Gallery: Terreform ONE Announces Winners of the ‘Water as the 6th Borou...

For several years now, New York City has been paying more and more attention to its waterways, realizing that the rivers and creeks that separate our boroughs have the potential to be a vital, active part of our city's urban design. For the 2011 Terreform ONE competition, called 'Water as the 6th Borough,' designers were asked to turn their attention to the Big Apple's waters and create a sustainable development strategy for our waterways, focusing on recreational space, public transportation, local industry, and native environment. Designs ranged from entire floating communities to a comprehensive plan for enhancing our coastline's ecology. Hit the jump to see the winners!

The first place design, winning $10,000, came from Ali Fard and Ghazal Jafari of Canada. Called Parallel Networks, the strategy calls for a flexible network of floating pods that create a public space on the water, while integrating renewable energy production, water filtration, and natural habitats. The pods are easily moveable and adapt to their environment, meaning that they can be added and removed at will. The network could start small, with just a few pods, and more can be added as needed. The designers also created two tests sites to show how the pods would work in more detail. A clean tech industry city will be built near Queens to create energy from wind and biofuel with algae, and the Bronx Blue Terminal would be built as a ferry transportation hub and recreational facility. The panel of judges, chaired by New York City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden, liked that the plan is feasible, but still interesting and versatile.

Three honorable mentions each won $1,500. Walk On Water NYC (W.O.W.), created by Rux Design LLC, is another floating network, but instead of focusing on public space, W.O.W. creates more commercially-centered real estate on the East River. The short term goal of the plan is to create more economic development off the shore of Brooklyn and Queens to help redistribute wealth and revalue land. “In the long term, the vibrant water-born culture and infrastructure that develops along the W.O.W. connections will ease the inevitable transition Manhattan faces as the ocean rise and devour terra firma,” the designers write in their proposal. “The heart of NYC’s culture and commerce will shift from the old (and flooded) terrestrial city to a new amphibious city made of flexible and forgiving connections between floating bridges, barges, boats, gardens, schools, stores, restaurants, homes, hotels…”

Another honorable mention dealt solely with New York City’s coastal estuaries and ecological system, something we’ve seen discussed many times before. Designed by students at the Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design, the Enhancement of Estuary and Ecological System focuses on combating sea level rise and habitat loss by “softening” our coastline with wetlands and vegetation in eight specified locations around the city. “The overall direction should be towards creating more articulated edge conditions, more diverse biological zones and improved habitats,” according to the proposal. “Increased ecological complexity and the potential for biological systems to thrive can also provide the benefits of ecological servicing: storm surge protection, natural water filtration, stream flow stabilization and increased recreational, cultural and economic opportunities.”

The third and final honorable mention went to Networked Urbanism, a strategy developed by JDKP that implements user-driven planning. Using crowd-sources technology on smartphones and digital kiosks, a water-based public transportation network is created where it would be most beneficial. “An opportunity exists in fabricating a network of piers that operate as shipping and transportation ports while functioning as gathering spaces that precipitate social, economic, ecological, and educational programming,” writes JDKP.

You can download the full proposals for the winning design, honorable mentions, and all 30 semifinalists on Terreform’s website.

+ Terreform ONE


or your inhabitat account below