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GRASSROOTS REGIONALISM:

Resiliency Building in Low- and Medium-Density Lowland Communities

Introduction Our Sites Our Tools


As we approach the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, most of the communities that Prototypical, Catalytic We decided to look at vulnerable, low and medium income, low and medium density communi- In our design opportunities, we deploy the following three solutions:
were damaged by the storm are still recovering, struggling to determine where and how to find ties, representing a diversity of natural systems.
the resources to rebuild, adapt, or move on. Unfortunately, most communities are as vulnerable Moving on up
today as they were before Sandy hit. How do we as architects, planners, and policy makers en- Communities that are Vulnerable to Flooding
Sea level rise (SLR) is the 800-lb. gorilla in the room. In New
Give residents of low-lying, low-opportunity communities the opportunity to
sure that our projects help those who need help the most? How can we ensure that our projects MOVE ON UP

are maximally impactful? Jersey the Christie Administration will not allow sea level rise move on up to high and dry, high-opportunity areas by identifying appropri-
ate sites
OR
to be discussed within state government. The federal Hurricane
OR OR

MOVE ON UP
We are pleased to present four design opportunities--each based on a different coastal typology- Sandy Rebuilding Task Force cautiously highlights sea level rise
-that offer a menu of options for vulnerable, low and medium income, low and medium density but does not propose significantly altering federal policies, de-
emphasizing SLR projections by its own agencies. SLR is real. OR
communities. While each design opportunity presents solutions for a particular place, it is our OR OR
hope that each one offers solutions that may be applicable elsewhere. MOVE ON UP SLR is a Sandy-like storm surge in slow motion an inexorable,
OR
month-by-month, year-by-year, decade-by- decade phenom-
enon that never creates a sense of immediate crisis. We have
OR
In these four design opportunities, we deploy a grassroots regionalism that uses design to OR

help grow an awareness of the municipal interdependencies that are the basis of sound regional As we approach the one year anniversary of the storm, most communities are still recovering, chosen a 6-foot SLR as our base standard.
planning. and struggling to determine where and how to find the resources to rebuild, adapt, or retreat.
Unfortunately, most communities are as vulnerable today as they were before Sandy hit. How
NO RISK
NO REGRETS Low and Medium Income Communities
do we as architects, planners, and policy makers insure that our projects help those
Time who need

Our Team
Hurricane Sandy did in fact discriminate: low-income commu-
help the most? How can we insure that our projects are maximally impactful? nities were hit harder, more severely disrupted, and less likely
T=0 T=X
to get back on their feet. We want to use this competition as
Towards this, we have identified design opportunities that are While each design op- a means to address recognized emergencies--like floods--but
Our unique team combines the best of Dutch land-use planning, environmental and coastal en-
prototypical and catalytic. They are prototypical in that they portunity can be imple- also the everyday, invisible emergencies that are found in low-
address NO common
RISK
problems. While each design opportunity
gineering, and urban water management with the best of American urban design, participatory NO REGRETS
can be implemented in one place, Time each offers solutions that
mented in one place, income communities like income inequality, segregation, and One of the best things we can do to create more resiliency in the region is create more opportu-
environmental racism.
planning, community development, engineering, and economic analysis and financial engineer- may be applicable elsewhere. The design opportunities are each offers solutions nities for people to live in high and dry, high opportunity communities that are less prone to flood-
ing. The Dutch contingent, which consists of design professionals who have extensive experi- ing. But there is a major obstacle to this seemingly simple solution: a lot of high and dry, high
catalytic
T=0 in that each oneT=Xcan be conceived of a concrete start-
NO that may be applicable High
Medium
ence working together to adaptively plan coastal regions around the world, have envisioned, ing point capable of catalyzing other desired outcomes. opportunity land in the region is inaccessible to low income and minority persons because of
elsewhere.
Low
NO RISK
designed, and implemented some of the most important flood mitigation and management strat- exclusionary zoning tactics. Thankfully, many states in the region have policies that require their
NO REGRETS
egies worldwide. The American contingent, which consists of professionals in the fields of archi- municipalities to build their fair share of affordable housing (for example, New Jerseys Mount
The Emergency and the Everyday Time
Laurel Doctrine, Long Islands Workforce Housing Act, and Connecticuts Affordable Housing
tecture, urban design, urban planning, coastal engineering, community economic development, Low and Medium Density Communities
governance, education, graphic design, and financial-economic advising, are recognized leaders We decided to work in low and medium density coastal commu- Law Use Appeals Process).
in their fields, and have an extensive track record working with communities to build resiliency. YES nities because of the unique challenges they present. Very high-
NO
density places are more likely to be protected against floods Despite these progressive
T=0 measures, many of T=Xthe areas high and dry, high opportunity mu-
Interboro Partners and very low density places are less-likely to be. But what about nicipalities have not complied with the mandate to build more affordable housing, and therefore
Apex medium density communities that dont have the resources to have unfulfilled obligations. For example, within a short commute of New Jerseys vulnerable
Bosch Slabbers effectively adapt to storm surges and sea level rise (or move Long Beach and Barnegat Bay Islands, there are 16 relatively high and dry, high opportunity
Center for Urban Pedagogy somewhere else)? We want to use this competition as an op- towns with a projected constitutional obligation to build a total of 11,254 affordable housing units.
David Rusk YES High portunity to address questions like these.
Deltares Architecture that protects us from the occasional disaster (for In our design oppor- Medium In our design opportunities, we look to offer individuals in low-lying, low-opportunity communities
H+N+S Landscape Architects example, a terrorist attack or a flood) too often requires us to Low
opportunities to move to high and dry, high-opportunity areas by identifying appropriate sites for
sacrifice things we enjoy about the more everyday, non-disas- tunities, each and ev-
IMG Rebel the construction of mixed-income housing.
NJIT Infrastructure Planning Program ter moments. The bollards, barriers, guard booths, and other ery investment in flood Communities with Critical Infrastructure
Palmbout Urban Landscapes anti-terrorist ephemera that started popping
MOVE ON UP up around lower protection in one way Where appropriate, a parallel strategy would be to offer options to remain on site by building on
Because they rely on the force of gravity to move sewage, sew-
Manhattan soon after the 9/11 terrorist attacks might protect constructed hills.NO
Project Projects
us somewhat from future attacks, but they
or another improves age treatment plants are typically located in low-lying, coastal
OR can contribute
OR to
OR
RFA Investments communities, and cant therefore be moved. Sewage treatment
an environment that feels unpleasant, hostile, and militaristic. everyday life.
TU Delft plants are critical to the regions they serve, and therefore need Living with the Landscape
to be protected. But as Climate Change Central concedes, The
In our design opportunities, each and every investment in flood protection in one way or another
vulnerability of wastewater treatment plants to rising sea levels
improves everyday life. If were going to build protective structures, there is simply no reason not
to add value to them so that they do more than merely protect.
and severe storms is not well-studied and the projected costs Restore the natural functions of coastal landscapes in a way that si-
of protecting these facilities (or making them more resilient to
multaneously strengthens them as attractive, accessible public spac-
Our Strategies Low-Risk, No Regrets (for now)
storm surge events) is not well-understood. In our projects, we
wanted to explore solutions to this problem. es. COASTLINE AS ROUTE
'ALONGSIDE ROUTE'
INFRASTRUCTURE AS AMENITY
'LOCAL PATHS'

