The New York City Comptroller's office marked the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy with a dire report on the expected costs of the next big storm. Based on updated flood insurance maps from FEMA, the report finds that over $129 billion worth of property sits within the city’s 100-year floodplain – an increase of more than 120% from earlier maps. (100-year flood zones cover areas that have a 1% chance of flooding each year.) “In short, FEMA’s revised maps depict a greatly expanded floodplain that places almost three and a half times as many structures in high-risk zones and anticipates greater severity of flooding for those buildings already in the flood zone,” reads the report. “This new landscape holds important implications for resiliency investments, flood insurance, and the role of government in protecting homeowners from the next great storm.” To protect the city, the comptroller suggests significant investments in resiliency projects like HUD’s Rebuild By Design competition. These types of large-scale projects would protect property and, ideally, control flood insurance insurance premiums which are expected to spike when FEMA's proposed maps take effect in 2016. But that will only happen, explains the comptroller, if FEMA becomes a more agile and responsive agency: “FEMA is under no obligation under current rules to regularly review and update premiums despite the fact that the installation of costal protections—including surge barriers, artificial reefs, dunes, jetties, living shorelines, and floodwalls—are proven to help stem the effects of localized flooding and substantially lower flood risk." [h/t Vice]
Posts tagged with "Hurricane Sandy":
Archtober Building of the Day #16 Post-Disaster Urban Interim Housing Cadman Plaza East & Red Cross Place Garrison Architects Nearly three million residents live in New York City’s six emergency evacuation zones. After a natural disaster ravages communities, displaced people often leave their neighborhoods never to return, causing catastrophic economic and social upheaval. The Prototype for Urban Interim Housing Units is an attempt to remedy this condition after the storm. Instead of dispersing, residents could begin to regain what they lost, starting with a safe, resilient home. When New York's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) began looking for a post-disaster housing type for New York City, they looked for inspiration both nationally and internationally. The design would have to be modular, or manufactured offsite, but the single-family temporary housing installed in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina would not fit the urban NYC landscape. Six years ago, OEM hosted a competition and received 117 innovative submissions from 31 countries. From there, OEM worked with industry leaders to compile a set of design specifications that could be applied nation-wide. Two years ago, OEM put out an RFP and Garrison Architects answered the call. “Modular building techniques are advancing,” said Jim Garrison, principal at Garrison Architects. This structure, with a steel frame and plenty of concrete, is stronger than conventional buildings. The flexible design includes three separate units that can be arranged any number of ways. The modular units come in one- and three-bedroom layouts and are all ADA compliant. Aside from clearing the land and preparing utilities, the structure can be assembled in two days. After the initial designs were complete, Deborah Gans, professor at Pratt Institute, worked with her students to find potential sites for the building in Red Hook, a diverse neighborhood that was severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Residents and community groups supported the model and helped determine where to place the temporary housing. Suggestions included the roof of IKEA and on NYCHA campuses, where the majority of the neighborhood’s residents live. In addition, the building can be constructed on found sites where structures once stood but have been cleared of debris, street beds, parking lots, under elevated highways, in parks, and more. The building satisfies all permanent housing requirements on temporary sites. All OEM staff members are testing the units by living in them for a week at a time. These units are not available for the public yet, but the gallery unit on the first floor is open for visitors every Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Emma Pattiz is Policy Coordinator for the AIA New York Chapter.
