Monuments of Monsters | Urban Design Studio

Cities by Sea
Urban Design Studio
Rafi Segal, Alan Berger, Jonah Susskind
Fall 2017

Monuments of Monsters is a cultural project. It is a speculative urban park along the petroleum-dense industrial corridor of the Chelsea Creek. Facing the catastrophic effects of climate change and sea level rise, the site confronts adversarial futures: to engage in continuous efforts of fortification and risk distribution that allow for continued exploitation of the site’s regional value, or, to retire the site’s petroleum industries and allow for the sea to reclaim portions of the urban fabric. Simultaneous to envisioning these potential futures, the threat inundation by sea level rise also forces the site to reconcile with its past. These petrol storage cylinders were not arbitrarily placed here. They are intimately linked to the site’s local context and a legacy of ecological racism, The project proposes a theoretical World’s Fair of 2049 a year before the nominal year of the second wave of sea level rise (21”). A Disney of New England, this future World’s Fair commemorates the beginning of the end, celebrating the Anthropocene which is the gold standard of resiliency discourse. At the World’s Fair, the cosmopolitan citizens of the earth gather to marvel at the monuments of industry, fossil fuels, and a legacy of technology. However, visitors who come to this World Fair are confronted with the “externalities” of disregarded histories of the site, the nation, and the globe.