YES
Communities that are Socially Vulnerable
NO RISK The University of South Carolinas Social Vulnerability Index
NO REGRETS
Towards a Grassroots Regionalism Time measures the social vulnerability of U.S. counties to environ-
mental hazards. The index, which synthesizes 30 socioeco-
nomic variables that are thought to contribute to or reduce a WETLAND RETREAT
'STAY' PLACE
CREEK AS CONNECTOR
'UP - DOWN' ROUTES
COASTLINE AS ROUTE
'ALONGSIDE ROUTE'
INFRASTRUCTURE AS AMENITY
'LOCAL PATHS'

T=0 T=X
Hello neighbor, do you
Yeah, my future is right
here. I think there are more communitys ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover
want to build a dike
with me?
people on this street who
want to join in. We can
Hey neighbor community,
do you want to connect and
Of course,
we have recently
from hazards, is a standard metric that demonstrates where
activate our block. join forces? connected to the school
as well ! Why did residents of Staten Islands Oakwood Beach almost unanimously vote to retreat from there is uneven capacity for preparedness and response and Irresponsible, unsustainable development practices have led to the erosion of the regions
their home so soon after Sandy? Prior to Hurricane Sandy, Oakwood Beach was severely im- Low where resources might be used most effectively to reduce the marshes, bays, creeks, and beaches. This has both undermined the ability of these landscapes
pacted by a noreaster in 1992, a marsh fire in 2008, and Hurricane Irene in 2011. As one resi-
Medium
High
pre-existing vulnerability. According to the Index, all of our to protect us from severe weather events, and decreased their recreational potential.
dent of 40 years put it, (Sandy) was just like the last straw that didnt even allow you to fool sites have a high social vulnerability to hazards. WETLAND RETREAT CREEK AS CONNECTOR
'STAY' PLACE 'UP - DOWN' ROUTES

yourself into thinking it was OK toNOstay. In our design opportunities, we have identified opportunities in which a win for nature is a win for
Our sites public space and recreation.
Its easier to think that youre stronger than the storm when Our design opportuni-
your community hasnt repeatedly experienced the brute force ties are relatively low-
Because planning and land use regulation in the United States is local, municipalities have the of nature. But in places that presently lack the will to retreat, its
Protect +
power to effectively chart their own course, often without having to consider the consequences not feasible to insist on it. But neither does it make much sense
risk, no regret propo-
their land use decisions have for neighboring municipalities. But of course municipalities are in- to sink billions into protecting land that people may eventually sitions for the present Protect regionally critical infrastructures (such as sewage treatment
terdependent, and are connected in innumerable ways. As a simple illustration, imagine two mu- want to walk away from. Dealing with YES low density communities
that sew seeds and of- plants) in ways that would have a direct benefit to people living in the
nicipalities located on the same creek: the upland communitys decision to zone for big box retail therefore means hedging your bets somewhat. Our design op-
means more impermeable surfaces. This will generate more stormwater runoff in the creek, and fer a mixture of adapt, immediate vicinity of these critical infrastructures.
portunities are relatively low-risk, no regret propositions for
this will result in an increased flood hazard the lowland community. Is this fair? the present that sew seeds and offer a mixture of adapt, re- retreat, and protect
treat, and protect strategies. strategies.
Unfortunately, our system of home rule creates a barrier to the kind of regional decision-making
that is required to adequately address regional issues that dont respect municipal lines. Among
them are environmental issues like stormwater management, pollution, and habitat preserva-
Design for a Dynamic Landscape
tion, but also social issues like transportation and housing: when municipalities arent required to Options for Southern Nassau County
Options for Staten Islands Eastern Shore
frequent (1-3 months) salinization, because of
accept their fair share of a regions affordable housing, for example, municipalities can become drought periods
increased intense
dredging & deepening
decreased (sediment) Treatment service area
overburdened with them.
precipitation peaks WWTP at risk
during high water
flows due to dams overdevelopment
of streambed Options for Monmouth Countys Watersheds
landfilling
loss of marshes
raising (winter) increased winter Highly vulnerable population
Regional decision-making is therefore required to create a built environment that is socially, eco-
through erosion sewer overflow in
temperature precipitation with 0-30%
heavy rain event
Sewage treatment plant
nomically, and environmentally sustainable and just. But how can regionalism be achieved when increased (summer)
fresh water need

whats rational, comprehensive, and in the regions best interest and whats implementable, fair, paved surfaces:
storm water peaks &
irregular
river discharge

and in the interest of any given municipality are two different things? A Mayor who campaigns on urban heat islands
urban polution

ceding authority to a larger unit of government is unlikely to get elected.


