HUNTS POINT | LIFELINES sees jobs and the City’s food supply as critical resilience infrastructure, and communities as powerful integrators of economic, social and ecological potential to strengthen the whole, rather than the water’s edge alone.
Many long-term plans and investments align in Hunts Point. The Hunts Point Food Market is a major economic hub, creating over 25,000 jobs and $3 billion in annual direct economic activity. The Food Market is a key link in the New York City food chain and even short disruption can be catastrophic.
Hunts Point Lifelines engages a strong community and industrial property owners to develop site-specific designs for integrated storm protection and green infrastructure that offer high quality social space, habitat and clean water.
To protect the Food Market, we bring together experts to develop a new type of levee that incorporates components that can be manufactured locally and built out cooperatively and quickly, as compared with protection projects that rest primarily with the Army Corps of Engineers. This levee will also offer social infrastructure and realize a key piece of the Bronx Greenway.
A “cleanway” that intercepts stormwater and water-borne chemicals in a planted canal on the site of a former creek can provide a safe, green and interesting path between the community and the river. Green roofs on buildings over 20,000 square feet—which amount to 110 acres in Hunts Point—can help store rain and reduce flooding and building heating and cooling costs.
An abandoned marine transfer station could serve as a Resilient Design and Research Center in support of local roll-out of industrial green roofs and other infrastructure, green jobs, resilience training efforts and many community activities in an extraordinary setting in the river.
Hunts Point Lifelines responds to resiliency priorities of the Hunts Point community and businesses, the City’s PlaNYC coastal protection analysis, long-standing economic development plans, and recommendations of the Sandy Regional Assembly, an association of organizations working to advance community-based climate change preparedness in the region.
Lifelines will reach regional significance by demonstrating the productivity and vitality of a protected working waterfront that is integrated with dynamic public use, new habitat, and local livelihoods. Although the Hunts Point Food Market is a unique civic asset and concern, a job, health and ecology-centered approach that attends to the risk of storm exposure to industrial chemicals has wide applicability in other floodplain industrial communities.