All Proposals

In November 2013, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) selected 10 Design Opportunities to be pursued in the final stage of Rebuild by Design. These projects followed three months of in-depth analysis and public outreach to people living and working throughout the region. Read more about the original concepts behind these projects below, as well as more than thirty others submitted by the Design Teams participating in Rebuild by Design, and check out streaming video of the October 28 morning program or evening program in which all of the Design Opportunities were introduced to the public.

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Barnegat Bay Remade: Barnegat Bay, NJ


New Jersey

A combination of strategies in the form of tiered, absorptive edges embedded with tidepools and bird/fish habitat structures, will help regenerate lost ecological systems, recalibrate sediment cycles, and step down risk for waterfront communities. Linking man-made sediment cycles with natural cycles will help ensure a productive and resilient bay landscape for future generations.

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BIG U

BIG TEAM
New York, New York

BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) with One Architecture, Starr Whitehouse, James Lima Planning + Development, Project Projects, Green Shield Ecology, AEA Consulting, Level Agency for Infrastructure, Arcadis, and the Parsons School of Constructed Environments

The Big U is a protective system around Manhattan, driven by the needs and concerns of its communities. Stretching from West 57th street south to The Battery and up to East 42th street, the Big U protects 10 continuous miles of low-lying geography that comprise an incredibly dense, vibrant, and vulnerable urban area. The proposed system not only shields the city against floods and stormwater; it provides social and environmental benefits to the community, and an ...

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Design Process

Long Term Perspective – South Bronx

BIG TEAM
New York

Such a development should serve two purposes: to give the South Bronx a clear, civically oriented front towards Manhattan, connecting the area to Harlem via the Third Avenue Bridge, and to reinvigorate the surrounding neighborhoods. By elevating the land for development into an attractive waterfront landscape, new development can act as a buffer for the areas behind it. Locally, harder flood protection infrastructure might be necessary.

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Long-Term Perspective – Harbor District: Red Hook

BIG TEAM
New York

Planning for growth in Red Hook through a Resilient Community District strategy would deeply engage local stakeholders to find the right balance of diverse land uses. The RCD would prioritize creating spectacular public waterfront parks, which become the organizing element for substantial new affordable housing and a variety of other housing choices, enhanced transit connections to job centers, continued working waterfront industry...

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Barrier Island: Beach 116th Street, Rockaways

HR&A Advisors, Inc. with Cooper, Robertson & Partners
New York

Beach 116th Street can become a resilient hub for local residents and a shopping, dining, and hospitality destination for visitors through projects including: temporary and permanent measures to protect merchandise and equipment in street-level businesses; rear lot expansions to provide additional elevated space during flooding; and new, elevated commercial development in and around the MTA train station at the level of the train platform.

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The Commercial Corridor Resiliency Project

HR&A Advisors, Inc. with Cooper, Robertson & Partners
Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York; Far Rockaway, Queens, New York; Asbury Park, New Jersey

The HR&A/Cooper Robertson team has created innovative concepts to enhance the resiliency and economic vitality of the Sandy-affected region’s coastal commercial corridors and the neighborhoods that surround them. Retail is the lifeblood of communities, providing jobs, critical goods and services, and neighborhood gathering places. Throughout the region, retailers and their inventory, primarily located on the ground floor and basement of buildings, are particularly vulnerable to storm impacts. We have seen how commercial ...

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Design Process

Dense Urban Edge: Red Hook, Brooklyn

HR&A Advisors, Inc. with Cooper, Robertson & Partners
New York

Red Hook can become a better-protected, more integrated community with more resilient commercial businesses and better connections through projects including: flood protection for existing stores and buildings along Van Brunt Street; an increase in commercial activity on higher ground on Columbia Street, connecting the neighborhood on the waterfront with Red Hook Houses and encouraging denser development along both corridors...

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Mainland Coastal: Asbury Park, New Jersey Shore

HR&A Advisors, Inc. with Cooper, Robertson & Partners
New Jersey

Protective solutions for this vibrant shorefront community and live music destination can also connect boardwalk activity to the town economy, providing year-round employment through projects including: reconfiguring the edge of Wesley Lake to provide habitat, recreation, and flood protection, while expanding mixed use development along this corridor to connect the boardwalk to downtown and Main Street activity...

