New York

New York, New York: Living Breakwaters

City: New York
Country / US State / US Territory: New York
Type of Solution: Seawalls and Living Shorelines
Climate Impact: Seal Level Rise; Hurricanes and Storm Surge; Extreme Precipitation and Flooding
Social Value Created: Educational and Career Development Opportunities; Active Living and Recreation; Community Engagement; Social Cohesion; Arts and Culture
Cost: $60 million
Funding Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Rebuild by Design competition

Living Breakwaters is a project aimed at helping to reduce wave energy, lowering flooding risks during extreme storm events. The project was developed by SCAPE landscape Architecture for the Rebuild Design Competition, a competition held by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to improve coastal resilience in response to Hurricane Sandy.

The Living Breakwaters approach uses structures to restore and enhance marine habitats, as well as improve biodiversity. Structures include reef ridges, reef streets, crenulated crests, and bio-enhancing concrete. This habitat mimics historic oyster reefs, which helps to restore the oyster population.

Additionally, the project co-creates social value. The project will help to prevent beach erosion and protect property values. The project also will improves access to the shoreline an recreational opportunities such as boating and fishing.

Also, an on-land Water Hub will be constructed on shore for visitoring groups, recreation, and educational programs. The Harbor School and Billion Oyster Project will create educational opportunities for local schools to learn about ecological stewardship and how they can help to protect Staten Island’s coastline. Implementation of the project also provides educational opportunities for research and skill development through project monitoring.

Fig: Graphic showing the project design and connection between risk reduction, ecology, and culture (Image retrieved from http://www.rebuildbydesign.org/our-work/all-proposals/winning-projects/ny-living-breakwaters)

Fig: Graphic showing more specifics about the project’s landscape architecture design (Image retrieved from http://www.rebuildbydesign.org/our-work/all-proposals/winning-projects/ny-living-breakwaters)

Fig: Rendering of the Living Breakwaters project featuring contributions to social resilience (Image retrieved from http://www.rebuildbydesign.org/our-work/all-proposals/winning-projects/ny-living-breakwaters)

Sources

Atlas. (n.d.). Creating protective infrastructure to reduce coastal risk, enhance aquatic habitat, and foster social resilience. Retrieved from https://www.the-atlas.com/project?id=374#.

New York State. (n.d.). Learn more about the Living Breakwaters project. Retrieved from https://stormrecovery.ny.gov/learn-more-about-living-breakwaters-project.

Rebuild by Design. (n.d.). Living Breakwaters. Retrieved from http://www.rebuildbydesign.org/our-work/all-proposals/winning-projects/ny-living-breakwaters.

New York, New York: Gowanus Canal Sponge Park

City: New York
Country / US State / US Territory: New York
Type of Solution: Canal
Climate Impact: Extreme Precipitation and Flooding
Social Value Created: Water Security and Quality; Public Health and Safety; Public Space; Active Living and Recreation
Cost: $1.5 million
Funding Source: Public health; access to public space; water quality; recreation; redevelopment and brownfields

In 2010, the canal was named an EPA Superfund site, and the Sponge Park project emerged as a solution that would not only remediate the site and prevent future pollution but also improve access to a number of public spaces. Currently, the NYC area does not meet federal water quality standards for swimming, fishing, and wildlife habitats due to its inability to prevent pollution, particularly sewer overflows during heavy rain events. The water quality poses a health hazard to community members.

Gowanus Canal Sponge Park was built to manage stormwater, helping to slow, absorb, and filter polluted surface water runoff. Street runoff is captured and stored in underground tanks, which are then filtered by artificial wetlands and then released into the canal. The park is estimated to capture and treat 1 million gallons of storm water annually. This project will help to improve water quality in the surrounding waterways for recreational use and protect wildlife habitat.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Department of Design and Construction also built 70 curbside rain gardens in South Brooklyn. These additional rain gardens can manage 133,000 gallons of stormwater runoff and will capture an estimated 6 million gallons of stormwater runoff annually. Long-term, the project aims to create 11.4 acres of revitalized canal space, 7.9 acres of public spaces and 3.5 acres of remediated wetland basins.

