Mobility After Carbon

Daham Marapane

Reassembling the Earth


Jazairy El Hadi


Climate migration, as a broad social force in the 21st century operating on an immense and nearly incalculable scale, disrupts the themes of localism that undergird most narratives of a post-carbon transition and degrowth. These narratives include certain mobility regimes where the circulation of materials in a society becomes a localized system governed by autonomous communities. Yet labor is more ambiguous under this paradigm. Most work presumably can be completed by residents of a locality retrained under this new system but how do we design for a harder reality of both labor shortages and surplus populations? How can migrants leaving areas hard hit by climate change settle into cities that have adapted successfully?

To this end, Mobility After Carbon envisions a scenario set in a post-Green New Deal Seattle, where the democratizing potential of infrastructure; of transit systems, housing and other projects built in partnership with newly empowered municipalist politics creates opportunities for ambitious redesign of city life.

The project is centered around 3 sites in the city, a transit hub on the industrial periphery of Seattle, a migrant housing project downtown, and a public park at the former center of the tech industry. These three sites allow the project to weave between scales of urban policy, buildings, and objects to describe a wide array of designable situations that could aid in creating a new compact between migrants and the city.

Ultimately, this thesis aims to assert that the radical hospitality needed to unconditionally allow migrants into the city does not endanger it’s ecological balance but instead provides opportunity for a radical vanguard of social practices truly necessary for a post-carbon transition.