Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge: a comprehensive strategy for Hoboken

OMA
New Jersey

Hoboken is susceptible to both flash flood and storm surge. Our project capitalizes on a combination of political, ecological, and economic factors to create a comprehensive flood strategy – resist, delay, store, discharge – that both defends the entire city, and enables commercial, civic, and recreational amenities to take shape. Our comprehensive strategy deploys both hard infrastructure and soft landscape for coastal defense (resist); recommends policies to enable the urban fabric to slow down water (delay); a green circuit to trap water (store) and water pumps to support drainage (discharge).

 

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Project Updates

Comments

October 29, 2013 9:09 am
from Mark

This plan is excellent! The north Hoboken park is a great idea

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October 29, 2013 8:19 pm
from Justin

I don’t think making the Hudson Bergen Light Rail tracks into a park is going to alleviate flooding.

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March 10, 2014 7:35 pm
from Russ

I agree that NJT may not allow it, but rainwater storage somewhere along the western low point could prevent flooding by delaying water entering the sewer system – the next stage of development of the proposal should tell us how exactly it can be done…

October 30, 2013 8:22 am
from Dawn Zimmer

I support this thoughtful approach to address Hoboken’s historic flooding problems due to storms overwhelming the combined sewer system at high tide and the increasing threats from coastal flooding due to rising seas and stronger storms.

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January 19, 2014 2:19 pm
from Steven Hyman

You have possibly been let down by the Government for political reasons. You can not fix the past but you can master the future. My wife Vickie Hyman owns the 6th Street Embankment in Jersey City. If the Government is willing to help you, Vickie will assist.

Vickie will donate six acres of walls and fill to Hoboken and/or Jersey City or any other municipalities that Vickie Hyman selects. All the stones and fill that encumbers the Embankment properties are to be used for reclamation efforts to defend the water front. There are 55,000 CU of big stones and 155,000 of fill that needs to be removed expeditiously in an orderly and safe manner.

All the insurance will be purchased from a AAA credible insurance company but not Chicago Title. A cash bond of $5M per block will be administered by the Hudson County Superior Judge Barry Sarkisian or Retired Judge Arthur D’Italia.

Mayor Healy, City Councilman Fulop and others passed an ordinance that is self explanatory and enclosed. L. Harvey Smith and others passed an ordinance in the NJ Legislature that is illegal and it must be voided. The zoning should change for the Embankment properties should Vickie get the stones and fill removed by Hoboken. Lastly, Vickie should be recognized as the rightful owner of the 6th Street Embankment that has been litigated for almost 10 years.

Steve

October 30, 2013 8:58 am
from Garden Street resident

as the illustration shows, given that the surge came in via a small number of points, it seems like this plan brings huge potential to reduce the flooding risk. Please help us move this forward!

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October 30, 2013 10:13 am
from Ravi Bhalla

I fully support this proposal because it is thorough and necessary to prepare and protect Hoboken’s residents from both flooding events as well as other weather events which create flooding from rising sea levels and high tides.

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October 30, 2013 10:29 am
from Laura Edelman

This is exactly what Hoboken needs! I really hope it happens.

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October 30, 2013 10:31 am
from Madelyn

I support this plan completely. I think the benefit of safety and green parks will enhance Hoboken’s resilience and beauty. I can’t wait to run along the Greenway!

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October 30, 2013 10:31 am
from Jen

A comprehensive plan to reduce flooding in Hoboken is exactly what we need.

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October 30, 2013 10:36 am
from Hoboken Resident

This plan is great. It can really help us in Hoboken and minimize the flooding problems we’ve faced in the past. Definitely support it!

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October 30, 2013 10:53 am
from Philip Cohen

This is an exciting plan that shows great promise in addressing Hoboken’s fundamental problems with flooding with rising seas and strengthening coastal storms.

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October 30, 2013 10:59 am
from Jay

I have read about similar plans being implemented in the Netherlands and wondered why they were not being utilized here. The combining of recreational/park areas and water stores is a great idea to help protect Hoboken.

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October 30, 2013 11:03 am
from Flood Zone Resident

This plan is deeply needed to protect our community from future flooding. I am tired of being scared every time there is heavy rain. I support this fully.

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October 30, 2013 11:09 am
from Rebecca Kramnick

This plan would go a long way toward reducing Hoboken’s dire flooding problems. We need to implement this plan in Hoboken sooner rather than later. We can’t wait until we have another devastating storm.

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October 30, 2013 11:32 am
from Ron Hine/Fund for a Better Waterfront

We support a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach for Hoboken as you have proposed. 75% of Hoboken was underwater during Sandy and also floods regularly during high-tide/heavy rains, thus deserves special attention. Hoboken can also serve as a model for devising remedies in densely populated, low-lying urban waterfront communities. Pay special attention to Hoboken’s antiquated, combined sewer/stormwater system that consistently fails during rainstorms. Your proposal to store large volumes of water during storm is essential as the ability of ground/green spaces to absorb flood waters has its limits. Looking forward to learning more detailed information about your proposal & analysis, assuming it survives Sunday’s cut.

