies of water affected, to designate areas vulnerable to contamination by nitrates of agricultural origin, to draw up a Code of Good Agricultural Practices, to draw up action programs to reduce nitrates and to the issuance of status reports based on the periodic monitoring of water quality. The Directive aims, as its ultimate goal, to reduce pollution caused by nitrates of agricultural origin, which are the main cause of diffuse pollution that affects the waters of the European Union.

As a result of the ANSE’s complaint, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Environment designated as a zone highly vulnerable to contamination by nitrates from agricultural areas to the Quaternary and Pliocene aquifers in the area defined by the eastern irrigable zone of the Tajo-Segura Transfer and the coastal sector of the Mar Menor. The nitrate accumulated for decades in the aquifer must exceed 300,000 tons, an average value of 244 mg/l, far from the 50 mg/l set by the nitrates directive.

What is a UDA?
A UDA is “an irrigation zone that shares common characteristics according to the fundamental criterion of constituting a differentiable management unit, either because of its source of resources, because of its administrative conditions, because of its irrigation typology, because of its hydrological similarity, or because of strictly territorial considerations.“ (CHS, 2015).


Alteration
The issue with the Quaternary aquifer is that it is highly polluted by fertilizer nitrates which is a great threat to water masses since it literally fertilizes phytoplankton in such huge quantities that it no longer allows sunlight to shine through water. As a result, the water turns green as happened in the Mar Menor in 2016 and the seagrass beds, unable to photosynthesize, die.

Nitrates would be useful for irrigation but these Quaternary waters are also brackish since they come from filtrations of the Mar Menor to which the aquifer is connected, and so, they need to be mixed with others of lower salinity or processed in desalination plants to be suitable for irrigation. At the moment, the Quaternary aquifer is not the only polluted one according to documents by the Campo de Cartagena Association of Irrigators, where they request the reopening of drought wells closed in 2015, it is acknowledged that not only is the Quaternary aquifer polluted by nitrates because it is “under agricultural soil” but that the Pliocene aquifer is also already affected by nitrate pollution in some areas, “especially south of Torre Pacheco, in part due to the artificial connection of the two aquifers that is established through pumping wells. Wells were not properly drilled, going through the Quaternary without cementing the walls of the well in that section, which causes contaminated water to descend from the upper aquifer into the lower.


Limit

The Tajo-Segura aqueduct connects the Tajo and Segura basins, crossing the Guadiana and Júcar basins, in which it uses the Alarcón reservoir as a transit element. It transports the waters of the headwaters of the Tagus that have previously been regulated in the Entrepeñas and Buendía reservoirs.
The maximum volume that the Law allows transferring is 600 hm³/ year, which is used for supply and irrigation. The Law also authorizes the transfer of an additional amount to the Guadiana basin to supply water to the Tablas de Daimiel National Park and the populations of the upper basin.

Under normal conditions, the specific decision on the volumes and flows to be transferred in each semester corresponds to the Central Commission for the Exploitation of the Tajo-Segura Aqueduct, created in 1978 and made up of representatives of the management bodies of each of the basins involved. In exceptional hydrological circumstances, this decision is adopted by the Minister in charge of water matters, following a report from the Commission.

In accordance with the procedure approved by the Commission itself, the hydrographic confederations must prepare, before each meeting of the Commission, a status document that includes the relevant aspects for the common knowledge and exploitation of the Tajo-Segura Aqueduct so as to apply the exploitation rule.

Sources:

Katarina Inglezaki. Agroecologies for the Stateless. MSc. Urbanism Thesis, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft. Transitional Territories Studio 2021-2022.


Hugo López Silva

Three drawing sequence:
Composition - Alteration - Limits of 'Matter'

The first compositions on “accumulation” investigate the contribution of energy to the near-approaching climate and social collapse. It focuses on the mode of energy of the non-renewables and its contribution to the damage in local and planetary ecosystems.

The investigation follows lines of inquiry that are in line with the main adaptive cycles and related times of change. In that sense, the main adaptive cycles relevant for the place and topic are identified and the related times of change addressed. The first cycle is “Matter”, which addresses the atmosphere by the mapping of materials and emissions.
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To understand the non-renewables mode of energy, the “matter” section looks at the air. The primary commodities (the most used forms being coal, lignite, oil, gas and nuclear) have not only largely contributed to the state of climate change with carbon emissions but also depletes the atmosphere in an extent that reaches far than the limit of a sub-basin. Particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and others are not static but they react and transform; in the end, trapping heat in the atmosphere and contributing from UHIs to climate change but also causing pulmonary issues.

