Jessica Wagner Kimball : Artist Talk
Join us for a talk with Jessica Wagner Kimball, who recently completed her Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Toronto and will be talking about her design thesis project in conjunction with our current exhibition: Waterfront Visions 2050.
Current data projects a 2-6ft sea level increase in the Gulf of Maine over the next 100 years, depending on the rate of glacial ice melt. This increase in sea level rise puts Portland’s existing infrastructure at risk to be inundated on a daily basis. While tidal waters are rising, there has been a decline in industrial waterfront activity over the past century.
The coastal city of Portland, Maine faces two challenges: the threat of inundation from rising water levels due to climate change and a changing waterfront economy. The conditions in Portland present an opportunity to explore the role of landscape in improving the physical and economic resiliency of the urban waterfront. This design thesis asks the question, ‘how can an urban commercial waterfront adapt to rising water levels while at the same time develop a new programmatic strategy that improves public access and maintains marine-based commercial activity?’ This proposal addresses both land and economy through the development of a phased adaption strategy at the scale of Portland’s Commercial Street waterfront and the design of a single wharf.
Jessica holds a master degree in landscape architecture from the University of Toronto and a bachelor degree in community design and environmental planning from Dalhousie University. She is a former planner for the Town of Old Orchard Beach and a former resident of Portland. Jessica lives in Kennebunkport with her husband, and recently joined the design team at Sasaki Associates, Inc.