Ideas to Protect New York and New Jersey From Floods

More than 40 ideas, presented by 10 teams of flood experts, were put forward for a Rebuild by Design competition to develop projects that will protect New York and New Jersey coastlines from future flooding of the type seen last October during hurricane Sandy.

The presentation took place at a forum of planners, architects and engineers at New York University on Monday 28th October 2013. According to Henk Ovink, co-chairman of the jury, the goal eventually is to take 10 of the best and most suitable ideas and turn them in to “practical projects that could get federal funding.” U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and a team of other judges will be selecting what they think are the best 10 ideas of projects over the coming weeks.

The 41 ideas or concepts include:

  • Building artificial reefs
  • Restoring marshland
  • Building tidal flats to lessen the impact of high tides and surf
  • Building an 8-mile-long system of levees and berms, cleverly hidden inside parks and public art
  • Building a system of channels that would help divert flood water surging up from Long Island’s bays
  • Develop a huge water collection basin that could absorb floodwaters on Manhattan’s low-lying Lower East Side

Some of the ideas aim simply to reinstall those natural barriers that once existed to protect the coastline. Waterfront developments and dredging in New York harbor removed many of the natural flood barriers that once protected the city.

Sources and further information: Rebuild by Design