In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, there was lots of talk about rebuilding New York smarter and more efficiently to better withstand future environmental and weather disasters. Hopefully, that will be more than just talk.
The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development recently launched Rebuild by Design, a competition asking architecture and design firms to create post-Sandy, storm-resilient building solutions for waterfront development across the NYC area.
Rather than individual projects, architects were asked to dream up big ideas that could be implemented on a large scale throughout the region. More than 140 proposals came in from 15 different countries, and 10 were recently selected as finalists by a panel of experts. Among the best ideas chosen:
– A “Big U” series of connected blockades that would run all the way around the lower half of Manhattan, shielding the city from floods and storm surges while providing miles of new space on which to build parkland.
– A chain of barrier islands constructed across the New York and New Jersey coast, essentially man-made dunes that would protect our shores from storms and flooding.
– A series of flood barriers and raised streets throughout Red Hook that would shield that low-lying Brooklyn neighborhood, while also adding more space for development.