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October 30, 2013 12:28 pm
from leah

This design for hoboken will also protect our neighboring towns and thus be a regional solution. it should be funded.

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October 30, 2013 1:14 pm
from Stephen Marks, AICP

Kudos to the OMA team!!! I think they truly ‘get it’. It appears that they understand the challenges and opportunities facing a densely populated coastal community with historic housing stock and antiquated infrastructure. There is no single “silver bullet” to alleviate Hoboken’s historic flooding problems or prepare the city for climate change and sea level rise. The OMA team presents a comprehensive approach to address flooding through the installation of flood pumps at key locations, barriers along the coastline and green infrastructure to reduce stormwater run-off throughout the rest of the city.

The proposal is replicable by other city’s across the country and around the world. The City of Hoboken should endorse this ambitious plan and the Hurricane Sandy Recovery Task Force should give the proposal a “green light” for further study and funding consideration.

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October 31, 2013 1:10 am
from jpc CFM

Hoboken flood issues need to be comprehensively reviewed. OMA’s proposal is thoughtful and merits further review in doing this.
Our densely populated “pre-firm” city has unique urban issues which make it different from many areas which have flooded in the past and during Sandy. Protecting Hoboken bears special attention not only for those who live here but due to our importance as a regional transportation hub.
The natural and man made topography which entrapped water in low lying elevations away from the Hudson can also be used to connect our higher ground and keep surge waters out. We need to look at our aging combined storm and sanitary systems which are inadequate. We need to use innovative, green, sustainable, resilient solutions if we intend to live in our floodplain and understand what our exposures are and minimize them.

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November 1, 2013 5:49 am
from Tom

Finally a smart plan that uses passive measures in addition to active measures. I’m hoping this starts moves forward by early 2014.

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January 15, 2014 8:30 pm
from Vincent Rossi

I support this project 100 %. In the early years of Dutch settlement here in Hoboken just prior to 1700 it was a Dutch engineering co that was brought in to transform much of Hoboken into a dry landmass , nice to have them back for a long overdue upgrade .

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January 23, 2014 4:32 pm
from Eric

We should ask for our money back with interest!

March 10, 2014 7:29 pm
from Russ

I understand we were offered the option of raising the inland elevation, but declined due to cost. Seattle bit the bullet and moved their streets up one whole floor downtown in the 1800s. Not practical for us now, of course!

January 16, 2014 6:41 am
from Darin Gordon

I’d like to see some scientifically supported evidence that any proposed plan will work. We’re going to permanently change the city. Let’s try ensure that the changes are for better than for worse. Distance your decision making from rhetoric or theory.

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January 19, 2014 2:17 pm
from Steven Hyman

You have possibly been let down by the Government for political reasons. You can not fix the past but you can master the future. My wife Vickie Hyman owns the 6th Street Embankment in Jersey City. If the Government is willing to help you, Vickie will assist.

Vickie will donate six acres of walls and fill to Hoboken and/or Jersey City or any other municipalities that Vickie Hyman selects. All the stones and fill that encumbers the Embankment properties are to be used for reclamation efforts to defend the water front. There are 55,000 CU of big stones and 155,000 of fill that needs to be removed expeditiously in an orderly and safe manner.

All the insurance will be purchased from a AAA credible insurance company but not Chicago Title. A cash bond of $5M per block will be administered by the Hudson County Superior Judge Barry Sarkisian or Retired Judge Arthur D’Italia.

Mayor Healy, City Councilman Fulop and others passed an ordinance that is self explanatory and enclosed. L. Harvey Smith and others passed an ordinance in the NJ Legislature that is illegal and it must be voided. The zoning should change for the Embankment properties should Vickie get the stones and fill removed by Hoboken. Lastly, Vickie should be recognized as the rightful owner of the 6th Street Embankment that has been litigated for almost 10 years.

Steve

January 20, 2014 2:11 pm
from PJ

I am unable to attend the community meeting this week it wanted to voice my support for this plan. Although Sandy brought national attention to Hoboken’s flooding issues (in my area we had 21″ of water on our ground floor) what people outside of Hoboken don’t realize is the extent to which “regular” storms can result in property damage and can drive many of our roads to a standstill. I support this plan – eliminating the flooding risk from Hoboken and increasing green areas will increase our quality of life immeasurably.