The energy landscapes of conversion, also known as ‘power plants’, are mapped across the Rhine basin along with their capacity as gradients. The map also overlaps the regions with higher air pollution. Those not only hovers over agglomeration urbanisation zones but also over the cluster of these dots.

If it seems that this mode of energy operates in nodes and that the “externalities” are localised and limited, the understanding of the network shows that the trace of depletion goes much further. To only point to emissions, they do not only happen only in the conversion phase but all along the extraction to the distribution. This operationalisation leaves its mark in many ecosystems.

The relation that is mostly done regarding material for energy production evaluates its value according to its EROI (energy return on investment). It is a ratio that measures the amount of usable energy delivered from an energy source with the amount of energy used to get that energy resource. And most importantly, the cost of an energy plant to the revenues when it is turned into a commodity. An alternative to it would be to look at these materials from another set of relations. How many emissions does a mass of this feedstock generally produces and also how much water does this conversion needs? This is to only show another kind of matter that is drawn into the equation of this process.

Mapping the accumulation of emissions in the air can help to visualise and act upon this mode of production, as cleaner air could also mean more just urbanisation, depending on the landscapes that will propose this future reality.

Sources:

Hugo López Silva. Memories from worlds yet to be inhabited: Terraforming from energy landscapes in the Rhine basin. MSc. Urbanism Thesis, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft. Transitional Territories Studio 2021-2022.


Minyue Jiang

Three drawing sequence:
Composition - Alteration - Limits of 'Matter'


Composition
Matter, as the starting point of these four inquiries, reflects the effect caused by accumulation and the elements studied in the inquiry, which is water in this project. In order to study and build a flood resilience future for ABC mega region, it is necessary to first understand the water systems and the distribution of flood risks throughout the whole region in the macro scale. Due to the terrain and the rich distribution of the river networks, the Netherlands, located in the lowlands, is exposed to a huge flood crisis. In addition, the red and yellow colours along the river warn of flood risks that require attention.

Alteration
The ABC mega region is located at the mouth of the Rhine basin. Apart from the mountains in the south-eastern part, the overall terrain is basically flat. However, some areas are still below sea level and are therefore at constant risk of flooding due to sea level rise. Some of these areas below sea level are even densely populated metropolitan areas, while others are more rural and natural areas.

Limit
At a time when the global climate is changing, sea levels rising and extreme weather events are causing the balance of the global water cycle to be disrupted more frequently. The crisis of solving the flooding problem is already imminent.

Sources:

Minyue Jiang. MSc. Urbanism Thesis, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft. Transitional Territories Studio 2021-2022.


Samuel van Engelshoven

Three drawing sequence:
Composition - Alteration - Limits of 'Matter'

The first composition is regarding matter. The type of matter chosen is water, as it is the central element in the flooding problem researched. The composition aims to understand the water system of the Rhine and to uncover locations of interest. The central question behind this drawing is: where does the water come from, and where does it flow to? Extreme rainfall data shows most extreme rainfall occurs in the Upper- and Alpine Rhine, which is caused by the mountainous terrain. Extreme rainfall often leads to high peak discharges in the river’s tributaries. The Mosel, Neckar, Aare, and Main are the most important tributaries of the Rhine.

The riverbed is not large enough to contain all its water during peak discharges. Therefore it floods its surrounding lands if the topography allows. The most extensive natural flood plains are found in the Upper Rhine Valley and the Lower- and Delta Rhine. Due to the construction of dykes the river is prevented from flooding these plains. However, in an extreme scenario, these flood plains could be inundated despite the presence of dykes. To understand the consequences of this extreme scenario, land-use data is overlaid. This shows that the potentially inundated area is highly urbanized and used intensively for agriculture. Therefore a large-scale flood would have devastating economic and emotional consequences.

Dykes protect the functional land-use within the natural floodplain of the river. By the construction of these barriers, space is taken away from the river. The river is therefore forced to flow downstream more quickly during peak discharges, and the water level is heightened. The additional problem is that it becomes more likely that the discharge peak coincides with the discharge peak of the main tributaries, increasing the problems downstream (Lammersen et al., 2002).

