Overview

Claim the Edge, Connect the Center

The proposal combines natural and fortified solutions to facilitate more resilient forms of inhabitation in the places most at risk from severe storms. It asserts, too, that living and working along Connecticut’s coastline and waterways is not only necessary, but that is possible to do so with an incremental and integrative approach that restores the environment, strengthens connectivity, enhances the regional economy, reduces long-term risk, and restores the centrality of the city’s waterways and downtown to the city’s identity.

In this way, Bridgeport can become a model for other cities along the Long Island Sound and throughout New England.

Team

Gulf Coast experience, extensive community engagement, and an integrative approach.

Waggonner & Ball, unabridged Architecture, and the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio bring 24 years of combined experience living in, working with, and designing for disaster-affected communities along the Gulf Coast of the United States. Yale University and ARCADIS provide additional 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.

Process

At the city and regional scales, the team mapped risks, assets, and land use to determine the value of varying forms of interventions along the Connecticut coast and densely settled I-95/Metro North Railroad Corridor. Interventions considered are for a variegated edge of hard and soft protection zones with multiple lines of defense providing higher levels of risk-reduction. A watershed-based planning approach yields an integrated resilience framework for coastal communities with similar geology and topography, while identifying key interventions for each landscape type and opportunities for economic development and environmental restoration.

For the design team, integrating the design process and community engagement efforts allowed for the participation of diverse local and regional stakeholders in the development of a resilience framework for Bridgeport. Workshops with community partners, ongoing conversations with government officials, design charrettes with critical stakeholders, and a series of public open houses and educational activities
For the design team, integrating the design process and community engagement efforts has allowed for the participation of diverse local and regional stakeholders in the development of a resilience framework for Bridgeport. Workshops with community partners, ongoing conversations with government officials, design charrettes with critical stakeholders, and a series of public open houses and educational activities with both youth and adults have been instrumental in shaping the focus and content of the design team’s work. Each event has been an opportunity to share water management strategies and principles for resilient design with the community, to empower citizens to engage in the conversation about their city’s future, and to build together towards a shared vision and implementation strategy.

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Rebuild By Design

"Founded as a response to Superstorm Sandy’s devastation in the region, Rebuild by Design is dedicated to creating innovative community- and policy-based solutions to protect U.S. cities that are most vulnerable to increasingly intense weather events and future uncertainties. Initiated by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Presidential Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, Rebuild by Design’s aim has been to connect the world’s most talented researchers and designers with the Sandy-affected area’s active businesses, policymakers and local groups to better understand how to redevelop their communities in environmentally- and economically-healthier ways and to be better prepared.

The competition, which was named one of CNN’s 10 Best Ideas of 2013, included a year of thoughtful engagement and will culminate in the announcement of winners, who formed local coalitions to develop fundable, implementable solutions that will inform new policies on every level. Rebuild by Design and its partners have demonstrated that by working together in this regional design process, we can set ambitious, realistic, more resilient standards of development and infrastructure that respond to communities’ needs within a new, changing world."

Rebuild By Design

Text from Rebuild By Design