The convergence point of three tributaries flowing out of the Allegany Mountains marks the beginning of the Ohio River. The river flows east growing in strength and breath. Fifty percent of the U.S. population resides along is coast and waterways, with this number expected to rise. In conjunction with this floods are the United States most frequent disaster. The current strategy for keeping communities safe from the rising waters involves trying to overpower the river through force. With the use of levees and dams to restrict the rivers flow, and flood walls to hold back the waters as they threaten property. This thesis will explore how to develop resilient river communities that more passively address the natural flow, and commonly thought of as aggressive, nature of the river.
People have always lived/utilized the flood plains. Euro-Americans came to the river valleys and settled in the fertile flood plains with no intentions to move. These new citizens of the river valley invested in agriculture and later built industrial cities. Bringing this area into the modern age of industrialization brought with it the threat of living with disaster. What is most difficult for river communities to deal with is the balance between being near enough to reap the most benefit from the river but far enough away to avoid the high-water.
Not all disasters can be avoided. The goal of this thesis is not to create a design solution that is impervious to all forms of disaster, not even a solution that is capable of withstanding all levels of flooding. The goal is to address the issues of flooding that come up multiple time a year, as part of the rivers natural cycle. Engineering design solutions that can be implemented within the current context of Midwest cities, to bring in more nature by encouraging nature to cycle the way it was intended to.
 Watson, Donald, and Michele Adams. Design for flooding: architecture, landscape, and urban design for resilience to flooding and climate change. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. XX.
 Watson, Donald, and Michele Adams. Design for flooding: architecture, landscape, and urban design for resilience to flooding and climate change. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. XV.
 Castonguay, Stéphane. "Rivers and Risk in the City: The Urban Floodplain as a Contested Space." In Urban rivers: remaking rivers, cities, and space in Europe and North America. Pittsburgh, Pa.: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012. 131.