Other essential factors are the amount of rainfall and land-use. Cultivated and urban landscapes often have a lower infiltration capacity than a forest. Therefore more water runs off to the river quickly, leading to an increased discharge peak. In the Rhine basin, the most rain falls in mountainous terrain, which is predominantly covered by forest. Areas with low infiltration capacity often endure less rainfall, which is positive as it does not increase the peak discharge.

Climate change is testing the limits of the current water system. The limits of the water system are defined as the balance between the natural system and the human system. Climatic projections suggest the annual rainfall will increase slightly, but more significant is the increase in extreme rainfall events. The severity and occurrences will increase, so floods will become more likely.

Sources:

Samuel van Engelshoven. Symbiotic Waterscapes. Interdependent water management in the urbanized and cultivated landscape of the Rhine basin. MSc. Urbanism Thesis, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft. Transitional Territories Studio 2021-2022.


Patrisia Tziourrou

Three drawing sequence:
Composition - Alteration - Limits of 'Matter'

Water, geology, and soil have been selected to explore the area from the perspective of Matter. As the work deals with two time periods, the cartography is based on 1880 and 2021, comparing human activity in relation to these three matters. The composition map uses layers of components from these two time periods, indicating the relationship between vineyards and geology in the past and now. At this point, it is obvious that the current location of the vineyards is more related to the geological strata than in the past. However, the mapping of water sources before and after shows clear overexploitation of groundwater in the current landscape. Thus, these two conclusions lead to the broader statement. Technological improvements have given the opportunity to develop an organized and effective interaction between humans and land but on the other hand to utilize terrestrial resources beyond the permissible sustainable limit. Following this, the transect examines this exchange between humans and land at the level of soil composition, showing that vineyards do not follow the pattern of soil components. This is the result of the "ownership" regime, which does not allow the vineyard to be planted where the land is ideal, but where the owner has his property. This follows the mutation of the soil components in order to meet the needs of the vine plant. Finally, the diagram chooses the matter of water to finally explain the emergency of an unfair exchange. The number of drilling holes that were connecting the human needs with the landscape resources in 1880 and 2021 has been increased radically leading to overexploitation. This is also the result of the “ownership” status that shifts this exchange from communal to individual.

Sources:

Patricia Tziourrou. Between the traces of co-existence. Cyprus 1st October 2060. MSc. Urbanism Thesis, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft. Transitional Territories Studio 2021-2022.


Oviya Elango

Three drawing sequence:
Composition - Alteration - Limits of 'Matter'

At the regional scale the pattern of accumulation of water in the surface/sub-surface while it transcends from the atmosphere is determined by the complex geographies of the western ghats mountain range and the forest it adorns. Flowing down from the mountains are the Vaigai towards the Bay of Bengal and Periyar river towards the Arabian Sea. The districts of Idukki, Palakkad in Kerala receives about more than 4000mm of rainfall a year, while the districts on the eastern sides namely Madurai, Theni receive a average annual rainfall of about 800mm.(CRU time-series Data) Such drastic contrast in rainfall is attributed by the topography that also defines the nature of the water bodies. Further these water systems are operationalised by humans to foster the needs of the settlement along the river and the production zones in this region. The two rivers were interlinked through the construction of the Mullaiperiyar dam in 1888 – 1895, Vaigai river basin depends upon the Periyar extensively for its water supply. The increasing variations to the components of the monsoon is making the system extremely unpredictable in terms of its intensity and frequency. The Alteration diagram tries to capture the consequences of one such uncertain weather event. The Southwest monsoon pattern, which is usually from June to September has increasingly been postponed by 15 days, for example in the years 2018 and 2019 rainfall fluctuated extensively from a 7 years mean. Water stored in 35 dams out of total 54 for summer had to be released on Aug 15 after receiving 116% more rainfall, which lead to widespread flooding and landslides in Central regions of Kerala. The change in the rhythm of the rainfall patterns is perceived for 100 years shown in Limits. Significant fluctuation is seen in the last two decades. Such uncertainty in the monsoon season makes it an unreliable source of water which demands flexible and adaptable methods of water management cohesive to natural systems.