Five state capitals will get help from the Environmental Protection Agency to develop green infrastructure that could help mitigate the cost of natural disasters and climate change. Resiliency, whether it be in the context of global warming or natural and manmade catastrophes, has become a white-hot topic in the design world, especially since Superstorm Sandy battered New York City in 2012. EPA selected the following cities for this year's Greening America's Capitals program through a national competition: Austin, Texas; Carson City, Nev.; Columbus, Ohio; Pierre, S.D.; and Richmond, Va. Since 2010, 18 capitals and Washington, D.C. have participated in the program, which is administered by the EPA in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. In each city, EPA will provide technical assistance to help design and build infrastructure that uses natural systems to manage stormwater. Here's a bit on each of the new projects via EPA:
· Austin, Texas, will receive assistance to create design options to improve pedestrian and bike connections in the South Central Waterfront area, and to incorporate green infrastructure that reduces stormwater runoff and localized flooding, improves water quality, and increases shade. · Carson City, Nev., will receive assistance to improve William Street, a former state highway that connects to the city's downtown. The project will help the city explore how to incorporate green infrastructure through the use of native plants, and to enhance the neighborhood's economic vitality. · Columbus, Ohio, will receive assistance to develop design options for the Milo-Grogan neighborhood that use green infrastructure to improve stormwater quality, reduce flooding risks, and encourage walking and cycling. · Pierre, S.D., will receive assistance to redesign its historic main street, South Pierre, in a way that uses green infrastructure to reduce stormwater runoff and improve resiliency to extreme climate conditions. · Richmond, Va., will receive assistance to design options for more parks and open spaces, and to incorporate green infrastructure to better manage stormwater runoff on Jefferson Avenue, a street which serves as the gateway to some of Richmond's oldest and most historic neighborhoods.
By 2019, two new Staten Island Ferry vessels should be crisscrossing the New York Harbor. Outside of the Whitehall Ferry Terminal this morning, United States Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced that New York City had been awarded a $191 million grant to design and construct these vessels that will be more agile and storm-resilient than what's in the ferry's current fleet. These funds will also allow the city to invest in resiliency measures at the ferry's terminals and at surrounding public transit systems. This federal grant was just one component of the U.S. DOT's latest round of Sandy-related funding, which provides over $3 billion for resiliency measures for the East Coast's public transit systems. Roughly 90 percent of this money is allocated for projects in New York State and New Jersey. “The projects we are funding aren’t exactly what you would call glamorous projects,” said Secretary Foxx at the announcement, “many of them will be invisible to many riders, but they will give this region a fighting chance to withstand the kind of punishment that mother nature can mete out.” To prevent the type of catastrophic flooding seen at the South Ferry subway station during Hurricane Sandy, Foxx said street-level vents would be sealed and pump rooms would be flood-proofed. As the city and state continue to rebuild after Sandy, though, there are difficult questions about whether areas that are especially vulnerable to rising sea levels should be rebuilt at all. When asked about that issue by AN, New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said the city would not stop building in threatened areas. “This region is home to 15 million people and clearly we are here to stay," she said. "I think our job is to make wise decisions about where to make investments, but, certainly, I think you can see from where we are in Lower Manhattan, which is one of the financial capitals of the world, we’re going to be rebuilding, and we’re going to making it stronger than ever.” Today’s press conference comes a day after roughly 400,000 people marched through the streets of Midtown, Manhattan in the People's Climate March—the largest climate march in history. Event organizers hope the massive showing will pressure global leaders to take action on climate change at the UN Climate summit this week. Ahead of that march, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City will attempt to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050, based on 2005 figures. To achieve this very ambitious goal, the city said it will retrofit its 4,000 public buildings and incentivizing private building owners to increase energy efficiency. Specifically, the city pledged to invest in on-site, green power generators, install 100 megawatts of solar capacity on over 300 public buildings, and to “implement leading edge performance standards for new construction that cost effectively achieve highly efficient buildings, looking to Passive House, carbon neutral, or ‘zero net energy” ‘strategies to inform the standards.” Mayor de Blasio's climate plan builds upon Mayor Bloomberg's, which set out to reduce the city's greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030.
New York City’s Office of Emergency Management has opened a full-scale prototype of its temporary housing units that would shelter those displaced from the next Sandy-like storm. The OEM describes "The Urban Post-Disaster Housing Prototype Program," as a “multi-story, multi-family interim housing solution that will work in urban areas across the country.” The prefabricated structures are designed by Garrison Architects and intended to be dispatched quickly after an emergency and assembled on-site. The individual housing units are currently on display in Brooklyn and range in size from 480-square-feet to 813-square-feet. According to Gothamist, the temporary homes include bedrooms, a bathroom, a balcony, a kitchen, and storage space. They measure 40-feet wide by 100-feet long. The prototype will be tested in the coming months by city officials and local universities. In the next few weeks, a gallery will open inside the structure to explain the project's development process to the public. This is not the first time Garrison has been tasked with creating resilient, modular structures for New York City. Last summer, the firm’s 35 prefabricated lifeguard stands and bathrooms opened at Rockaway Beach. But shortly after they appeared, some of the stations began rusting and leaking. At the time, DNA Info reported that the railing on one station had to be secured with duct tape. And since July, two of the stations have been covered in a tarp, placed behind a locked fence, and guarded around-the-clock with security. A Parks Department spokesperson told DNA that the bathrooms will be reinstalled later this year.