Low and medium income communities host a disproportionate number of the regions treatment,
storage, and disposal facilities, and therefore bear a disproportionate burden of the negative ex-
What can we do to change this? How do we help shift public consciousness? Towards this, our
A Better Day at the Beach ternalities that these facilities produce (for example, toxins in the air and drinking water).
team has used the unique opportunity of this competition to develop what were calling a grass-
roots regionalism that uses design to help grow a consciousness about municipal interdepen-
People who live near sewage treatment plants have the added problem of having to cope with
dencies.
bay wave running bypasses and overflows, a fact that was brought into sharp focus by Hurricane Sandy, which
(no marsh buffer)
caused about 11 billion gallons of untreated and partially treated sewage to flow into the rivers,
We did this in two ways. First, we identified instances in which How can we grow a
Low Need bays, canals, and streets of coastal communities in nine states (because they rely on the force
whats right for the region could be tailored to help meet lo-
consciousness about of gravity to move sewage are typically located in low-lying, coastal communities).
cal needs and achieve local goals. Protecting the Bay Park
Sewage Treatment Plant from flooding helps insure that Bay municipal interdepen-
discharge of treated
fresh waste water
3 ft. seal level rise
Medium Need
But as Climate Change Central concedes, The vulnerability of wastewater treatment plants
Parks streets, waterways, and homes wont be inundated with dencies? High Need
6 ft. storm surge
closed to rising sea levels and severe storms is not well-studied and the projected costs of protecting
unprocessed sewage, but it also insures that the 500,000 Nas- wave erosion
loss of
vegetation estuaries
drainage urban pollution storm
fixated (increasing
closed inlets loss of subsidence:
these facilities (or making them more resilient to storm surge events) is not well-understood.
sau County residents it serves will be able to flush their toilet. In our design opportunities, we drain system soon below sea level,
ground water level increased
islands wind erosion)
(no outflow
after storm)
oyster
beds
isolated
- natural
- groundwater pumping
freshwater
have identified many such win-wins. Second, we centered each of our design opportunities
- draining organic soils
wetlands
overdevelopment
Because of their regional importance, sewage protection plants need to be protected from flood-
on a natural feature--a freshwater marsh, a bay, a creek, and the beach--that is inhabited by
ing. Typical solutions include improving the capacity of the storm collection system, raising the
multiple municipalities. In each instance, irresponsible, unsustainable development practices Diverse Natural Systems
elevation of key components above projected flood heights, constructing watertight doors and
have led to the erosion of the natural feature, a fact that has undermined their ability to protect The Sandy-damaged region contains a variety of coastal land-
The Marsh windows, installing submersible pumps, and building walls, earthen berms, and floodgates. But
residents from severe weather events, as well as decreased their recreational potential. In our scapes, from central New Jerseys tidal bays, to the cliffs and
The marsh is characterized by soft soils and (mostly saline) water. Natural marshes are im- from an environmental justice perspective, shouldnt people who have to bear a disproportionate
design opportunities, we propose to leverage the inter-municipal connections that these natural bluffs of Staten Islands south shore, to the urban waterfronts
portant for fishery and ecology, but also for reducing storm surges. Man-made drainage of the brunt of the externalities of a regions critical infrastructure be in some way rewarded? In all of
features provide by restoring them in a way that simultaneously enhances them as regionally that flank Hoboken, New York, and other high-density commu-
marsh creates serious subsidence and CO2-emission into the air, transforming marsh into open our design opportunities, we propose to leverage investments in the protection of sewage treat-
significant public spaces. nities in the region. For this competition, we want to insure that
water. In urban areas on marsh soils, subsidence by groundwater drainage is mostly generated ment plants in ways that have direct, positive benefits to those who live near them.
our sites represented a selection of commonly inhabited coastal
by leaking sewer and storm drainage pipes.
landscapes that suffered at the hands of the storm. We decided A menu of sculpting tools
to look at creeks, freshwater marshes, bays and oceanfronts.
The Creek
No two freshwater marshes are the same, of course, but our
If current development patterns continue, the creeks will be attacked from the ocean, bay, and Geomorphological Landscapes
hope is that a proposed solution for one freshwater marsh might
land. Sea level rise will cause it to drown and salinize. Climate Change will increase pollution Foreshore Beach Dunes and beachfront Bay Creek
be applicable to another.
due to increased rainfall, which will cause more urban drainage.
Creeks Freshwater Marshes Bays Oceanfronts Nourishment Off shore Nourishment Widening Nourishment Single Dunes Nourishment behind barrier Tidal delta nourishment Room-for-the-creek Removal of dams

The Bay
artificial reefs
Supporting

Now, and even more in future, the Bay is essential for safety, especially as water levels rise, Barrier in front Gully management Sand engines Double dunes Sand buffer Nourishment with waste Barrier behind barrier Increasing sediment flow

and waves become larger and stronger. Thanks to the (urban) stabilization of the barrier islands,
of barrier materials

bays are becoming hungrier for sediment.


Natural

Sand catchers Natural vegetation Stimulating marsh growth

The Oceanfront
Strenghten

75% of the New Jersey coastline is urbanized. Natural sediment processes are a thing of the
Groins and breakwaters solid core dune Solid core in Underpavement
front of marsh soda straws

past. Because of sea level rise, shores constantly need to be elevated or strengthened (at the
ocean side and the bay side), and beaches constantly need widening. Do cheaper and greener
Hurricane doors (local) Storm Barriers (regional)

solutions exist?
Landcover

Boardwalk

Integrated in dunes Diked

Walled Diked + wall system


Boulevard

Seaward Enforcement Promenade flood storage Promenade flood storage


with flush canisters

Landward Enforcement
Non-natural

Road + Rail as dikes Flood storing streets


Streets

Impervious surfaces
Homes

Raise Float Raise


affordable housing site identification study affordable housing development rise
sea level

Living with the Creek room for the creek


rt. 35 green infrastructure

union beach sewage treatment plant protection+ project

Options for Monmouth County Watersheds no regrets, sow seeds long term
ESTABLISH COASTAL WATERSHED COMMISION PROGRAM
Despite the encroachment of single-family houses, shopping centers, and the occasional industrial parcel (not to
mention a sewage treatment plant), the five creeks that feed Monmouth Countys Keyport Harbor are crucial to
the Raritan / Sandy Bay watershed, channeling stormwater from the upland communities of Hazlet, Middleton,
and Homedale through the low-lying communities of Keansburg, Union Beach, and Keyport, and finally into the
Raritan Bay.

The creeks know no political boundaries, but the people who live in the communities surrounding them certainly
do. Despite sharing watershed, the abovementioned communities are separate municipalities, which, in a home
rule state like New Jersey, means that each town has the right to basically plan and provide services solely in
its own self-interest. This has produced environmental and social injustice. When it comes to the environment, Route 35 gutter
upland towns have little incentive to control their stormwater, since the negative effects of stormwater runoff (for We propose to transform Route 35 and the parking lots along it into gutters that will detain rainwater and simultaneously create a
example, flooding) are experienced primarily by their lowland neighbors, who are powerless to do much about greener, more attractive environment along the corridor that could serve as a vital new public space for the region.
it. When it comes to social issues like, housing, wealthier towns have little incentive to build affordable housing:
because municipal services are financed largely by local property taxes (and because services like affordable
housing are a drain on property revenue), it is in a towns best interest to chase ratables.