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Living with the Bay: A Comprehensive Regional Resiliency Plan for Nassau County’s South Shore

Interboro Team
Long Island, New York

Interboro / Apex / Bosch Slabbers / Deltares / H+N+S / Palmbout / IMG Rebel with Center for Urban Pedagogy, David Rusk, NJIT Infrastructure Planning Program, Project Projects, RFA Investments, TU Delft

How do we keep Long Islanders safe in the face of future extreme weather events and sea-level rise? How do we ensure that the next big storm won’t be as devastating to the region as Sandy? And what can we do to improve the water quality and quality of life in the region? What can we do to make “bay life” safer, healthier, more fun, and more accessible? These are the questions we address ...

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Living with the Coast: A Better Day at the Beach

Interboro Team
New Jersey

The natural and human-made amenities that make the Jersey coast great are highly vulnerable to extreme weather events. New Jersey’s beaches are also vulnerable to another form of erosion - namely, the erosion of the public’s right to access and enjoy them. For this design opportunity, we propose to create “The Coastline,” a continuous, maximally accessible coastal trail that would extend from Cape May to Sandy Hook, adapting to local conditions.

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Living with the Marsh: Options for Staten Island’s Eastern Shore

Interboro Team
New York

Calls for “managed retreat” are usually political non-starters, but in the tight-knit, blue-collar, Staten Island community of Oakwood Beach, 170 of 184 Oakwood Beach homeowners registered to be bought out pretty much immediately. Why? Oakwood Beach was extremely vulnerable, and had recently been devastated by a nor’easter, a marsh fire, and another hurricane...

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Living with the Creek: Options for Monmouth County Watersheds

Interboro Team
New Jersey

The five creeks that feed Monmouth County’s Keyport Harbor are crucial to the Raritan / Sandy Bay watershed. We propose to create a connection between the low-lying, low-opportunity towns of Keansburg, Union Beach, and Keyport, and the high and dry, high-opportunity towns of Hazlet, Middleton, and Homedale by playing up the natural connections (i.e. the creeks) that already exist here, and creating social connections.

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Lower East Side

MIT CAU + ZUS + URBANISTEN
New York

The Lower East Side's flooding vulnerability is caused by both an inadequate sewer system and occasional storm water surges. The team proposes a combined water collection basin that receives storm water and will store/absorb volumes of water during stress. Public emergency amenities, technologically advanced absorption capacity, and landscape infrastructural edges will be integrated into the current blocks and river edge parks.

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Jersey City East to Hoboken

MIT CAU + ZUS + URBANISTEN
New Jersey

Parts of this zone - with socially vulnerable neighborhoods and nearby residual pollution - have flooded substantially. We see design opportunities along Montgomery Street in Jersey City from the Armory (on the ridge) to City Hall, connecting vulnerable neighborhoods and empty lots. In addition, it might make sense to study a bridge connection from Lower Manhattan to the ridges of Jersey City, as a means of access or evacuation.

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NEWTOWN CREEK: SUPERUSE DISTRICT

MIT CAU + ZUS + URBANISTEN
New York

We propose to create a landscape infrastructural berm that will be high enough to give access to the second floor of existing or new structures and can connect major residential districts to the river. We envision a neighborhood with clean, light manufacturing at the ground level, connected via the street grid to I-495; while a second level of landscape adds an elevated public circulation system - a softer version of the green line allowing for ...

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MAKING RESILIENT DISTRICTS

MIT CAU + ZUS + URBANISTEN

The first opportunity concerns the continuation and elaboration of our regional study, in order to both enhance the connection between these flood zones, whilst simultaneously providing evacuation routes to the ridges and high points between them. We propose to upgrade, adapt, and transform the flood zones and their edges into an armature for our resiliency districts, concentrating and adding development in specific opportunity zones along these edges, while building out a robust ecological landscape infrastructure ...

