Author Topic: Fixing Houston  (Read 80 times)

Ecurb Noselrub

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Fixing Houston
« on: September 04, 2017, 05:37:41 PM »
There is no engineering thread, so I put this here.  Houston needs to be fixed, so that this never happens again.  Houston, you have a problem.  Here is my proposal:

1. Make Houston the Amsterdam of the South.  The Dutch have dealt with water for centuries.  Hire them to fix Houston like they fixed Amsterdam over the years.

2.  There would be a system of canals around and across the city, with levees, locks and pumps, all redirecting the water.  You could basically take a map of Amsterdam and enlarge and superimpose it upon Houston and make it work. 

3. It would take lots of money, about the same amount that The Wall would take, so use that money to actually fix a problem instead of wasting it on a wall.

4.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Think of the economic boost this would give, and the jobs it would create.  Then, you never have to fix it again.

5.  I, of course, would get the gondola franchise, and turn Houston into the most romantic city since Venice. 

Anyway, I'm trying to inspire an engineering discussion.  Anyone interested?

Velma

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Re: Fixing Houston
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2017, 06:10:29 PM »
There would have to be a lot more environmental protections in place. With the laws and regulations currently in place in Houston, and Texas in general, the canals would be little more than radioactive, open sewers, with some manufacturing waste thrown in for good measure. Imagine what would happen to the city if all the canals caught fire.

 
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jumbojak

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Re: Fixing Houston
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2017, 07:49:22 PM »
Canals are all good and we'll but I'm assuming they'll be full when there is no crisis. Where's the extra water going to go during the next major flood? It'd be like Burundi during the rainy season.
 

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Ecurb Noselrub

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Re: Fixing Houston
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2017, 11:33:54 PM »
There would have to be a lot more environmental protections in place. With the laws and regulations currently in place in Houston, and Texas in general, the canals would be little more than radioactive, open sewers, with some manufacturing waste thrown in for good measure. Imagine what would happen to the city if all the canals caught fire.

Hmmm.  Buffalo Bayou and other bayous currently run through the city.  They haven't caught fire.  The canals would add additional waterways.  The chemical plants and refineries are closer to the coast and on the ship channel, not in the center of the city itself, so I doubt they would pose that much of a problem as far as catching fire.  But, agreed that more zoning and environmental protections would be good.

Firebird

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Re: Fixing Houston
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2017, 06:19:00 AM »
Paul Krugman (NY Times economist) wrote about Houston and city planning in general today. This little stat boggled my mind:

Quote
Greater Houston still has less than a third as many people as greater New York, but it covers roughly the same area, and probably has a smaller percentage of land that hasn’t been paved or built on.

This makes it much harder for water to drain. So clearly you need better zoning regulation, but Texas hates that kind of stuff. Maybe this will change their minds?
And Houston is hardly the only city that will need to adopt floodwalls and other Dutch-inspired solutions. The whole Eastern seaboard will probably need to do so. Hell, downtown Boston is basically built on landfill and will definitely be one of the first places to flood once sea levels hit a certain range.
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xSilverPhinx

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Re: Fixing Houston
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2017, 04:41:31 PM »
Permeable pavements? :notsure:



I don't know if it wouldn't erode the ground under, though. If it does then someone might be in for a nasty surprise!
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