New York, Living with the bay

In June 2014 our consortium became one of the winners of Rebuild by Design, an international design competition initiated by President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. The aim of the competition was to boost New York’s resilience after it had been hit by Hurricane Sandy and to protect it from new instances of flooding by means of innovative and implementable proposals.

Our entry Living with the bay is an innovative and multilevel water strategy for Nassau County, Long Island. This strongly urbanised area with its bays and creeks is tremendously vulnerable to flooding and erosion. Climate change will only aggravate its vulnerability.

Living with the bay does not opt for a simple solution. The strategy encompasses a whole range of design proposals: small and big, natural and engineered. Besides increasing water safety, each of the proposals contributes to the improvement of the economic, ecological and social values of the region. The proposals include measures to mitigate storm surge, water discharge, and sea level rise by regaining control of the sediment system, putting up defences in strategic places, restoring the marshes, constructing dikes, and creating flood barriers. The urban water system is tackled to alleviate the damage from heavy rainfall and improve the water quality in the creeks and the bay.

In the next years a section of the design, ‘Mill River, a slow stream’, will be elaborated and implemented. For the sake of the implementation of the rest of Living with the bay we established together with H+N+S and Bosch-Slabbers a New York branch, WaterLand Design Inc.

We worked on Living with the bay together with Apex, Deltares, IMG Rebel and Interboro.

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Date: 2014