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The BIG U

The Team

  • 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 13 Climate Action

Team Lead: Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) Urban Planning: One Architecture Landscape Architecture: Starr Whitehouse Planning and Development: James Lima Planning + Development Infrastructure Engineering: Level Infrastructure Energy and Structural Engineering: Buro Happold Coastal Resilience Engineering: ARCADIS Ecological Services: Green Shield Ecology Cultural Resources: AEA Consulting

Source: Rebuild by Design

Background

  • 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 13 Climate Action

The low-lying topography of Lower Manhattan is home to approximately 220,000 residents and is the core of a $500 billion business sector that influences the world’s economy.

Hurricane Sandy devastated not only the Financial District, but 95,000 low-income, elderly, and disabled city residents. Infrastructure within the 10-mile perimeter was damaged or destroyed, transportation and communication were cut off, and thousands sat without power or running water.

Project Details: Location: Lower East Side, NYC Award: $335 Million Implemented by: The City of New York

Source: Rebuild by Design

Proposal

  • 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 13 Climate Action

In collaboration with New York City, The BIG U proposal was developed to protect Lower Manhattan from floodwater, storms, and other impacts of a changing climate.

The BIG U calls for a protective system around the low-lying topography of Manhattan beginning at West 57th Street, going down to The Battery, and then back up to East 42nd Street. The proposal was conceived as 10 continuous miles of protection tailored to respond to individual neighborhood typology as well as community-desired amenities. The proposal breaks the area into compartments: East River Park; Two Bridges and Chinatown; and Brooklyn Bridge to The Battery.

Like the hull of a ship, each can provide a flood-protection zone, providing separate opportunities for integrated social and community planning processes for each. Each compartment comprises a physically separate flood-protection zone, isolated from flooding in the other zones, but each equally a field for integrated social and community planning. The compartments work in concert to protect and enhance the city, but each compartment’s proposal is designed to stand on its own.

View the team's full proposal here. http://www.rebuildbydesign.org/data/files/675.pdf

Source: Rebuild by Design

Progress on Implementation

  • 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 13 Climate Action

HUD has dedicated a total of $511 million, including Rebuild by Design and National Disaster Resilience Competition funding, toward the implementation of The BIG U.

New York City has committed an additional $305 million in capital funding to start the first phases of the East Side Coastal Resiliency (ESCR), and Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency (LMCR) projects. The proposal breaks the area into sections, known as compartments: East River Park; Two Bridges and Chinatown; and Brooklyn Bridge to The Battery. For implementation the project has been broken into the original three components. The East River Park Component is being implemented as the ESCR, and from Montgomery Street to the Battery is the LMCR project. LMCR is being implemented in two separate parts.

LMCR website ESCR website

Source: Rebuild by Design