Fig: Gowanus Canal Sponge Park (Photo retrieved from https://www.the-atlas.com/project?id=249#)

Sources

Atlas. (n.d.). Gowanus Canal Sponge Park. Retrieved from https://www.the-atlas.com/project?id=249#.

New York, New York: CloudBurst Study, South Jamaica Houses

City: New York
Country / US State / US Territory: New York
Type of Solution: City Government Program
Climate Impact: Hurricanes and Storm Surge; Extreme Precipitation and Flooding
Social Value Created: Food security and nutrition; community cohesion, bikeability; livability; urban beautification

The Cloudburst Study was conducted by NYC through a collaborative project with Copenhagen to prevent flooding during heavy precipitation events, aka. Cloudbursts. NYC and Copenhagen are both facing rising sea levels and Cloudbursts, so the cities have partnered to develop new innovative projects to enhance stormwater management. Their solutions are aimed at creating inspiring urban areas and other co-benefits for citizens, local businesses, and the city.

South Jamaica Houses redevelopment is one pilot project that has emerged from the NYC Cloudburst Study. The project will increase liveability of the area, and will result in additional shared green space for recreation, bike paths, and urban gardening. Improved public spaces will help to improve community cohesion. Additionally, the college will be better integrated into the surrounding community, also contributing to social cohesion.

Fig: Rendering of South Jamaica Houses project on a dry day (Image retrieved from http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/pdf/climate/nyc-cloudburst-study.pdf)


Fig: Rendering of South Jamaica Houses project on a wet day (Image retrieved from http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/pdf/climate/nyc-cloudburst-study.pdf)

Fig: Map showing the environmental benefits (blue) and social benefits (orange) that will result from the project

Sources

C40 Cities. (September 14, 2017). Cities100: New York City and Copenhagen – cities collaborating on climate resilience. Retrieved from https://www.c40.org/case_studies/cities100-new-york-city-and-copenhagen-cities-collaborating-on-climate-resilience.

New York City Department of Environmental Protection. (January, 2017). Cloudburst resiliency planning study: executive summary. Retrieved from http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/pdf/climate/nyc-cloudburst-study.pdf.

New York, New York: Build it Back Program

City: New York
Country / US State / US Territory: New York
Type of Solution: City Government Program
Climate Impact: Seal Level Rise; Hurricanes and Storm Surge; Extreme Precipitation and Flooding
Social Value Created: Affordable and Safe Housing; Social Justice and Equity for Vulnerable Communities; Public Health and Safety

The Built It Back Program was started after Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012. The Program provided homeowners, landlords, and tenants in low- and middle-income neighborhoods affected by the storm with funds sustainably rebuild homes. The goal of the program is to help vulnerable communities rebuild their homes and be better prepared for future hurricanes.

Homes must be rebuilt above Base Flood Elevation level and must be certified by Enterprise Green Communities, a certification for sustainable and energy efficient buildings, to improve communities’ resilience to flooding and Sea Level Rise. In addition to assistance in reconstructing homes, the Program funded legal counseling and temporary housing for residents affected.

The Program received 20,000 applications, and 16,000 completed the initial eligibility review. As of June 2018, the program has helped 12,500 households through reimbursement checks, construction starts, and acquisitions

Fig: A house that has been rebuilt as part of the Build It Back Program, showcasing the elevated design (Photo retrieved from https://twitter.com/NYCBuilditBack)

Fig: A house on Staten Island that has been rebuilt as part of the Build It Back Program (Photo retrieved from https://twitter.com/NYCBuilditBack)

Sources

The City of New York. (2018). NYC Build It Back Stronger and Safer: Welcome to NYC Housing Recovery. Retrieved from http://www.nyc.gov/html/recovery/html/home/home.shtml.

The Adaptation Clearinghouse. (2016). New York City Build It Back Program. Retrieved from http://www.adaptationclearinghouse.org/resources/new-york-city-build-it-back-program.html.