“I think now is the time for bigger-scope projects to move forward,” City Manager Jack Schnirman said, referring to Rebuild by Design, a competition initiated by President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and aimed at protecting the South Shore from a Category 2 hurricane.
The competition has challenged planning and design experts to think critically about resiliency, innovation and rebuilding. Last August, the task force selected 10 design teams to conduct extensive research and public outreach and come up with ideas to make communities stronger. The Interboro Partners team, a panel of experts focused on plans for rebuilding Nassau County’s southern shoreline, is one of them.
HUD will award approximately $4 billion to the most innovative and feasible design plans for regions affected by Sandy by the end of the month.
In addition to gathering public input, Interboro team members met with city officials during their conceptual design process. Their comprehensive plan for Long Beach would resemble protection measures already in place in the Netherlands, and include a system of dikes and water-absorbing lowlands, many of which would integrate with public space and facilitate economic development. For example, a dike along Reynolds Channel would serve as protection from 12-foot storm surges, but would also include a bayside park.
Last Friday in Manhattan, the team went before a competition jury chaired by HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan to present its project, called “Living With the Bay.” It features a system of dikes along the north side of Long Beach that would include a promenade, open space and a new marina while protecting critical infrastructure. Team members said the project would complement a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers coastal protection project.