Hurricane Sandy

Policy, Red Hook

Flooding during Hurricane Sandy left many residents of Red Hook without basic services for weeks. While many had hoped the city’s $100 million initiative would help protect the Brooklyn waterfront neighborhood from a 100-year flood event, a new feasibility study shows the plan would actually only protect it from a 10-year flood event. As the Wall Street Journal reported, the city plans on scaling back the flood-protection system in Red Hook because of its high costs, and the study revealed a larger project could cost about $300 to $500 million more.

Find out more

Green Design, Staten Island, Urban Design

Staten Island Resiliency Project, Governor Cuomo, Hurricane Sandy

Rendering via Governor Cuomo’s office

Governor Cuomo announced a $151 million plan on Tuesday to build an elevated promenade to improve the resiliency of Staten Island’s east shores during natural disasters. The seawall will stretch from Fort Wadsworth to Oakwood Beach to protect residents from coastal flooding, while simultaneously creating new wetland habitats and recreational amenities. The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation will hold a series of community-based design forums, allowing for Staten Island residents to offer direct input into the project’s final design, which will be complete in the winter of 2018, with construction expected to begin in 2019 and a completion date of 2022.

Find out more

affordable housing, Green Design, Urban Design

KPF, Lily Pad design, Red Hook Houses

When Superstorm Sandy hit the community of Red Hook, thousands of residents were left without power and basic necessities for over two weeks. The neighborhood’s infrastructure suffered substantial damage, with almost all basement mechanical rooms destroyed. In an effort to rebuild Brooklyn’s largest housing development, Red Hook Houses, post-Sandy, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) commissioned a project by architecture firm Kohn Pederson Fox (KPF). Their “Lily Pad” design includes installing 14 “utility pods” that deliver heat and electricity to each building, as well as creating raised earth mounds to act as a flood barrier (h/t Archpaper).

Find out more here

City Living

Hurricane Sandy damage in Breezy Point, Queens

With the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy approaching, many New Yorkers are still reeling from its devastation; in fact, the city recently allocated another $500 million in taxpayer money for repairs due to storm damage. And though this seems grim, a new study from a group of researchers at Princeton and Rutgers universities and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is even more troubling. Based on a storm-related computer simulation of flooding, “Hurricane Sandy’s Flood Frequency Increasing From Year 1800 to 2100” predicts that in a worse-case scenario, by the year 2100, such powerful storms will occur every 20 years, an increase of 17 times the current state, reports Phys.org.

Find out more details

Featured Story

Features, Interviews, People, South Street Seaport

South Street Seaport Museum, Jonathan Boulware

The South Street Seaport Museum may not be one of New York City’s glitziest institutions, but it’s certainly one of the most resilient and perhaps the one most closely tied to the founding of the city itself. Using actual historic buildings and ships to provide interactive exhibits and educational programs, the museum tells the story of New York’s rise as a port city and how that led to the development of the entire country. But the seaport location became all too real in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy ravaged the entire historic district, leaving the museum with $20 million in damages and the loss of its institutional partner, the Museum of the City of New York.

Now, three years later, the South Street Seaport Museum is sailing into new territory, thanks in large part to its recently appointed executive director Captain Jonathan Boulware, a lifelong sailor, marine educator, expert in historic ships, and all-around lover of maritime history and culture. In August, Boulware and his team landed a $10.4 million FEMA grant to repair the storm damage, and in May, the museum launched a $10.6 million city-funded project to restore Wavertree, one of the museum’s most significant historic ships. With these exciting developments underway, we caught up with Captain Boulware to learn a bit about his background, what visitors can expect at the museum, and where the institution is heading.

Read the interview

Construction Update, Policy

Superstorm Sandy, FEMA, NYC flood zones

Mayor de Blasio’s 2014 goal for Hurricane Sandy reconstruction was to start the rebuilding of 1,000 homes and distribute 1,500 reimbursement checks to homeowners who paid for repairs out of their own pockets. And not only have those goals been met, but they’ve been exceeded. According to the Daily News, the city has begun construction on 1,002 homes, fully repaired 309 homes, and distributed 2,104 checks totaling $36.5 million.

The numbers may seem small, but when de Blasio took office at the start of 2014, no construction on any home affected by the 2012 storm had started. There are 14,000 active applicants to the Build it Back program, which is “dedicated to helping New Yorkers living in communities affected by Hurricane Sandy rebuild their homes and get their lives back to normal.” The program is now looking to speed the process up further, hiring more contractors and offering homeowners cash to pay rent when they’re displaced during construction.

[Via NYDN]

Image via northatlanticdivision via photopin cc

Chelsea, New Developments

Sandy-Ravaged Chelsea Building to Sprout New Apartments

By Ondel Hylton, Mon, December 29, 2014

Superstorm Sandy, Chelsea, Meatpacking District, C#D, Big Apple

A four-floor Chelsea building ravaged by Superstorm Sandy will be reborn as a new nine-unit residential building.

The walk-up building at 92 Eighth Avenue near 14th street has sat vacant and shrouded since the storm triggered the collapse of its front facade, revealing its interiors “like an open doll house.” With all of its similarly furnished rooms exposed to onlookers, it was soon discovered the building operated as an illegal hotel catering to European travelers.

More details here

City Living

Animated GIFs Remembering the Post-Sandy Devastation

By Rebecca Paul, Fri, October 31, 2014

Before-and-after views of Staten Island

This week marks the two-year anniversary since Hurricane Sandy devastated New York City and the surrounding coast lines. In its wake, the storm forever altered our coastal areas. These before-and-after satellite images from the Huffington Post taken via Google Earth, show just how dramatic the damage was—and they ask us to consider the progress we’ve made recovering from the destruction over the last two years. Our rebuilding efforts in the post-sandy aftermath have been significant, however our work is far from over.

More details here

Daily Link Fix

Hurricane Sandy, Manasquan NJ
  • Pix11 has rounded up memorial events in New York and New Jersey to mark the second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.
  • It’s National Cat Day! And in honor of the occasion Uber’s UberKITTENS will deliver an ASPCA cat to your office for 15 minutes. More on Business Insider.
  • In today’s Daily News, Jeremiah Moss, of Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, has a modest proposal for NYC’s new ambassador Taylor Swift– control the spread of chains, advocate for the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, and encourage tourists to respect those of us who live here.
  • In a rather morbid yet Halloween-appropriate list, Brokelyn finds out how much it costs to be buried in various Brooklyn cemeteries.
  • Architects behaving badly…following Frank Gehry’s now-infamous middle finger show last week, there’s an entire Tumblr devoted to famous architects flipping the bird. See the pics on Archinect.
  • And you thought your office was bad. Wired has found THE saddest office cubicles.

Images: Manasquan, NJ after Hurricane Sandy via 6sqft (L); Taylor Swift via Getty Images (R)

Green Design, Landscape Architecture, Major Developments, Urban Design

Big U rendering

Over a year after Hurricane Sandy tore through the metro New York area, destroying lives and homes, some areas are still in the process of rebuilding. In an effort to ensure New York City is never caught off guard from a natural disaster like we were in the fall of 2012, the Department of Housing and Urban Development launched Rebuild By Design, a contest to develop ways to rebuild the city’s most vulnerable areas in such a way that they’ll be better prepared for nature’s unpredictability. 140 proposals were submitted over a year ago, coming from 15 different countries. Last June, 10 finalists were chosen to refine their plans, developing protective strategies for all of the vulnerable areas that were struck, and will likely be struck again. After nearly a year, the Department of Housing and Development has just announced six winners that will receive a piece of the federal government’s $4 billion disaster-recovery fund.

Take a look at the winning designs here