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Six Projects Share $1 Bln to Protect US East Coast From Storms and Flooding


BIG-U-Rebuild-by-Design-2-537x379Rebuild by Design, the competition that could only be described as one of a kind, finally announced the winners after one year of hard work. The six incredible project proposals that showed to be most effective and innovative, provided concrete ideas and solutions to rebuild and protect the coastline between New York and New Jersey from Hurricane Sandy-like events.

In return, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development granted them with almost $1 billion, $335 million of which go to the winner- the Big U project, for their idea to construct a huge protective system around Manhattan, while the rest is divided between the other five winners, who will be building various measures against flood and rainwater runoff in the region. Here are some more details about the winners.

BIG-U-Rebuild-by-Design-537x3651. The Big U Project

So, let’s first take a quick look at the winner. The project essentially proposes a construction and delineation of flood protection zones. Numerous parks and green areas will be built along the 10 miles “U”- shaped stretch around Manhattan. These will be planted with various salt-resistant and extremely efficient in rainwater absorption species of trees, shrubs and perennials. Not only that these will guarantee stability of the coast line, but they will also provide the much needed extra green spaces for all busy residents of the neighborhood, who are looking for a quick escape to nature.

OMA-Resist-Delay-Store-Discharge-537x3192. OMA- Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge Project

This project is shaped to protect Jersey City, Hoboken and Weehawken, three highly prone to flash floods and storm surge places. As the name of the project implies, the system that will be developed will integrate construction of coastal defense measures for higher resistance,  delay or slowing down of runoff by rainwater, collection and storage of any excess rain water, and development of better systems for discharge and drainage of rain water.

Interboro-Team-Living-WIth-the-Bay-2-537x3853. The Interboro Team

This project is set to take place in Nassau County, Log Island, or the Mill River to be more precise. Th idea is to convert the flowing water into a blue-green corridor, which will have systems that purify and store excess water. The approach looks into controlling and minimizing storm surge damage and rainwater runoff. Any excess sediment will be put into construction of marshes, dikes and other storm managing infrastructure, which will also open up new possibilities for housing development.


This project will take place in the Meadowlands of New Jersey. There, the inventors will not only create a natural flood defense system using berms and marshes, but they will also build a brand new natural reserve, which will be called the Meadowpark. The aim is to reduce overflows of sewers, collect rainwater, protect against surges and of course provide an additional green space for recreation.

SCAPE-Landscape-Architecture-Living-Breakwaters-2-537x3405. Scape/Landscape Architecture

This project is set to protect the Staten Island. It involves the construction of a new system that will absorb storm waters and at the same time will improve the quality of habitats, providing much better living conditions for marine animals such as oysters and lobsters.


Penn-Olin-Hunts-Point-Lifelines-537x3626. PennDesign/OLIN

And last but not least, the PennDesign/OLIN, the project which aims to take care of Lifelines, South Bronx, one of the poorest places in the region. Besides the flood protection measures and systems, the guys behind the project will also construct various water and air purifying systems. The industrial waterfront is also about to receive a make over.

Front Image (c) The Big U Project

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