Hurricane Sandy was unlike any storm before it. The unprecedented damage revealed the true threat that weather events pose to our communities, states and greater region. While everyone affected by the storm continues to push forward with the recovery process, Sandy has made it clear that we cannot simply rebuild what existed before. We need to think differently this time around, making sure the region is resilient enough to rebound from future storms.
Rebuild by Design, an initiative of the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force and HUD, is aimed at addressing structural and environmental vulnerabilities that Hurricane Sandy exposed in communities throughout the region and developing fundable solutions to better protect residents from future climate events. Because of the enormity of this challenge, the Rebuild by Design process was developed to find better ways of implementing designs and informing policy.
Each of the ten participating design teams, selected by the President’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, brings together experts from across planning, design, engineering and science to critically consider the task of rebuilding. They will carry out an extensive research process involving local community input and fieldwork. Teams will visit locations in the region severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy, hearing from residents, business owners and community groups about the problems they faced during and after the storm. Because of the far-reaching nature of the challenge, the Institute for Public Knowledge assembled a Research Advisory Group and coordinated a series of targeted discussions with other outside experts as a way of addressing a broad range of issues. Once teams present regional research identifying places and opportunities that are key for the rebuilding process, each team will then work on a single project, selected by HUD, aimed at addressing problems identified during the research phase.
August – October
For the past three months, the Design Teams have been engaged in research, analysis and outreach as part of Rebuild by Design’s Stage 2, led by the Institute for Public Knowledge at NYU, which guided ten talented and interdisciplinary Design Teams through a mix of experiences crafted to increase their awareness of the breadth of challenges facing communities in the Sandy-affected region, as well as the incredible diversity of those communities.
The teams met with experts around the region, including Government Entities, Elected Officials, Issue-based Organizations and Community Groups, and individuals across the region. Teams supplemented those meetings with their own research. This process included:
• Participation in Team Meetings, Forums, and Tours from 145 Representatives from 74 Different Organizations, and 157 Government Entities
• 4 Community Conversations with Members of the Public Throughout the Region
• 3 Regional Lunches with Community Leaders
• Walking tours of over 30 Neighborhoods and Meetings with Hundreds of People in the Sandy-Affected Region
• Coordination with Parallel State and City Processes
The Teams’ research and experiences led to the development of more than 40 Design Opportunities which were presented to the public, as well as in detail to a Jury, the Research Advisory Group, Government Agencies, and the CDBG-DR Grantees. Incorporating feedback from those entities, HUD has selected 10 Design Opportunities to move forward to Stage 3.
November – March
In Stage 3, guided by the Municipal Art Society, Regional Plan Association and the Van Alen Institute, the teams will transform their chosen design opportunities to implementable and fundable design solutions. The partners will assist each team in setting up local coalitions that may comprised of government agencies, state and local officials, community stakeholders and experts where applicable. Those coalitions will work to engage the public as the teams refine their design solutions.
April 2014 – TBD
The resulting proposals will be evaluated by an expert jury, and winning design solutions may be able to be implemented with disaster recovery grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as other sources of public and private- sector funding.
For a full overview of the competition process, please download the competition brief.
Many thanks to the many organizations that have informed and enriched our process, including:
Alliance for a Just Rebuilding
American Littoral Society
American Red Cross
Arverne By the Sea Association
Babylon Beach House
Belle Harbor Property Owners Ass
Bergen Pt Stp
Brighton Beach Long Term Recovery
Bronx Council on the Arts
Bronx Long Term Recovery
Brooklyn Ctr for Ind of the Disabled
Brooklyn Long-Term Recovery Group
Canarsie Long Term Recovery
Center for NYC Neighborhoods
Center for Urban Real Estate, Columbia
Coney Island Long Term Recovery
Council on the Arts and Humanities, SI
Culinary Kids Day Camp
Department of Energy and Environmental (DEEP)
Fair Share Housing Center
Feel the Music!
Gans Studio; Pratt Institute
Gerritsen Beach LTR
Guyon Rescue, Staten Island
Health and Welfare Council of LI
Henry Street Settlement
Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers
Local Office Landscape Architecture
Long Island Contractors’ Association
Make the Road New York
Midland Beach Alliance
National Coalition for Arts Preparedness
New Jersey Future
New York Communities for Change Organization
New York Academy of Medicine
NY Smart Grid Consortium
NYC Environmental Justice Alliance
Ocean Bay Community Development Corporation
Office of LI Sound Program
Red Hook Coalition
Rockaway Youth Task Force
Sheepshead Bay Long Term Recovery
St. Margaret Mary’s Church
Staten Island Long Term Recovery Organization
Staten Island Alliance
Staten Island Legal Services
Tanner Senior Center
The Nature Conservancy
Visiting Nurse Service of NY
All photographs taken by Cameron Blaylock unless otherwise noted.