In August 2016, Heleen van Boxelaere graduated from Wageningen University with her thesis ‘Move on: research-through-drawing for flood resilience at the Galveston coast, TX’. An abstract of het thesis can be found on TOPOS-online.
In 2008, Hurricane Ike hit the Texas coast and despite ‘only’ being a category 2 storm Ike resulted in more than two dozen deaths and caused around $25 billion in damage. After Ike, concern was growing regarding the destructive storm surge and the flood risk at the barrier islands of the Galveston Bay, the petrochemical industries and the Port of Houston; the economic engine of the region.
As a result, a coastal barrier (among others) with floodgates and a set of dikes lining the Galveston Coast, was suggested to improve flood safety in the region. However this coastal barrier gives little concern to the integration and response of flood protective measures to preconditions set by the landscape system. An alternative approach for Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula that emerges from and responds to the landscape system has not been fully explored yet. Heleen van Boxelaere took on the challenge and proposes a strategy for flood resilience at Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula based on a profound analysis of the landscape system by research-through-drawing.