Rebuild by DesignNew York, New Jersey, Connecticut
In response to the devastation in the northeastern United States caused by Superstorm Sandy, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Presidential Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force initiated the Rebuild By Design Competition (RBD). The competition created innovative community- and policy- based proposals to protect coastal communities most at risk due to increasingly severe weather events and future uncertainties. The Waggonner & Ball-led team, WB unabridged w/ Yale ARCADIS, consisted of unabridged Architecture, the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, Yale University, and ARCADIS.
Waggonner & Ball, unabridged Architecture, and the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio brought 24 years of experience living in and designing for disaster-affected communities along the Gulf Coast of the United States. Yale’s Urban Ecology and Design Laboratory and ARCADIS provided expertise in ecology, urban and landscape design, coastal engineering, and stormwater management, as well as specific knowledge of the Long Island Sound and the northeast Atlantic region. After studying the region at-large with the other teams, the Waggonner & Ball team analyzed further Bridgeport, Connecticut; Rockville, New York; Far Rockaway, New York; Long Branch, New Jersey; and Toms River; New Jersey.
During the final phase of the competition, the team focused on Bridgeport, believing that living and working along Connecticut's coastline and waterways can be done in ways that restore the environment, strengthen connectivity, enhance the urban and regional economy, reduce long term risk, restore the primacy of the city’s coast and waterways, and stimulate downtown to make it central to the city’s identity. The Resilient Bridgeport proposal provides for incremental change through catalytic projects, and for the integration of urban development with natural systems, so that Bridgeport can become a model for other cities along the Long Island Sound and throughout New England.
The team conceived combinations of natural and fortified solutions to facilitate more resilient forms of inhabitation in the places most at risk from sea level rise and severe weather. The resultant proposal integrates riparian, urban, and coastal strategies across four economic development and environmental restoration zones: Downtown, South End, Black Rock Harbor, and throughout the Lower Pequonnock Watershed.