Sources:

Oviya Elango. Territorial Adaptation through Co-habitation in Critical Geographies. MSc. Urbanism Thesis, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft. Transitional Territories Studio 2021-2022.


Monserratt Cortes Macias

Three drawing sequence:
Composition - Alteration - Limits of 'Matter'

Composition

The only available water resource on the Yucatan Peninsula is groundwater. Due to its geological and topographic characteristics, surface-water runoff and drainage are practically nonexistent, except in the southern parts. Therefore, the supply of drinking water for the different activities of society is the groundwater that in turn receives the wastewater that is generated in the region. Groundwater storage and flow occur in a regional Karst aquifer with major cave systems and turbulent currents. The groundwater moves from the areas with the highest rainfall, in the south of the state, towards the north coast where it is discharged in the form of rivers and flows into the mangroves and coral reefs. This transboundary aquifer system extends over an area of 165,000 km2 approximately, reaching neighbor countries Guatemala and Belize and hosts large amounts of groundwater resources which maintain highly diverse groundwater-dependent ecosystems (Bauer-Gottwein et al., 2011).

Alteration

The key groundwater management problem in the Yucatan Peninsula is trading off groundwater for human use against groundwater for ecosystems. The high-speed development of the tourism economy and infrastructure, farming lands and overall population growth threaten the groundwater resources, leading to exponentially increasing amounts of wastewater and soil waste. The vulnerability of the aquifer to contamination is
due to the characteristics of the karstic subsoil, which determine that the rain infiltrates quickly and drags away any substance found on the surface of the land. In most of the state, domestic effluent or wastewater is discharged underground through abandoned septic tanks and shallow wells due to the lack of a sanitary drainage system. Rainwater is discharged into the aquifer through absorption wells 15-18 m deep, which slowly increases contamination rates. The region lacks comprehensive regulation of wastewater treatment and landfills as well as farming lands are particularly critical in this high-permeability karstic area. Moreover, sea water intrusion in the karst aquifer is extensive and reaches tens of kilometers inland. Groundwater use is thus restricted to a relatively thin freshwater lens (40 – 100 m thick).

Limits

Stress on groundwater resources is thus continuously increasing and threatens both water supply assets and groundwater dependent ecosystems like cenotes (sinkholes), wetlands, rainforest, coral reef and urban areas. Since the 1990’s it is believed that land-based sources of pollution such as discharge of untreated sewage and wastewater, along with overfishing, coral disease, and climate change, may have contributed to the loss of up to 50% of corals in the reef along the region’s coast. With a ten-fold increase in population expected by 2030, the problems are likely to worsen (Harvell et al., 2007). Researchers warn that a combination of sea-level rise and over extraction of fresh water contributes to saltwater intrusion into the aquifers, thereby posing an immediate threat to the region’s fresh water quality and availability.

Sources:

Monserratt Cortes Macias. Future [Arch]Ecologies | Territory, Identity and Heritage Landscape as infrastructure for a new socio-cultural co-production in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. MSc. Urbanism Thesis, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft. Transitional Territories Studio 2021-2022.

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Bauer-Gottwein, P., Gondwe, B. R. N., Charvet, G., Marín, L. E., Rebolledo- Vieyra, M., & Merediz-Alonso, G. (2011). Review: The Yucatán Peninsula karst aquifer, Mexico. Hydrogeology Journal, 19(3), 507–524. https://doi.org/10.1007/S10040-010-0699-5


Harvell, Catherine & E, Jordan & Merkel, Susan & Raymundo, Laurie & Rosenberg, Eugene & Smith, Garriet & Weil, Ernesto & Willis, Bette. (2007). Coral Disease, Environmental Drivers, and the Balance Between Coral and Microbial Associates. Oceanography (Washington D.C.). 20. 58-81. 10.5670/oceanog.2007.91.




Xiaoling Ding

Three drawing sequence:
Composition - Alteration - Limits of 'Matter'


Composition
In Roermond, one of the worst-hit municipalities in 2021 European Floods, 550 homes were evacuated by police (Lorimer, 2021). In order to investigate the causes of flooding in the population, it is necessary to first understand the Meuse River catchment, land, the extent of overflows, and microclimate characteristics. The map shows that both the main and tributaries of the Meuse River have overflowed, with lands affected by flooding on the west and south sides of Roermond. On this scale, there is no obvious relationship between flood overflow and humidity.

