Third Coast Atlas: Prelude to a Plan describes the conditions for urbanization across the Great Lakes region. It assembles a multi-layered, empirical description of urbanization processes within the drainage basins of the five Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence River. Measuring over 10,000 miles, the Great Lakes coastline, known as the “third coast,” is longer than the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines of the United States combined. The Great Lakes Basin holds over 20 percent of the world’s total surface fresh water, and is home to twenty-six million people in the United States and nine million in Canada. It is difficult to overstate the history and future of the region as both a contested and opportunistic site for urbanism. Envisaged as a comprehensive “atlas,” this publication comprises in-depth analysis of the landscapes, hydrology, infrastructure, urban form, and ecologies of the region, delivered through a series of analytical cartographies supported by scholarly and design research from internationally renowned scholars, photographers, and practitioners from the disciplines of architecture, landscape, geography, planning, and ecology. The publication captures the unique identity of the area and serves as a reference for design and planning in this distinct mega-region.
This publication was awarded with a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.