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February 8, 2014 12:17 pm
from Mary Mills

HOBOKEN SHOULD MAKE ALL BUILDINGS BUILT BEFORE 1950 INSTALL LOW FLUSH TOILETS LIKE CALIFORNIA. THE NEWER BIILDINGS SHOULD PUT IN SWEDISH STYLE 1.5 GALLON TOILETS . JUST USE LESS WATER NOW.
THEY ALSO TAKE UP LESS ROOM IN YOUR BATH. WILL NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM, BUT YOU HAVE TO START SOMEWHERE. THE DESIGN OF THESE TOILETS MAKE A FLUSH EQUAL IN FORCE TO CURRENT LOW FLUSH TOILETS. THEY CAN BE BOUGHT IN BULK BY THE CITY. NYC IS GOING TO OFFER $ 125 REBATE FOR EACH TOILET.
SAN FRANCISCO HAS SAVED MONEY AND SO MUCH WATER IT NOW HAS TO ADD WATER TO ITS SEWER TO MAKE IT MOVE. SOME COMPLEXES HAVE SAVED MILLIONS IN WATER BILLS.

January 23, 2014 4:30 pm
from Eric

This may be a good plan, or it may not. It’s hard to know from the summary how these changes will actually work. It would also be interesting to know what other plans have been considered. In a real disaster which may be worse than Sandy, the city may need to be evacuated quickly. As everyone knows the roads are barely adequate to handle normal commuting traffic. This plan does not address the issue.

It also seems that as every inch of available land is taken over by mid-rise high density housing, the city is giving up any potential for keeping up with the increasing demands on infrastructure. Roads, sewers, water systems and electric all need to upgraded at the same time we protect against the next flood.

This all costs money of course. The federal government can always sell more bonds and pay for it all, but that would seem to have little support in congress. It would be nice to see real estate developers forced to pay for the incremental burden placed on the infrastructure for each of their projects, but that seems unlikely too. No, it looks like Hoboken needs to significantly raise revenue through taxes, permitting fees, parking charges etc., if we want to be able to live in a safe, pleasant and sustainable community.

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January 23, 2014 8:48 pm
from Yu-ri Gordon

As a resident, I’m blown away by this plan. Meeting the OMA team tonight at the community building gave me great confidence in the people behind this plan. The “Delay” portion adds much beautification to the city in the form of greenery, but requires large cooperation from the community. I love the idea, but it will be interesting to see how we incentivize the property owners to get involved and be part of the solution.

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January 24, 2014 2:42 pm
from Elaine

Thank you for creating such a creative and comprehensive plan! Never mind the proverbial “hundred year storm” — we need to save Hoboken from the “regular” flooding that we deal with (very scary to live with)! Seems like this plan would do that. I particularly like the idea of creating more green space as a way to resist and mitigate flooding.

I do wonder if this is a time to also consider upgrading Hoboken’s antiquated and inadequate sewer system…just a thought.

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January 24, 2014 10:19 pm
from Steve Wilson

I think NJ Transit might have a few issues with these plans, specifically turning half of the Hoboken Terminal yard into what appears to be a park. I’m also quite sure you can’t just force a railroad tracks to be green space.

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February 8, 2014 11:17 am
from Mary Mills

Where do they suggest we put the lite rail?

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February 21, 2014 11:02 pm
from Dan

Sounds like a well thought out plan. Hope to see it implemented. Hoboken needs to be more proactive in addressing flooding issues.

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March 5, 2014 11:00 am
from Charles Latini

Impressive upon first glance. I particularly like the notion of living with nature that is inherent within the Dutch culture. Pushing problems to our neighbors is no solution and this seems to address that. Having mitigation planning experience myself, it was through implementation that I quickly realized that every little bit you can do matters. Its the combination of measures that must be pursued and it seems as though you’re all on the right track. The State and NJT need to support this through implementing projects on their property, because I know Hoboken itself won’t let grass grow under its feets (or rather, they will. ;)
Kudos, keep up the good work…

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March 10, 2014 7:23 pm
from Russ

An admirable proposal that should be allowed to be developed further – many details must be addressed – a resiliency plan is sometimes only as good as the weakest link. I am interested to see, for example, NJT’s stance on the greening of the HBLR right-of-way. This may be a maintenance/policy issue for them.

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March 23, 2014 10:49 am
from Adrienne Rawlins

Where are the storage containers (?) supposed to go?? The Housing Authority is in the back of Hoboken as is the Light Rail. I don’t see where these containers (?) are supposed to be put; BEHIND the Light Rail??? Valid questions that I don’t believe were asked!

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March 23, 2014 10:55 am
from Melissa

Great plan! Much needed!

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March 23, 2014 11:08 am
from Chris

Great idea!

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March 23, 2014 8:49 pm
from Jamie Baker

This plan seems to cover the bases and it will protect the city greatly in the event of another big flood threat.

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March 25, 2014 6:00 am
from Mitchell Stern

I support this proposal.

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March 29, 2014 6:12 pm
from Dan Bosman

Having lived through Sandy flooding in Hoboken and the frequent issues we have with flooding glad to see a comprehensive plan but forward! Hope Hoboken gets selected.

Reply

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