Seventeen months after Superstorm Sandy pummeled New York City, Mayor de Blasio and U.S. Senator Charles Schumer announced major changes to the city’s Sandy relief efforts. At an announcement in late March in the Rockaways, Mayor de Blasio said that $100 million of federal money has been reallocated into the city’s Build it Back program, which will help storm victims regardless of their income or priority level. The mayor’s office says that funds from this program are already being sent out. In an effort to further cut red tape, the mayor also announced new staffing and policy changes to accelerate the delivery of resources to those impacted by the storm. “Today’s announcement is a down payment, and I look forward to this administration taking additional steps to ensure Sandy victims who went into their pockets to pay for repairs themselves will be quickly made whole. The De Blasio administration deserves major credit for tackling this problem quickly and making necessary changes to a program that wasn’t working well at all,” said Senator Schumer in a statement.
In early April, the ten finalists in the Rebuild By Design competition unveiled their proposals to protect the Tri-state region from the next Sandy. And in the near future, a jury will select a winner—or winners—to receive federal funding to pursue their plans. But before that final announcement is made, AN is taking a closer look at each of the final ten proposals. Here's BIG's "Big U" that could save Lower Manhattan from the next superstorm. Team BIG encased Lower Manhattan in the "Big U," a ring of flood protection measures and community and recreational programming. The 10-mile system is separated into compartments that provide unique storm mitigation strategies and programming for the distinct communities along Manhattan's outer edge. On the East Side, the Bridging Berm protects against future storms and provides access to riverfront parkland when the waters are calm. Underneath the FDR Expressway, BIG would install panels that are decorated by local artists and can be deployed as storm-walls when necessary. A new berm in Battery Park would protect the country's financial center and provide a new pathway through the already popular public space. And an existing Coast Guard building is replaced with a "reverse aquarium," which "enables visitors to observe tidal variations and sea level rise while providing a flood barrier." The team includes One Architecture, Starr Whitehouse, James Lima Planning + Development, Project Projects, Green Shield Ecology, AEA Consulting, Level Agency for Infrastructure, Arcadis, and the Parsons School of Constructed Environments.
In early April, the ten finalists in the Rebuild By Design competition unveiled their proposals to protect the Tri-state region from the next Sandy. And in the near future, a jury will select a winner—or winners—to receive federal funding to pursue their plans. But before that final announcement is made, AN is taking a closer look at each of the final ten proposals. Here's OMA's plan to protect The Garden State's coast. OMA sets forth a comprehensive plan for Hoboken, Jersey City, and Weehawken to mitigate flood risk and create new public space. The team protects these coastal communities through four key initiatives: hard infrastructure and soft landscape to resist storm water, urban infrastructure to delay rainwater runoff, green infrastructure to store rainwater, and water pumps and alternative routes to discharge excess water. OMA's green infrastructure and landscape designs also provide significant public space and recreational opportunities at the water's edge. "Our objectives are to manage water―for both disaster and for long-term growth; enable reasonable flood insurance premiums―through the potential redrawing of the FEMA flood zone; and deliver co-benefits―that enhance our cities," explained the team in a statement. The OMA team includes Royal HaskoningDHV; Balmori Associates; and HR&A Advisors
In early April, the ten finalists in the Rebuild By Design competition unveiled their proposals to protect the Tri-state region from the next Sandy. And in the near future, a jury will select a winner—or winners—to receive federal funding to pursue their plans. But before that final announcement is made, AN is taking a closer look at each of the final ten proposals. Here's how Waggonner and Ball, unabridged and Yale ARCADIS' team plans to create a more resilient Bridgeport, Connecticut. Waggoner and Ball, unabridged Architecture, and the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio propose "Resilient Bridgeport"—a framework of design and planning principles to protect the Connecticut region. "The design proposals are place-specific design solutions ranging from green streets in upland areas to wetland park buffers in coastal areas," explained the team in a statement. "Included, too, are places throughout the city that provide safety and services in times of storm and instruct people on how to transition to a way of living and thriving with water." Specifically, the team protects Bridgeport's South End with a new waterfront berm and offshore breakwaters. At this site, they also create the South End Resilience Education and Community Center—a hub, which includes a co-op, job training programs, a healthcare clinic, and childcare services. During sever weather, the Center transforms into a shelter. The full team includes Waggonner and Ball, unabridged Architecture, the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, Yale's Urban Ecology and Design Laboratory, and ARCADIS.
