To reduce flood risk from coastal storms and rising sea levels, we are leading a multi-disciplinary coastal protection initiative in Lower Manhattan. Spanning landscape architecture, planning policy, urban design, architecture and engineering, the 3.5-mile-long project aims to improve access to the waterfront and increase community green space for health and leisure activities.
In October 2012, Superstorm Sandy’s landfall in New York City led to the death of 44 people and caused significant damage and economic losses totaling US$19 billion. It demonstrated the extreme vulnerability of one of the world’s key economic centers. Since then, New York’s public and private sectors have been directing resources towards long-term recovery and resilience efforts.
The Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency program aims to improve the physical, social and economic resiliency of the coastline for generations to come. Covering an area that extends from the northern portion of Battery Park City on the west side of Manhattan to the Two Bridges neighborhood along the East River, the program includes a series of discrete projects designed to stand on their own while functioning together as an interconnected flood protection system.
The program builds upon several years of community planning efforts to improve the waterfront. Community feedback during workshops, webinars, focus groups, walking tours, and other engagement activities confirmed a strong desire for an accessible waterfront with more green space, open space, and recreation areas. The Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency program integrates innovative flood protection infrastructure with place-making design to create public waterfronts that are resilient, vibrant, and active community spaces.