For this design opportunity, we propose to create a connection between the low-lying, low-opportunity
towns of Keansburg, Union Beach, and Keyport, and the high and dry, high and maximum opportunity
towns of Hazlet, Middleton, and Homedale by playing up the natural connections (i.e. the creeks) that To solve [the flooding]
problem, you have to
already exist here, and leveraging them to create social connections. look up the watershed.

Everyday Emergency A widened, revitalized creekbed could provide critical habitat, food, and shelter for waterfowl, fish, and other aquatic species, and also mitigate damage from floods and filter pollutants.
POVERTY
BAD
SCHOOLS
Marlboro
Population: 36,398
Projected Round III
Obligation: 1,173
If the town can afford to build a big mall, it
needs to be able to create housing for the
ENVIRONMENTAL

%Live/Work
Inflow Jobs
Outflow Jobs

High School
Marlboro
people who work at the mall (...). We need
ADVOCATE to be creating inclusive communities

$127K
$523,000
where people can live, work and educate
Holmdel 8% their children.
Population: 16,773
Damaged: 50
ME Projected Round III

Half of Union Beachs 6,200 residents qualified


I`M
OUT!
for low-income federal assistance post-Sandy.
TOO!
Obligation: 616

Before Sandy, 4.9% of Union Beach residents lived below the poverty line. Hazlet

%Live/Work
Inflow Jobs
Outflow Jobs

High School
Holmdel

$129K
$663,300
Population: 20,334
Schools in Union Beach and Keansburg received the worst possible grade from the NJ Department of Edu- Damaged: 50

n
tio
Projected Round III

cation. 7.5% Obligation: 457

en
et
Holmdel

D
Keansburgs median family income is about half neighborhing Hazlets ($52,128 v. $102,743).

35
%Live/Work
Inflow Jobs
Outflow Jobs

High School
Raritan

er

te
$345,600

at

ou
Keansburgs share of persons living below the poverty line is over six times that of Hazlets (16.1% v.

W
HOUSING

$83K

R
rm
te

g
2.5%). POVERTY 8% ADVOCATE

Si

n
to

lo
BAD

tS
ng

A
SCHOOLS
Union Beach officials say that FEMA has paid for 170 demolitions but is not covering an additional 92

si

Lo

r
ou

te
g

ut
H

in
homes unless they are in imminent danger of full or partial collapse. 50 of these properties require asbes-

ks
FEMA-A

t
G
rk
e

n
e

bl

la
Pa
re

a
tos removal.

tP
C

rd

en
he

ffo
Keyport

tm
rT

A
6ft Sea Level Rise Population: 7,240

ea
Fo
Damaged: 144

Occasional Emergency

Tr
FEMA-V

e
oo

ag
R

w
Se

%Live/Work
Inflow Jobs
Outflow Jobs

High School
Keyport
ME POVERTY

e
$320,900

th
I`MBAD TOO!

$57K
of
SCHOOLS
OUT!

n
5.8%

tio
n

ec
io
ct

ot
ne

Pr
on
C
d
an
nl
The state has a nationally recognized

ow
policy, so if were going to continue to be a

D
national leader in Complete Streets, this

d-
an
ME [route 35 reconstruction] is the project that

pl
I`M I think a lot of people are going to be Union
UnionBeach
Beach

U
TOO!
OUT!
looking at.
When Sandy made landfall, about 85% of Union Beachs homes flooded with two or more feet of water. Population: 6,245
Damaged: 1,705

Roughly 1,335 Keansburg homes were damaged by Superstorm Sandy, including 145 houses and 44 rent-
Population Below 6ft: 4,173

als sustaining severe damage.

%Live/Work
Inflow Jobs
Outflow Jobs

High School
Keyport
In the mad rush to rebuild stronger than
216 Keansburg businesses indicated that they were impacted by Sandy. $298,600
before, the powers-that-be have made no

$57K
Keansburg 4.2% serious attempt to address the fundamental
Population: 10,105 problem that brought us to this point: human-
Damaged: 1,335

Project Population Below 6ft: 6,512 caused environmental degradation and


climate change that make extreme weather
more frequent and more devastating. Many low-lying, low opportunity areas are connected by creeks to high

%Live/Work
Inflow Jobs
Outflow Jobs

High School
Keansburg
TRANSPORTATION .
$232,400 and dry, high opportunity areas with outstanding housing obligations.
ADVOCATE

$46K
The fundamental idea behind this proposal can be applied up and
5.8%
down the coast.

Create an incentive-based program in which people occupying land in a creek bed can trade their parcel SOCIAL ACTIVIST

for one outside the creek bed


Transform the creek bed into a recreational amenity by cleaning, greening, and installing park infrastruc-
ture.
Transform Route 35 into a gutter that will detain rainwater and simultaneously create a greener, more at-
tractive environment along the corridor that could serve as a vital new public space for the region.
Build a protective berm around the Union Beach Sewer Plant that doubles as a recreational amenity.
Take advantage of outstanding affordable housing obligations in Hazlet, Middleton, and Homedale by
building affordable housing units in superfluous parking lots near public transportation stops.
As a way to increase housing options in high and
dry, high income, high opportunity areas for To make room for the creek, residents occupying
lowlanders displaced from the storm, we propose land in the creek bed could trade their parcel for
NJ Route 35 and the parking lots along it could
to take advantage of outstanding affordable one outside the creek bed.
+ 6 ft. sea level rise up to 2100 housing obligations in Hazlet, Middleton, and
be turned into gutters that detain rainwater and
simultaneously create a greener, more attractive
Homedale by building affordable housing units in Despite the encroachment of development, the
environment along the corridor.
+ 6 ft. storm surge superfluous parking lots near public five creeks that feed Monmouth Countys Keyport
Harbor are crucial to the watershed, channeling
transportation stops. A revitalized stream could provide critical habitat,
stormwater from upland communities through the
- soil subsidence food, and shelter for waterfowl, fish, and other
acquatic species, and also mitigate damage from
low-lying communities and finally into the Raritan
Making physical connections along the creek can
Making room for the creek offers an opportunity Bay.
floods and filter pollutants. foster an awareness of ecological and social
1,500 below floodline in Union Beach to create a more attractive recreational amenity.
interdependencies.