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New Meadowlands: Productive City + Regional Park

MIT CAU + ZUS + URBANISTEN
The Meadowlands, New Jersey

MIT CAU + ZUS + URBANISTEN with Deltares; 75B; and Volker Infra Design

Integrating transportation, ecology, and development, the project transforms the Meadowlands basin to address a wide spectrum of risks while providing civic amenities and creating opportunities for new redevelopment.

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Design Process

Planning Principles

OMA
New York

To support the future growth of the region in a flood risk constrained environment, deciding where to grow will be critical. This will mean focusing new growth in those areas that can be optimally defended, and conversely, limiting exposure in those areas that cannot―citadel cities versus amphibious villages. Remaining safe, but also enjoying the shore. Making smart decisions on where to grow resiliently.

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Infrastructure Catalyst

OMA
New York

JFK International Airport is a vital node in the regions infrastructure. As part of Jamaica Bay, it is also highly vulnerable to flood risk. Although the airport is capable of ‘taking care if its own problems’, there is an opportunity to leverage this asset to promote the common flood defense of the Jamaica Bay area. That means integrating the airport into a larger tiered defense system, and using the airport as a catalyst for growth; ...

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Communication Systems

OMA
New York

In anticipating floods and building resiliency, it is essential for all stakeholders to share a common understanding of the risks and their implications. Although efforts continue to be made at outreach and capacity building, more can be done to make information accessible―a flood risk 101. During a flood event, information must be consolidated and filtered to better serve government, first responders, and private citizens―an ESPN for floods.

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Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge: A Comprehensive Strategy for Hoboken

OMA
Hoboken, New Jersey

OMA with Royal HaskoningDHV; Balmori Associates; and HR&A Advisors

Jersey City, Hoboken and Weehawken are susceptible to both flash flood and storm surge. As integrated urban environments, discreet one-house-at-a-time solutions do not make sense. What is required is a comprehensive approach that acknowledges the density and complexity of the context, galvanizes a diverse community of beneficiaries, and defends the entire city, its assets and citizens. Our comprehensive urban water strategy deploys programmed hard infrastructure and soft landscape for coastal defense (resist); policy recommendations, guidelines, ...

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Design Process

Hunts Point Lifelines

PennDesign/OLIN
Bronx, New York

PennDesign / OLIN with HR&A Advisors, eDesign Dynamics, Level Infrastructure, Barretto Bay Strategies, McLaren Engineering Group, Philip Habib & Associates, Buro Happold

The 1-square mile of Hunts Point peninsula is the intersection of the local and the regional in rebuilding by design. What’s at risk in Hunts Point is the hub of the food supply for 22 million people, a $5 billion annual economy, over 20,000 direct jobs, and livelihoods of people in the poorest U.S. Congressional District. HUNTS POINT LIFELINES builds on assets and opportunities of regional importance, and a coalition of national leaders in community environmental ...

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Design Process

Folding the Coastal Plain: Staten Island East Shore

PennDesign/OLIN
New York

Geomorphology on this 5-mile long coastal plain lends itself to an integrated solution. Low ground and creek beds can be reshaped and armored with strategically placed mounds that support new homes, habitat, recreation, and movement. Integration of earthwork and buildings makes it possible to increase flood protection and maintain economy.

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Reorienting Living on a Shifting Estuary: Toms River, NJ

PennDesign/OLIN
New Jersey

These creative installations will serve as “mock-ups” for the future and will provide a physical example of how citizens and designers can generate alternate scenarios for future growth, identity, and a future relationship to the water. Installations include store-front conversions to “Resilience Community Centers;” green infrastructure gardens and greenways; and model buildings for storm resilient structures such as the movable “freight” house.

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Flood-Adaptive Design on the Hudson Peninsula: Jersey City/Hoboken

PennDesign/OLIN
New Jersey

In these dense cities with aging sewer infrastructure, the proposed community process envisions scenarios for new development to shield low-lying areas with difficult to retrofit structures; pursue inter-jurisdictional resilience planning; design passive barriers for key waterfront infrastructure and transit entries; and provide visualizations of floodable retrofits and greenway linkages.

