Recovery, Adaptation, Mitigation and Planning

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Green Infrastructure

Department: Architecture
Community: Red Hook
Instructors: Elliot Maltby
Summer 2013

The summer 2013 Green Infrastructure studio worked with community in a broader way than previous years, looking at multiple sites and having a range local voices as community representatives [rather than working with a single space and client]. To maximize the studio’s impact, we chose an accessible waterfront study area in Red Hook with four discrete typologies – roofscape, parking lot, streetscape, and the waterfront edge – with one team assigned to each. Teams determined the most appropriate green infrastructure strategies for their typology’s water management issues, the parameters of which were determined through site analysis and research. Red Hook’s future vulnerability to storm surges, ongoing and increasingly frequent storm water flooding, rising sea level, and lack of common gathering spaces for the neighborhood’s multiple communities were baseline needs each team sought to address. All proposals explored integrated design based solutions that maximized performance in relation to water, layered additional ecological and social benefits, and introduced innovative public engagement programs. Through additional research, teams identified unique assets to build on, and developed stewardship plans that addressed longevity and community engagement.

While detailed design focused on the specific site, teams also addressed issues of connectivity and replicability, deploying green infrastructure as a comprehensive system, rather than isolated patches. This neighborhood scale thinking was supported and expanded in the collaborative salon, in which the three Red Hook studios met and developed a collective understanding of the assets and challenges facing Red Hook.

The Green Infrastructure studio helped the Red Hook community understand the issues at stake, see examples of possible solutions, and begin to be fluent in planning language and strategies. The 2014 RAMP work served as source material for Red Hook’s NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program [CRP], co-chaired by Ms. Nandan, an initiative by Governor Cuomo in which affected communities help shape the post-Sandy planning process. RAMP activities and innovative proposals fostered excitement that the CRP built upon. RAMP research was incorporated into the initial Needs and Opportunities Assessment published by NYCRP, and projects proposed through the studio have been included in the CRP Committee discussions and on the list of potential projects that were considered for funding through the Committee.

Kristin Bell, Matthew Treat, and Natalie Vichnevsky


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Maya Carter, Jesse Such,  Frederick Wolf


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Kondilis, Kraft, and Donnellon

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