The HUD Rebuild by Design Competition has just awarded PennDesign/OLIN $20 million to protect NYC's Bronx peninsula from extreme weather events. Selected as one of the six winners in the national competition, the Hunts Point Lifelines proposal is an integrated flood protection plan for Hunts Point, one of the city's major food distribution centers. The multidisciplinary team worked closely with community groups to introduce recommendations for flood protection infrastructure and long-term strategies to bolster economic health.
An initiative of President Barack Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Task Force, the yearlong national Rebuild by Design Competition challenged designers from around the world to offer research-based solutions that would boost the coastal resiliency of the Sandy-affected region. The University of Pennsylvania School of Design teamed up with landscape architecture firm OLIN to focus research on Hunts Point, a major food hub in the Bronx that supports over 25,000 jobs, generates $5 billion in annual direct economic activity, and feeds over 22 million people in the tri-state area.
Despite Hunts Point’s critical position in the regional food chain, the community is vulnerable to severe flood events and is located in one of the poorest U.S. Congressional Districts. To revitalize the neighborhood while bolstering its defenses against storms, the multidisciplinary team created a model called “WORKING WATERFRONT + WORKING COMMUNITY + WORKING ECOLOGY.” The proposal is split into four categories: the Flood Protection Levee Lab that connects the food hub to the waterfront and installs flood protection infrastructure; Livelihoods, which creates jobs by training the community to build their own storm-protection infrastructure; the Maritime Emergency Supply Lines that improved preparedness in storm events; and Cleanways, a strategy to move the neighborhood towards off-grid clean energy.
Images via Rebuild by Design