In early April, the ten finalists in the Rebuild By Design competition unveiled their proposals to protect the Tri-state region from the next Sandy. And in the near future, a jury will select a winner—or winners—to receive federal funding to pursue their plans. But before that final announcement is made, AN is taking a closer look at each of the final ten proposals. Here's how the team led by HR&A/Cooper Robertson plans to bring resiliency to the East Coast from the Rockaways to Red Hook. The HR&A/Cooper Robertson team focused on creating resilient communities and resilient businesses in Red Hook, the Rockaways, and Asbury Park, New Jersey. To make that possible, they propose the "Commercial Corridor Resiliency" project, which includes flood protection measures and commercial revitalization for at-risk businesses. Specifically, this includes, "behavioral modification, such as the creation of preparedness plans and use of deployable flood protection systems, and capital investment in building and tenant spaces." In Red Hook, they create the "Maker’s District," which includes dry and wet-flood-proofed buildings, as well as a raised promenade to promote public access to the water. In Far Rockaway, the team invests in transportation infrastructure and a revitalized commercial corridor. And in Asbury Park, flood protection measures are put in place to protect the beach and local businesses. The team includes HR&A Advisors with Cooper, Robertson & Partners; Grimshaw Architects; Alamo Architects; Langan Engineering; W Architecture; Hargreaves Associates; and Urban Green Council.
In early April, the ten finalists in the Rebuild By Design competition unveiled their proposals to protect the Tri-state region from the next Sandy. And in the near future, a jury will select a winner—or winners—to receive federal funding to pursue their plans. But before that final announcement is made, AN is taking a closer look at each of the final ten proposals. Here’s Sasaki's plan to save the Jersey shore. The plan presented by Sasaki—along with Rutgers University and ARUP—is focused on preserving and protecting the Jersey shore's iconic beaches. "Ultimately, the Jersey Shore’s future resiliency must be linked to projects that deepen the physical extent, ecological reach, and cultural understanding of the beach," the team explained in a statement. Their plan includes moving new development from barrier islands that were severely impacted during Hurricane Sandy, to areas farther inland. According to Sasaki, this would protect development projects and diversify the tourist economy. In Asbury Park, the team creates a "hybrid boardwalk-dune"—a structure that preserves the function of a traditional boardwalk, while also providing a natural habitat and storm-surge mitigation. And for inland inland bay communities, Sasaki "[reclaims] the inland bay’s underutilized water spaces as public places."
In early April, the ten finalists in the Rebuild By Design competition unveiled their proposals to protect the Tri-state region from the next Sandy. And in the near future, a jury will select a winner—or winners—to receive federal funding to pursue their plans. But before that final announcement is made, AN is taking a closer look at each of the final ten proposals. Here’s Penn Design and OLIN's plan for the South Bronx. Penn Design and OLIN propose the "Hunts Point Lifelines" plan to increase resiliency and boost economic activity in the country's poorest congressional district. Their plan focuses on the South Bronx's Hunts Point, a regional hub for food distribution critical to keeping New York City running. The plan includes four key strategies: flood protection, job training and opportunities, cleanways, and planning to maintain food supply chains during emergencies. New infrastructure projects are designed to provide new jobs while greenways, piers, and landscaping would improve access to the water. "Despite severe environmental and economic hardship, Hunts Point also has significant capacity for demonstrating local, community-driven resilience building," explained the team. "An investment in resilience at Hunts Point will be felt throughout the region, providing food security during crisis and serving as a model for working waterfronts located in floodplains everywhere." The team includes HR&A Advisors, eDesign Dynamics, Level Infrastructure, Barretto Bay Strategies, McLaren Engineering Group, Philip Habib & Associates, and Buro Happold.