In 2008, the CoD launched “River Cities,” a multi-year design and development project that proposes to address the problems of economic decline and job loss in Kentucky “river cities” by partnering with local municipalities, developers and business to develop transformative projects.
Manhattan Redux

The Manhattan Redux studio took on the tremendous challenge of developing a one hundred and fifty year scenario plan for Kentucky's Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, one of the most contaminated top secret sites in United States history. As the point of origin for all fissile materials bound for both energy and defense during the last sixty years, the site now finds itself with a five mile long heterogenous plume of contaminants running beneath it. Slated for closure in the near future, the PGDP has been the primary generator of the region’s economy for over half a century. The PGDP once provided tens of thousands of high-paying jobs, which have been incrementally diminished to twenty five hundred jobs that will soon be eliminated upon closure. The Manhattan Redux studio defied this overwhelming scenario by channelling the audacity of original Manhattan Project scientists. Rather than see the PGDP’s numerous problems as the region’s demise, the studio looked at the problem as being the solution. The studio proposed an economy generated by the serious undertaking of cleanup, which can be seen here.

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The studio also built a first-ever 1:350 scale model to understand and communicate the relationship between the site’s geographical features, its subsurface conditions, and the plume itself. The model is intended as a tool to provoke conversation and debate among scientists, and to communicate issues to the public, all with the hope of stimulating progress toward resolution of aquifer and ground contaminations, enabling regeneration of the site and region.

More information on the Manhattan Redux studio can be found here, the models, and digital fabrication techniques used in the process can be found here.

More information on The River Cities Project: Paducah+
More information on The River Cities Project

Models showing the known extents of ground concentrations originating at the plant

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US Department of Energy
Kentucky Research Consortium on Energy and Environment
University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research

Principle Investigators:
Asst. Prof. Gary Rohrbacher AIA, Filson And Rohrbacher, UK CoD
Asst. Prof. Anne Filson AIA, Filson and Rohrbacher, UK CoD

Post-Graduate Research Assistants:
Carolyn Parrish
Sydney Kidd

Graduate Research Assistants:
Joseph O'Toole
Michael Schenkenfelder
Jennifer Jourdan
Mikaela Coston
Ross Graham

Bobby Morris
Kellin Vellenoweth
Bradley Prinze
Heather Micallef
Bridgett Click
Jon Lee
Jenna Martini
Taylor Steele
Araba Prah
Maggie Clines
Matthew Gannon
Carrie Wahl
Nate Owings
Seth Gover
Lindsey Elza
Anne Schwab
Melvin McClure

Acknowledgement of Federal Support:  This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office (PPPO) under Award Number DE-FG05-03OR23032.  The work was supported by 100% federal funding.
Disclaimer:  This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government.  Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights.  Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof.  The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.