6,000 below floodline in Union Beach


STP serves 500,000 +

protection of the pollution control plant conversion of the pollution control plant development of new pollution control plant

Living with the Marsh wetland retreat pilot se a level rise


mill hill upland community development upland community development ii

wetland retreat project 2


upland community iii

wetland retreat project 2

Options for Staten Islands Eastern Shore no regrets, sow seeds long term
ESTABLISH NATIONAL WITHDRAWAL INCENTIVE PROGRAM
Less than four months after Hurricane Sandy devastated New York, Governor Cuomo announced an ambitious Protective rim /
offshore reefs
Protective rim /
offshore reefs HUD FEMA EPA insurers the president of the united states
new home buyout program: homes destroyed or heavily damaged by the storm could be sold to the government
at 100 percent of their pre-storm value. Calls for managed retreat are usually political non-starters, but in the
tight-knit, blue-collar, Staten Island community of Oakwood Beach, 170 of 184 Oakwood Beach homeowners
registered to be bought out pretty much immediately.
Floating docks / Floating docks /
Why? A community of modest bungalows built on a highly vulnerable marshland, Oakwood Beach was ex- water city water city

tremely vulnerable, and had recently been devastated by a noreaster, a marsh fire, and another hurricane. And
indeed the Governors deal was generous. But one reason that has been overlooked has to do with the fact that
the residents had a say in determining what would happen to Oakwood Beach once they left it behind. Dismayed
at the prospect of the land being redeveloped, homeowners put pressure on the Governor to promise that the
high and dry high and dry
land would be turned into open space.
Moving on up Moving on up

For this design opportunity, we first of all propose to capitalize on this opportunity by designing a park to oppurtunity
?
to oppurtunity
?

in post-occupancy Oakwood Beach that could be a model for what to do with land that communities to safety to safety

leave behind. Our hope is that if planned and designed properly, such a park could change the conversa- ?
What about the
?
What about the Island park Island park

tion about managed retreat, and incentivize other vulnerable communities to collectively retreat too. State Buy-Out State Buy-Out
Oakwood Oakwood
other communities? other communities?

wetland retreat wetland retreat

The second component of our plan is a menu of protect, adapt, and retreat options for other communi-
ties on Staten Islands Eastern Shore.

Everyday Emergency Phase 1 Phase 1 Next phase Next phase Long Term Perspectives Long Term Perspectives

POLLUTION SMOG Oakwood Beach residents were bought out by the state; discussions between neighboring communities and the city are ongoing. What
opportunities exist for them?

There are some parcels that Mother


Nature owns.
She may only visit once every few
years, but she owns the parcel and Options for Staten Islands East Shore include (from bottom to top) a park at Oakwood Beach, a cut and fill project that would elevate homes on fill from an on-site excavation, and a
LET`S
BUILD
when she comes to visit, she visits. protective berm around the Oakwood Beach Water Pollution Control Plant that doubles as a recreational amenity.
I`LL
Staten Island has the worst smog of any of the five boroughs, and the New I`M York State Department of
BE A HILL !
BACK!
Health reports that the death rate from lung OUT!
cancer
I`M
$
on Staten
I`M NOT
LEAVING!
Island is 48 percent higher than for the rest of
$ OUT!

New York City.


Chemical bulk storage. Brownfield sites.POLLUTION
State Superfund sites. Sellers
SMOG of commercial pesticide. Landfills.
Virtually every neighborhood on Staten Island has its share of businesses and public facilities that handle
ds

environmentally hazardous material.


n
la
w

FEMA-A
Lo

Occasional Emergency 6ft Sea Level Rise


he

GOVERNOR
rt
fo

LET`S
I`LL BUILD
s

A HILL !
io

BE
I`M
FEMA-V
ar

BACK!
$ OUT!
I`M
en

I`M NOT
OUT! $ LEAVING!
Sc

POLLUTION SMOG
ity

t
an
un

Pl

Midland Beach
m

ol
om

10mio glns
tr

Superstorm Sandy hit Oakwood Beach with 20-foot waves, killing three residents.
on
C

C
d

Midland Beach, with its low-lying bungalows, was the hardest hit of any Staten Island community.
an

n
tio
t
pl

Out of the 43 New York City residents who were killed by Sandy, 23 perished in Staten Island.
ea

llu

LET`S
r

New Dorp Beach


et

ill

BUILD
Before it was slammed by Superstorm Sandy, Oakwood Beach was walloped by a 1992 noreaster, inciner-
Po

I`LL
R

BE A HILL !
I`M
e
nd

ated by a 2008 fire in the marsh, and drowned by Hurricane Irene


$ in 2011.
ill

BACK!
th

OUT!
M

I`M I`M NOT


la

$
of

The ocean submerged the neighborhood of Oakwood Beach under 16 feet of water.
OUT! LEAVING!
et
W

Oakwood Beach was fortunate to get a deal with


Hurricane Sandy has contributed to a rise in lung disease and other health problems on Staten Island, pos-
tio

the state. They made the Governor promise that To justify the investment, housing on fill hill needs to achieve a cer-
ec

sibly related to noxious fumes or mold, according to experts on a local health panel. there would be no development if they left - that the tain density. However, larger, suburban-scale lot sizes are achieved by
ot

land would become a park. Here in Midland Beach


Pr

expanding the lot on the hill and at the base of the hill.
Oakwood Beach we had to deal with the Mayor, who wouldnt make
Project that promise. For us, there was no deal.

Sandy was just like the last straw that


didnt even allow you to fool yourself Great Kills Park
into thinking it was OK to stay.

