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03 Jun 2014

Rebuild by Design hands out $920m to improve resiliency in Sandy-hit areas

$920m has been awarded to six interdisciplinary teams working to improve resilience in areas devastated by Hurricane Sandy as part of the Rebuild by Design programme. The initiative was created in 2013 by President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force to generate ideas to improve the environmental and economic resilience of coastal regions in the US. The lead financial supporter of the programme is the Rockefeller Foundation.

The six successful teams have proposed concepts that may serve as models for future developments in those regions hit by Hurricane Sandy as well as other disaster-hit areas across the United States and beyond. The winning teams and their associated projects are:  

- BIG and Dutch One Architecture: The BIG U (East River Park) in Manhattan ($335m)
- The Interboro Team: Living with the Bay (Slow Streams) in Nassau County, Long Island ($125m)
- MIT CAU+ZUS+URBANISTEN: New Meadowlands in Little Ferry, Moonachie, Carlstadt, Teterboro ($150m)
- OMA: Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge in Hoboken, Weehawken, Jersey City ($230m)
- PennDesign/OLIN: Lifelines in Hunts Point, South Bronx ($20m)
- SCAPE/Landscape Architecture: Living Breakwaters in Tottenville, Staten Island ($60m)

The images displayed here are part of the winning submission by Bjarke Ingels Group and Dutch One Architecture. The duo’s concept encircles Manhattan from West 57th Street to The Battery and back up East 42nd Street, creating a more resilient waterfront segmented into three key zones which function independently yet work in unison to foster integrated social and community planning.

Phase I will create a ‘bridging berm’ at the East River Park, providing enhanced protection for the Lower East Side from increased sea levels and water surges as well as creating accessible public walkways with rich and varied plantings. “The Big U is an example of what we call Social Infrastructure,” explains BIG Founding Partner Bjarke Ingels. “The High Line shows how a decommissioned piece of infrastructure - the abandoned elevated railway - can be transformed into a public space and green landscape.

“We asked ourselves: What if we could envision the resilience infrastructure for Lower Manhattan in a way that wouldn’t be like a wall between the city and the water, but rather a string of pearls of social and environmental amenities tailored to their specific neighbourhoods, which also happens to shield their hinterlands from flooding. The Big U will not only make the waterfront more resilient but also more accessible and inviting to the citizens around it.”

Key Facts

United States
Urban design

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