Lower East Side, Manhattan
Nishant Samir Mehta, Ziyang Zeng, Fei Xiong
The lower east side, by virtue of its low lying location, suffered massive destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy. This warranted the construction of a protective berm to keep the storm surge from inundating the area. However, no attention was paid to flooding during an inland rain event which causes water logging and ponding in this region. Thus, in addition to what is being planned for the lower east side, we have the opportunity to plan for a rain event and subsequently to re-plan the NYCHA campus. The NYCHA campuses in this region are underserved and are isolated from the surrounding neighborhood. The campus along with the FDR Drive is a visual and physical barrier to the denizens of the neighborhood from accessing the East River Park.
Thus building off the East Coast Resiliency Project, we propose to extend the berm over the FDR Drive, and integrate it into the NYCHA campus. The integration of the under used green space in the NYCHA campus to a larger green belt provides an opportunity to activate the campus landscape. A channel holding filtered rainwater cuts through the campus, integrated along which is a public spine that ascends to the berm. The channel combines the flows of pedestrian and water circulation thus creating a band of public activity which slowly melts off into the campus enclosing activated private spaces between the buildings.