Immediately following the effects of Hurricane Sandy, politicians and citizens alike began looking at possible ways to reduce the damage of future hurricanes, particularly to minimize the flooding damage which effected Lower Manhattan in the days following Sandy, cutting off power and disabling subway lines for over a week. The storm’s damage displaced residents and cost millions in lost economic activity.
WXY Architecture + Urban Design has proposed a plan that will turn Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn’s coastlines of the east river into not only a green area that accommodates both pedestrians and traffic, turning the gritty desolete areas belong the Brooklyn Bridge and FDR drive into an area for citizens and tourists to enjoy.
Known as a “Blueway”, the redesigned areas would feature a variety of landscapes and plants to bring increased biodiversity as well as prevent issues of flooding on the banks of the East River. Sandy soil and marsh-like conditions help to slow and control the flow of high waters onto the coast, and can withstand hurricane-like conditions. A series of tidal pools serve as an ideal location for visitors to wet their feet without being subject to undertow currents.
So, will trees, marshes and sand be joining office spaces in Lower Manhattan? Manhattan officials have already pledged $3.5 million to the project which will take several years to complete. The lead designer of the project noted “the social side of infrastructure is becoming more and more urgent as our infrastructure gets more dilapidated and the climate becomes more erratic”. WXY hopes to strike and move forward with it’s plan while the thoughts of Sandy still linger on the minds of some New York City residents – it’s certainly a project to watch throughout the year.