Hurricane Sandy absolutely swamped New Jersey when it hit in 2012. To protect against future severe storms, MIT CAU + ZUS + URBANISTEN designed the New Meadowlands project to transform and protect the Meadowlands basin and expand current marshland restoration efforts. The team proposed a system of berms and marshes that would protect the land from ocean surges. They would also be used for rainwater collection and would help reduce sewer overflows in nearby towns. The project won first prize at this year’s Rebuild By Design competition, and the team was awarded $150 million to implement their groundbreaking solutions.
The Meadowband frames Meadowpark and acts as protection against floods and provides a connection between towns and wetlands. It aims to combine transport, ecology and development. The team proposed shifting land-use zoning form suburban to more urban so that the Meadowband could include multi-story residential opportunities.
The team has identified three pilot areas within the framework of New Meadowlands where the first projects should be located. On the north side, this includes parts of Little Ferry, Moonachie, Carlstadt, Teterboro and South Hackensack, while the southern part includes South Kearny and the western waterfront of Jersey City.