Alteration
Unlike most cities, waterfront cities are vulnerable to both types of flooding due to their particular geographic location, especially in the event of extreme rainfall. Fluvial flooding occurs when the water level of the river exceeds the height of the dam, which is usually caused by water discharges from the upstream and downstream. It lasts for a long time and has great influence. Pluvial flooding is relatively mild and tends to occur in stormy weather if a city's drainage system is unable to accommodate large amounts of precipitation in a short period of time (Chen et al., 2010). Both flood types are associated with precipitation and should be considered seriously in the context of climate change.

Limit
Over the past 30 years, the Meuse River near Roermond has changed a lot, mainly as its catchment has increased and there is more room to hold and store the water from upstream. Room for the River Programme has enabled Roermond to change its history of flooding. At the same time, however, rainfall also tends to increase. By 2020, the number of rainy months in the Netherlands has increased from 3 to 6.5, as shown in the diagram.

With extreme weather events becoming increasingly common, it remains to be seen whether current measures will be enough to prevent future flooding risks.

Sources:

Xiaoling Ding. Towards a Flood-Resilient Civil Society. Flood Risk Adaptive and Governance Strategies in Roermond. MSc. Urbanism Thesis, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft. Transitional Territories Studio 2021-2022.


Luiz do Nascimento

Three drawing sequence:
Composition - Alteration - Limits of 'Matter'

Composition
*Geological Composition of the soil and water network in Barra Bonita*
Most of the area around the City of Barra Bonita is covered by two types of Oxisols: Red-Yellow and Red Oxisols. These soils present vibrant and reddish colors due to the high volumes of iron oxides in the original organic matter of the earth. Mainly found in regions of moderate topography, the soils are most commonly used for farming cereals and sugarcane in Southeastern Brazil. The gentle slopes allow for the usage of heavy machinery for harvesting - justifying the existence of enormous monocultures throughout the region.
Furthermore, the surroundings of Barra Bonita are of extreme relevance for the maintenance of quality and levels of underground water, due to its location on top of the recharge zone of the Guarani Aquifer, one of the largest in the World.


Alteration
*Evolution of superficial subsoil + Soil impoverishment caused by industrial agriculture*
A challenge for oxisols refers to the low amount of water available to plants and their susceptibility to compaction. This is commonly found in Red Oxisols with a clayey or very clayey texture, also occurring in Red Latosols if the fine sand content is high (EMBRAPA). During rain or irrigation, the soil stores water in macro and micropores. The Ultisols with second horizons starting at a depth of 40 cm present greater availability of water than the other Latosols.
As oxisols are prone to compaction, the intensive exploration of the soil by extractive agriculture uses is harmful to these landscapes. The top layer of soil is most often either compacted or washed away due to the frequency and long periods in which the soil is left exposed between two harvesting periods.
Because of their overlap with the recharge zones of the Guarani Aquifer, the areas destined for the plantation of Sugarcane trigger yet another issue. The infiltration of pesticides into the subsoil occurs in different manners, but mostly when heavy rainfall occurs after a long period of drought.
Furthermore, the pesticides (sugarcane plantations are mostly pulverized from the air, with the use of small airplanes) can easily be transported by the wind towards neighboring communities, bodies of water, and farms producing food products. Ultimately, due to the compaction and subdued impermeabilization of the soil, the pesticides are washed away by runoff water, polluting the rivers and springs of the Basin.


Limits
*Dependency on pesticides for agricultural productions versus type of production*
The amount of land available for the production of food is increasingly diminishing throughout the country, favoring the plantation of commodities. As observed in the graph, apart from rice, all food products have had their production decrease in the period from 2005 to 2016. Commodities crops, on the other hand, such as soy and sugarcane are seeing a considerable increase in production, and productivity.
On a National basis, until 2030 the Ministry of Agriculture predicts that two million hectares less will be destined for rice, beans, and cassava. Soybean and corn should increase by 27% in production and reach 70 million ha. (for comparison, that is almost 18 times the size of The Netherlands). This process follows the tendency clearly seen on the graph at the bottom; however the area destined for the plantation of soy is nowhere close to other crops, with its closest competitor being sugarcane, all crops destined for production of commodities and further exportation are on a surge. Furthermore, these crops are heavily dependent on pesticides for increasing their productivity. With the increase of monocultures for the production of commodities, so too the dependency of the country increases on importing fertilizers. Ultimately, an increase in the contamination of surface and subsurface waters, animals and communities living at the edges of the plantations is expected too.