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Barrier Island

Sasaki/Rutgers/Arup
New Jersey

Hurricane Sandy demonstrated the vulnerability of development on the Barrier Islands, which are constantly shifting with the energy of sea and storm. In this proposal, the iconic language of the beach pier extends inland into an ecotourism gradient that redefines the coast as the entire ecosystem between the beach and the N.J. Pinelands, broadening the experience of the rich barrier island ecosystems and encouraging safe sites for future development.

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Headlands

Sasaki/Rutgers/Arup
New Jersey

The Headlands are the most exposed stretch of the New Jersey shore, with open ocean views and direct wind and wave action. Today, the beach is shaped and protected for human use only, minimizing its function for the diverse ecology needed for a protective dune landscape and necessitating ongoing sand replenishment. The Boardwalk is an ever-present cultural icon – yet it does little for coastal ecology and remains vulnerable.

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Inland Bay

Sasaki/Rutgers/Arup
New Jersey

Water culture in the Inland Bay - the most complex region of the New Jersey shore - is centered on the marina, for commercial fishing and recreation. Building on its recreational and commercial role, the marina will be joined with marsh functions to enhance coastal protection while providing new sources of value for adjacent ecosystems and communities, and marsh landscapes will be designed to mitigate contamination...

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RESILIENCE + THE BEACH

Sasaki/Rutgers/Arup
Jersey Shore, NJ

Our team’s research and design strategies focus on the value of “the beach,” a place of special significance to memory, state and local economies, and a vital component of coastal ecosystems. New Jersey’s northern shore is an ideal place to study the identity and function of the beach, since it includes the three coastal typologies found across the eastern seaboard of the United States: Barrier Island, Headlands, and Inland Bay. Over the past ...

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Design Process

Gardening the Bay: Jamaica Bay, NYC

SCAPE / Landscape Architecture
New York

More than any other zone, Jamaica Bay signifies how we can shift our approach to resiliency, and offers a site with rich potential to test a range of different strategies both onshore and within the bay's disappearing marshes and shoals. Jamaica Bay will be home to a signature new Resiliency Institute, where we can contribute to ongoing research efforts and infrastructure upgrades, and align habitat regeneration with coastal protection.

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More Wet Meadow, Less Lands: Hackensack River, NJ

SCAPE / Landscape Architecture
New Jersey

We propose to consider multiple long term futures of this region and explore the gradual shallowing of under utilized ship channels as part of a larger river restoration effort. Shallowed systems closer to their historic water depths typically have less severe inundation and flooding - initial results for the Hackensack surprisingly suggest that flood water height reductions are definite and may extend as far south as the densely populated Newark Bay.

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Hudson Habitat: Piermont, NY

SCAPE / Landscape Architecture
New York

Restoration plans to remove invasive plants in the marshlands have the potential to increase coastal fragility in the short term, while the remainder of the recreational waterfront remains at-risk. We propose to look at the modification and restoration of historic ecosystems, including tidal marshlands and historic oyster reefs, as a new risk-reducing ecological infrastructure along the shoreline.

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LIVING BREAKWATERS

SCAPE / Landscape Architecture
Staten Island, New York

SCAPE/LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE with Parsons Brinckerhoff, Dr. Philip Orton / Stevens Institute of Technology, Ocean & Coastal Consultants, SeArc Ecological Consulting, LOT-EK, MTWTF, The Harbor School and Paul Greenberg

The Living Breakwaters project reduces risk, revives ecologies, and connects educators to the shoreline, inspiring a new generation of harbor stewards and a more resilient region over time. Staten Island sits at the mouth of the New York Bight, and is vulnerable to wave action and erosion. Rather than create a wall between people and water, our project embraces the water, increases awareness of risk, and steps down that risk with a necklace of breakwaters ...

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Design Process

Resilient Bridgeport

WB unabridged with Yale ARCADIS
Bridgeport, Connecticut

Resilient Bridgeport is a prototype for the region’s coastal cities that consists of a resilience framework and specific design proposals. It focuses on how to protect Bridgeport against climate change and flooding caused by storm surge and rainfall, while stimulating environmental restoration, economic development, and neighborhood revitalization. The resilience framework is a set of integrated coastal, urban, and riparian design strategies and planning principles. It takes into account short-term and long-term trends, and provides ...

