WXY/WEST 8

Dr. Alan Blumberg, Dr. Sergey Vinogradov, Dr. Thomas Herrington, Stevens Institute of Technology; Daniel Hitchings, ARCADIS; Andrew Kao, AIR Worldwide; Kate John-Alder, Rutgers University; Kei Hayashi, BJH Advisors; Maxine Griffith, Griffith Planning & Design; Yeju Choi, NowHere Office; William Morrish, Parsons the New School for Design; Jesse Keenan, CURE.

WXY/WEST 8 is framing the benefits of a shared approach to coastal protection. Studying systematic and large-scale issues— market failures in the assessment of risk, provision of insurance, and ecological impact, as well as the disproportionate representation of low-income populations in high-vulnerability areas—allows a fuller understanding of the region and nation. This approach leads to investigations of the outermost conditions of the Northeastern American Coastline (its barrier islands, inlets, shorelines and riparian estuaries) and examines a series of prototype transects that run from the shoreline to hinterland, from nature to culture. A multi-layered perspective, where systems of ecology, insurance, and social welfare interact, creates tangible strategies that can withstand the worst impacts of rising waters and storm surges.

The Rebuild by Design process provides opportunity for reflection on how our current choices affect future risk. The design opportunities investigated are an amalgamation of sites with a multitude of design challenges and constraints. With the proper analysis, financial and social awareness, and design input, the focus is on how to rebuild responsibly in the face of future environmental conditions. This approach addresses regional and local scales simultaneously.

The research process acknowledges and highlights the conflicting desires that emerge whenever large geographies and populations are considered simultaneously. This large scale view elucidates a range of opportunities embracing both the status quo and the novel. Any method to shape this landscape involves risk, but both gains and losses can provide benefits. Risks and rewards can be evaluated through computational models that gauge and measure the multidimensional data needed to design higher levels of safety and preparedness into the future.

This transect methodology illustrates the multiple waterfronts found in the region by extending inland from the urban coastline to various networks of rivers, streams, canals and infrastructure. This multi-tier geography is a complex ecological terrain that includes the hydrologic, geologic, transportation, utility, communication, and social systems that define communities.

Each of the design opportunities are best practice geographies to implement our team’s Framework for Shared Coastal Benefits. These design opportunities represent networks of projects that are already connected to engaged communities. We propose to apply our multi-layered defense system, which includes regional and local physical protections, a new insurance paradigm and social/communication strategies in each of these high risk and high opportunity locations.

View the team’s latest project updates on their finalist page.

Winning Proposal

Finalist Proposal

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 ...

Go to Design Proposal Summary

Design Process

Other Proposals by WXY/WEST 8

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.

Go to Design Proposal Summary

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.

Go to Design Proposal Summary

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 ...

Go to Design Proposal Summary

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.

Go to Design Proposal Summary

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.

Go to Design Proposal Summary