Work with former residents of Oakwood Beach to build a park at the location of Oakwood Beach; enable MIDLAND BEACH RESIDENT
former residents easements for temporary occupation of the park.
Elevate homes on fill generated from an on-site excavation.
Build a protective levee around the Oakwood Beach Water Pollution Control Plant that doubles as a recre-
ational amenity. OAKWOOD BEACH
RESIDENT
+ 6 ft. sea level rise up to 2100
+ 6 ft. storm surge
- soil subsidence
10,000 buildings in 100-year FP in SI Sites in high and dry, high opportunity Fill from the bay could be used to create new
communities should be identified for those who high and dry mounds for residents who opt to
close to 30,00 inhabitants below floodline This is a park for post-occupancy Oakwood
opt to retreat. remain.
Beach. We propose to create a model for what
STP serves 200,000 people to do with land that communities leave behind.
Former residents of Oakwood Beach could
If planned and designed properly, such a park
be granted easements for light occupation Cut and fill development could contribute to The park would closely involve former residents
could change the conversation about managed
of the park. watershed restoration and the health of the Lower of Oakwood Beach in its planning and design.
retreat, and incentivize other vulnerable Freshwater marshes are highly productive Bay.
communities to collectively retreat too. The Oakwood Beach Water Pollution Control ecosystems, sustaining a variety of plant
Plant could be protected in a way that provides communities and wildlife. They also mitigate flood
direct benefits to those who live near it. damage and filter excess nutrients from surface
runoff.
protection of the bay park treatment plant conversion of the treatment plant development of new treatment plant

Living with the Bay straws in the barrier island

increase sediment flow of creeks


new marshes as barriers se
scenarios for island park
a level rise

upland housing options


dike town???
hill town???
island town???

SUFFOLK no regrets, sow seeds long term


Options for Southern Nassau County COUNTY

HUD FEMA EPA insurers the president of the united states


Many news media pictures of Sandys destruction focused on the dramatic impact of mountainous surf break- NASSAU
COUNTY
ing on the Atlantic shoreline, breaching dunes (where they existed) and smashing ocean front houses. The
greater damage, however, resulted from the storm surge (up to fourteen feet in some areas) and the torrential
rains that less dramatically raised the level of the bays and tributary rivers and creeks behind the barrier is-
lands. In effect, the most pervasive threat came from flooding from the back, not from surf from the front.

This was certainly true in southern Nassau County, where communities like East Rockaway, Island Park, and
Long Beach were inundated with flooding from the Hewlett Bay. In Bay Park, the flooding incapacitated Nas- Options for Island Park include a cut and fill project that elevates homes onto a hill and clusters development around the LIRR station.
sau Countys Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant , which spilled billions of gallons of untreated and partially two different scenarios:
treated sewage into local waterways, streets, and even homes. The damage to the bay was severe: runoff and - protect with dunes, groins, and open dams (minimal adapting)
outflows added to already high levels of nitrogen and fueled already explosive algal blooms. or
- buffer marshes and adapt housing on flood line
This project presents a menu of options for improving the health of Southern Nassau Countys Bays in
a way that expands housing and transportation options for existing residents, and that results in ac-
cessible, attractive public spaces.

Everyday Emergency
DIRTY
WATER
island town

NO HOUSING
OPTIONS

replace infrastructure (bridges) with 2nd line of defence in the bay


hurricane doors and construct
hill town
THIS IS
DANGEROUS I`M
protective barrier system
LET`S
Thanks to outflows from the Bay NOT
Park sewage
AGAIN!
treatment
RAISE THE
STAYING
plant, swimming in the bay is forbidden when it
OUT!
ROADS
rains.
in Nassau County, single-family, detached homes account for 77 percent of the housing stock.
Because the bay is not properly drained, parts of Island Park are flooded within 15 minutes of heavy rain.
When Sandy hit we did an inventory and found that there were a total of 122 rental apartments on the mar-
ket. DIRTY
Trying to rent a home on Long Island is much more difficult than it is in other places, even other suburban
WATER

regions. There are few apartments or


NO HOUSING
houses to rent to start with. Of these, very few are vacant and on the
market. OPTIONS

Clamming and fishing is discouraged in the bay, thanks to outflows from the Bay Park sewage treatment
plant. dike town

Occasional Emergency
THIS IS
DANGEROUS I`M
LET`S OUT!
NOT RAISE THE
AGAIN! STAYING
ROADS

Scenarios for Island Park


DIRTY
WATER

In Bay Park, flooding incapacitated Nassau Countys Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant , which spilled bil- cut & fill
NO HOUSING
lions of gallons of untreated and partially treated sewage into local waterways, streets, and even homes.
OPTIONS
cut & fill scenarios
The night Sandy hit East Rockaway, over 100 calls were made for EMS services. The majority involved for Island Park
water rescues. boardwalk nature route public
The debris removal process in Oceanside was estimated at $85 million, approximately the size of the sheltered bays
towns annual budget.
34,000 people lived in Long Beach before Sandy, but six months later over 25% of residents still couldnt
return full-time.
THIS IS marsh restoration + dike
DANGEROUS I`M
LET`S OUT!
Less than half of the 95,500 damaged
NOT
AGAIN!
buildings
RAISE THEin Suffolk and Nassau counties were covered by flood
ROADS
STAYING
insurance.

Projects

first row perimeter defence

road becomes dike


Build straws along north / south streets in Long Beach to help drain the bay during storms and tidal surg-
es. Treat them as a new public space--a new community spine--that can be adapted to suit the needs of
each block it passes through.
Build a protective levee around the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant could be built that doubles as a rec-
reational amenity
Elevate homes on fill generated from an on-site excavation: cluster development around public transporta-
tion.
Identify housing development in high and dry, transit-rich downtowns with good schools an array of housing
options. build on safe spots,
collaborate to raise the first row
+ 6 ft. sea level rise up to 2100
+ 6 ft. storm surge stimulate marsh growth
- soil subsidence
95,534 buildings destroyed
43,106 experienced flooding
500,000 inhabitants served by STP

collective floating in

pillar

watershed & bay leveling up

water management

individual move up
out

As the Long Island Index has pointed out, with over 100 downtowns and nearly as many rail stations--many of them in the best school districts--Long Island has a wide
range of places that could support a new pattern of development that expands Long Islanders housing options. Denser development should be encouraged in these
sites to the fullest extent possible. From left to right, Long Islands Best Schools as measured by US News; downtowns with high development potential as indentified
by Long Island Index, and availability of affordable homes. LIRR stations are represented by the circles.
New eco-islands as buffer

protect plus community

Scenarios for backbay communities

Nassau County has seen big 6ft Sea Level Rise


demographic changes. Our elderly
population is growing; our Latino
population is growing; we have seen
es

expand safe spots


iti
un

a big rise in single persons in


m
m

poverty. There arent enough housing


Protection of the Sewage Treatment Plant
co
ay

options here.
ks

kb
ee

ac
cr

rb
of

fo
w

r
lo

ffe
s
rio
tf

nt

bu
en

la

na
tP

as
m

e
Sc
di

en

s
nd
se

la
at
se

is
e
ea

Tr

o
cr

ec
e
ag
In

ew
w

N
Se

Projects
rk
Pa
ay
B
e
th
of

A levee protects the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant.