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Design Process

Resilience Center: Toms River

WB unabridged with Yale ARCADIS
New Jersey

The resilience center will coalesce around a new ferry terminal enhancing the downtown economy immediately through retail functions; a community gathering space along the waterfront, offering public education, arts, and job training skills; and new housing. Over time, the resilience center will become the starting point for water taxis to the beaches, and additional housing and mixed use developments will infill available space downtown.

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Resilience Center: Long Branch

WB unabridged with Yale ARCADIS
New Jersey

The Resilience Center at Monmouth University links to the research initiatives already underway for rapid response and urban coasts. Many necessary elements are already in place: a gymnasium which hosted 1200 people during Hurricane Sandy, food service, and classrooms. What is needed is a public education outreach component to supply the regional need for more research, training, and pilot projects in coastal and estuary restoration.

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Resilience Center: Far Rockaway, NY

WB unabridged with Yale ARCADIS
New York

The proposed Resilience Center will be located at the terminal stop of the A train, along the ridge, at elevation +35’. The center will include an urban grocery and retail shops, commercial uses, a job training center (that doubles as a public safety shelter for residents from nearby low-lying neighborhoods), and a mix of housing types. It will link the A train to the LIRR station one-quarter mile away, for increased mobility options.

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Resilience Center: Rockville

WB unabridged with Yale ARCADIS
New York

On the barrier island, a satellite relocating the transit center will be built at flood-resistant elevation near the east-west corridor of Broadway, including a community activity hall, commercial functions, and senior housing. At the inland location, Rockville Centre demonstrates safe elevation, net-zero utility use, mixed commercial uses, restored estuary edges and recreation, and intensified housing along the Long Island Rail Road line.

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Blue Dunes – The Future of Coastal Protection

WXY/West 8
Offshore New York and New Jersey

Storms of the future are likely to be more intense and frequent, and they certainly will be more costly. While we cannot predict when the next storm will come or what it will look like, we are learning about how oceans behave, in terms of their physical dynamics (currents and waves), the habitats they support, and the interrelationship between the dynamics, geomorphology and habitats. We asked ourselves "if we had planned and designed our coasts ...

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Design Process

Jamaica Bay: Tidal Society

WXY/West 8
New York

This region presents a common beachfront challenge, choosing between boardwalk or beach dune, public or private. Many homes and boardwalks damaged beyond repair now face escalating insurance costs and rebuilding pressures. The Jamaica Bay/Rockaway design opportunity is to seek out the relationships of residents to the waterfront, and provide a coastal strategy that fortifies the ecological and social relationships.

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East River: Double Agenda

WXY/West 8
New York

As the East River's industrial past is peeled back, opportunities for smart, engineered, multi-faceted solutions present themselves. Design opportunities lie in the potential for new constructed edge conditions that both serve the neighborhoods they protect and the communities they connect. Public access to the waterfront (an initiative currently being explored in many global cities) comes with the responsibility of safe and rational design solutions.

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Atlantic Ocean: Eco-Government Strategies

WXY/West 8
New Jersey

A paradigm shift in coastal planning is essential at the regional level. A cost-benefit analysis reveals the potential for large scale storm mitigation measures to play a significant role in coastal management. The design opportunity here is in the governance and insurance mechanisms that would aid in the resiliency of this vulnerable territory.

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Long Island Sound: Equitable Risk Assessment

WXY/West 8
Connecticut

A comprehensive cost-benefit analysis for rebuilding is necessary to argue for a regional approach. As neighbors, towns, counties and states realize that they are seeking the same solution, the discussion of an integrated insurance program, where coverage can be bolstered by measures taken to avoid risk on regional levels is open. Storm mitigation enters the dialogue of a multi-level defense structure.

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Hudson River: Communication of Risk

WXY/West 8
New Jersey

Much of the Hudson River is a coastal tidal estuary that fluctuates in elevation the same way the ocean does. Flooding will continue in areas flanking the river, and coastal conditions must respond. Opportunities for a greater ecological awareness in the Hudson River area create a framework for building conditions for the future. With a greater understanding of coastal ecologies, public projects and design challenges can be met with an informed view, and possibly be ...

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