Sources:

Luiz Felipe do Nascimento. Regeneration of Ecological Integrity in the Tietê River Basin. MSc. Urbanism Thesis, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft. Transitional Territories Studio 2021-2022.


Esmee Kuit

Three drawing sequence:
Composition - Alteration - Limits of 'Matter'

The project area lies exclusively below NAP. With a maximum depth of 5,5m below sea level, the area is one of the lowest-lying parts of the Netherlands. The lowest lying area is the peat soil, whereas the soil at 1,5 metres is characterised as azonal soil. Because of the low-lying characteristic, the thesis territory and its surroundings are prone to floods (Provincie Zuid Holland, n.d.). These threats are threefold as the flooding can be caused by a rise in the sea level, a period of intense rain and high water from upstream.

Not only is the area below sea level, but the area is also sinking at a steady pace (PBL, 2015). This has multiple causes. The first cause is the local soil subsidence. the soil in the Province of Zuid-Holland is sinking faster than in other parts of the Netherlands (Provincie Zuid Holland, n.d.). In addition, isostasy causes the western part of the Netherlands to sink even faster than the estimated 5 mm/year. There is large uncertainty about what the expected range will be over the next several decades (van Asselen et al., 2019).

The rate of sea-level rise is also unpredictable (KNMI, 2021). There are several prognoses that Haasnoot and colleagues (2020) describe. The largest limitation of the area is dealing with the challenge of planning under uncertain circumstances (Haasnoot et al., 2020). The functional lifetime of planned adaptation reduces quickly, as the lead time is quickly deteriorating in just a small amount of time, compared to what lead times were twenty years ago. It is, therefore, necessary to act upon knowledge now, preferably with measures that allow for quick changes and bold decisions.

Sources:

Esmee Kuit. Creating new values with old connections: The case of Zoetermeer, Zuid-Holland. MSc. Urbanism Thesis, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft. Transitional Territories Studio 2021-2022.


Isabella Trabucco

Three drawing sequence:
Composition - Alteration - Limits of 'Matter'

Matter - Composition
The element that was analyzed in Matter is water. The scale chosen involves the whole river system from the Alps to the Venetian lagoon, to understand the complexity of the hydrological fluxes. The composition makes us notice the various rivers flowing directly into the lagoon and the ones which were redirected in previous centuries. The different types of water are also highlighted: the salty Adriatic seawater, the brackish one of the lagoon, the various underground freshwater aquifers which stand below the Po plain, and the mountainous chain. Next to the primary water network, the secondary one is drawn, showing the maze of water that is connected to the lagoon landscape directly and indirectly.

Matter – Alteration

The Alteration adds up the new water layer coming out of the 2021 IPCC report SSP5-8.5 scenario. We can observe in the transect, not only the surface structure of water but also the subsurface and the atmosphere. The sea-level rise projection shows us clearly how the underground aquifers would be greatly influenced. This means that saltwater would interfere with the natural ecosystem, causing problems for the vegetation beyond the lagoon itself and the agricultural production of the region. Because of the sea rise, also the atmosphere is affected, which shows up in the precipitation quantity and the wind speed towards the alps resulting in more frequent and devastating storms.

Matter - Limit
The limit diagram makes us understand how precisely the land uses would be affected in the future scenario. The fragments of land contained in a total area of 1.158.742 km2 were overlaid by the sea-level rise affected surface. Three main primary categories introduce the analysis: Urban system, Productive green and Underground water Aquifers. Within the Urban and Green system, we see the different crop productions or the different urban functions. With this scheme it is possible to gain an overview of the devastation that the simple surface overlap of RSL would bring, without considering the secondary consequences that this event would bring. We understand therefore how all the territorial systems would be affected and how, because of the climate crisis, they come closer to each other, sharing the same threat, perhaps raising the opportunity of collaboration.

Sources:

Isabella Trabucco. A Project of Non Resistance. Venice, 21st March 2100. MSc. Urbanism Thesis, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft. Transitional Territories Studio 2021-2022.