Straws
n

k
io

r
ct

Pa
te

d
o

NASSAU COUNTY
an
Pr

sl
rI

REPRESENTATIVE straws allow the back bay to drain more


d
fo

an
s

sl
rio

quickly after storm surge has retreated


rI

Bay Park
na

rie
e

ar
Sc

Island Park
B
e
th
in
s
w
rat
S

When Bay Park failed and


Long Beach they couldnt get the sewage
out of the system, thats when
this became a real
catastrophe event here.
When we get a heavy rain, we are
inundated. Just this July, we had 67
of rain. In 15 minutes the streets
were flooded. The water takes hours
to subside. The bay is just not
drained properly. The Bay Park sewage treatment plant
dumps its effluent into the bay. See all of Youre looking at significant
this seaweed? We cant even clam here expenditures of money to make
anymore. Theres no more winter fluke. the [Bay Park Sewage Treatment]
All the kids around here know that if it plant more secure. There is no
I used to get my mail at 1:00. BandAid for this.
rains, dont go swimming for a few days. BAY PARK
Now I get it at 9:30 - there are
so few people left around RESIDENTS
here. Sandy made the
mailmans job a lot easier.

ISLAND PARK
RESIDENT

ENGINEER
BAY PARK
RESIDENT A system of straws built along north / south streets in Long Beach could help drain the bay during storms and tidal surges. Instead of covering
ISLAND PARK them in a culvert, we propose to create an open channel that can be used as a new public space--a new community spine--that can be adapted
RESIDENT to suit the needs of each block it passes through.

Housing development should be encouraged in The erosion of the regions tidal marshes that has Options for inhabiting the island include elevating
high and dry, transit-rich areas with more housing been the result of irresponsible, unsustainable homes and clustering development on fill from an
options. Demographic trends suggest a need to development practices has also undermined their onsite excavation. Such an excavation could
diversity the housing stock in Nassau County, ability to protect us from floods, and decreased their contribute to the health of the bay.
where single-family, detatched homes account for recreational value.
77 percent of the housing.
A protective levee around the Bay Park Sewage
A system of straws built along north / south
Treatment Plant could be built that doubles as a News reports of Sandys destruction focused on streets in Long Beach could help drain the bay Another option for Southern Nassau County:
recreational amenity. the mountainous surf breaking on the Atlantic during storms and tidal surges. Instead of houses on a barge.
shoreline, but the greater damage resulted from covering them in a culvert, we propose to create
Decreasing paved surfaces and increasing the storm surge and the torrential rains that less an open channel that can be used as a new
vegetation can help break winds that cause dramatically raised the level of the bays and public space--a new community spine--that can
erosion, as well as detain runoff water that would tributary rivers and creeks behind the barrier be adapted to suit the needs of each block it
otherwise contribute to the flooding of the bay. islands. passes through.
wetproofing AC rise
enhance existing infrastructure protection+ park sea level

Living on the Coast increase beach access

improve natural systems

A Better Day at the Beach no regrets, sow seeds long term

The New Jersey coast is one of the countrys most iconic places, full of natural beauty and human-made at- ESTABLISH NEW JERSEY COASTAL COMMISSION homeland state department of
HUD FEMA EPA insurers governor of new jersey security community affairs
tractions that draw millions of visitors every year. But as Hurricane Sandy illustrated all too well, the natural and
human-made amenities that make the coast great are highly vulnerable to extreme weather events.

But the New Jerseys beaches are vulnerable to another form of erosion, namely, the erosion of the publics right
to access and enjoy them. Access to New Jerseys beaches is protected by the Public Trust Doctrine, which ss

ne
ce

astli
d ac
an
states that the sea, and consequently the shores of the sea are common, and that no one, therefore, is forbid- o lity

the C
ua
e s
,q
lin
ie
on
it

den to approach the seashore. But despite the Public Trust Doctrine and the courts unambiguous rulings af- cti
n

st
for
u
m l e
m a
rot
a o w

l :p
Co
c a

a ch oast
r dr

firming it, on a day-to-day level, unimpeded beach access remains something of a phantom. Towns refrain from u
fo th
a

an
e wi
be y c
e id t
er
M
e
Th
ett ers
u u
g o
y ab
a b ew J
building paths, parking lots, and bathrooms, adopt restrictive parking regulations and residential parking permit
lic g
o
p kin il d N
A in u
B the
th
for
programs, and only reluctantly penalize private interests from encroaching on the beach. Homeowners, for their
part, post phony private beach signs, bark at people to get off their property, and even disguise access points
as front yards. And the different beach badges that all but a handful of New Jersey towns require fragment the
beach, and undermine ones ability to walk up and down it.

For this design opportunity, we propose to create The Coastline, a continuous, maximally accessible coastal
trail that would extend from Cape May to Sandy Hook. Adapting to local conditions, the trail would double as a
protective barrier in the form of protective boardwalks, seawalls, and sand carpets. Here we demonstrate how a
range of high-density cities, medium density suburban communities, and undeveloped environments can lever-
age coastal trail to create a more attractive, more accessible, and more resilient beachfront.

Everyday Emergency At Sea Bright, The Coastline runs along the existing seawall. In the downtown, public facilities are built on the seawall. In the residential area, beach access points are built on the seawall. Homes and businesses could be raised to the elevation of the seawall.

PRIVATE
ACCESS

BEACH
ACCESS
Keyport
Clifwood beach Creeks
A Strategy for the Coast
At the ocean side, as well at the bay side, shores need to Union Beach
be elevated or strengthened. Beaches need to be Dos and do
nts on the coast
PRIVATE
ACCESS
widened. Maintenance needs continuous attention. How Keansburg !
mber
can we develop cheaper and greener solutions? Railr
rows
s / double

Reme
two fence
Do not build
e species
BEACH ove fencing
periodical
ly + vegetate
new dune
s with nativ

Rem
ACCESS species

Route 36
native
e withe
I NEED I`M HIGH
Vegetat 100 ft

h
on the beac
POLES ENOUGH! height
Do not fence

higher grounds
as dune
ase dune width as well

None, but local demands


WE WANT for increasing public beach access
side to incre
on landward
the dunes Tapping sand
people off
Keep

PROTECTION! Route 35
Sandy Hook Keep
sand
in the
system

Occasional Emergency

ge
PRIVATE
ACCESS Parkway R ef

u
BEACH I NEED I`M HIGH
ACCESS POLES ENOUGH!
A Strategy for the Creek
WE WANT To help improve the creeks resilience, we need to take book
of too
ls
PROTECTION! ons a
PUBLIC
ACCESS
actions to restore the natural balance of the creeks: retain Manu
al of opti

and store water stream upwards at any scale (harvesting


winter water), stimulate vertical sedimentation and recreational beach
wetland growth, optimize the creeks natural gradient, and
create more space and improve sustainable use.
I NEED I`M HIGH
POLES ENOUGH! Long branch
The effects of Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey inPUBL2012 were severe, with economic losses to businesses of Creeks
IC
Elberon
up to $30 billion PROTECTION!
WE WANT
ACCESS
Deal
Over two million households in the state lost power in the storm, 346,000 homes were damaged or de-
Allenhurt
stroyed,[2] and 37 people were killed.
Tidal marshes Asbury Park
The Coastline presents 1) a policy guide for communities considering withdrawl manual
Ocean Grove for better beach building, and 2) a manual for better beach building.
Project Bradley Beach Ocean fronts
Belmar
PUBLIC
ACCESS
Spring Lake
King Fisher Sea Girt
A Strategy for the Bay
We need to optimize the sand balance in the bay. To protect
reduce waves, we should restore or create wetlands, marshes
nourish sediment to fill deep water, and build new barrier
islands to support nature, fishery and recreation. We Toms River
should also evaluate the impact of dredging of the
Intracoastal Waterway and the influence of existing deep
Dover Beach Nord
Declare the New Jersey Shore a National Park. borrow holes. Storm drainage water quality could be
Implement a continuous, maximally accessible coastal trail extending from Cape May to Sandy Hook that improved with a blue-green solution. adapt
adapts to local conditions, and doubles as a protective barrier in the form of protective boardwalks, sea-
Seaside Heights
walls, and sand carpets.
Give residents of low-lying, low-opportunity communities the opportunity to move on up to high and dry,
high-opportunity areas with outstanding housing obligations by identifying appropriate sites. add sand-
plains
+ 6 ft. sea level rise up to 2100
Tdal bays
+ 6 ft. storm surge
- soil subsidence

A Strategy for the Marsh


At the ocean and bay side, urbanized areas need more Flooding to my home could have been
protection. Keep the natural marshes healthy! Keep the Surf City prevented if my beachfront neighbor LONG BEACH ISLAND
groundwater level as shallow as possible in marshes! across the street had given the govern- RESIDENT
Protect the marshes for wave erosion! Long beach ment permission to build a higher dune on
his property.
Beach Haven

Ocean City
Atlantic City

Sandy Hook

ns
Stone Harbor

io
Enhance Existing Infrastructure
pt
O
ng

Sea Bright
si

Wildwood
ou
H

Cape may
d

MAYOR
an

The daily beachgoer feeds into the


pl

lifeblood of our economy during the


U

summer, so I applaud the DEP's approach Protection + Park


le
ab

of working with local governments to


rd

improve public access to beaches. It's nice Asbury Park


ffo

to be working cooperatively with state


A

officials and environmental groups on this


issue.

EMPEROR JUSTINIAN

ENVIRONMENTAL
We are really encouraging the U.S. Army
ADVOCATE Corps of Engineers, which is going to have
Why can't we just put that there will be
s

a tremendous amount of money at its


em

no parking and no boardwalk in the By the law of nature these things are common disposal, to look beyond the beach [and] to
st

easement? That is what we have been to all mankind the air, running water, the sea, look at where the interconnected parts of Seaside Heights
Sy

asking for. and consequently the shores of the sea. No these natural systems are [in order] to help
al

one, therefore, is forbidden to approach the


ur

solve the problems comprehensively.


seashore, provided that he respects habita-
at
N

tions, monuments, and the buildings, which


e

are not, like the sea, subject only to the law of


ov

nations.
pr
Im

Considering the massive public resources


that will be directed at rebuilding many New
Jersey beaches, it only seems fair to ensure
that everyone have the opportunity to enjoy MANTOLOKING
free access to the beaches they will support RESIDENT
and help rebuild with their tax dollars. Ship Bottom
C
A
g
fin

Another option for Southern Nassau County:


oo

houses on a barge.
pr

At Sea Bright, The Coastline runs along the existing seawall. In the downtown, public facilities are built on the seawall. In the residential area, beach access points are built on the
et

seawall. Homes and businesses could be raised to the elevation of the seawall.
s

W
es
cc
A
ch
ea

STATE SENATOR Atlantic City


B
e
as
e

In some instances, its best to let the water in.


cr
In
e
lin
st
oa
C

In Asbury Park, the Coastline runs along a levee that protects critical infrastructure and senior housing. Deal Lake is connected to the ocean.

In lower density environments, The Coastline takes the form of a sand carpet.

A wave breaker doubles as beach access

At Asbury Park, The Coastline runs along a levee


that protects critical infrastructure and senior
housing. To reduce the risk of flooding from the
lake, Deal Lake is reconnected to the ocean.

High-density cities, medium density suburban


communities, and undeveloped environments can
leverage The Coastline to create a more
The Coastline is a continuous, maximally attractive, more accessible, and more resilient The New Jersey coast is one of the countrys
accessible coastal trail that would extend from beachfront. most iconic places, full of natural beauty and
Cape May to Sandy Hook. human-made attractions that draw millions of
The Coastline adapts to local conditions, and visitors every year. But as Hurricane Sandy At Sea Bright, The Coastline runs along an
doubles as a protective barrier in the form of illustrated all too well, the natural and existing seawall. In the downtown (left), public
protective boardwalks, seawalls, and sand human-made amenities that make the coast great facilities are built on the seawall. In the residential
carpets. are highly vulnerable to extreme weather events. In lower density environments, The Coastline area (right), beach access points are built on the
takes the form of a sand carpet with houses seawall.
hovering above.