• Capabilities: Water Management
  • Sectors: Water and Utilities
  • Region: North America , United States

East Side Coastal Resiliency

New York, New York, USA - Like other coastal cities, New York is vulnerable to the effects of sea level rise and climate change, and the disastrous effects these can have on a city’s economy. New York’s large, dense population and business centers easily compound these effects.

200,000

Residents to be protected

21,000

Business to be protected

Some parts of Manhattan are a mere five feet above sea level. Recordable flooding has occurred in the Big Apple over the past few centuries, although no storm has caused as much damage as Superstorm Sandy back in October of 2012. The historic storm surge caused by the storm blasted Manhattan, as well as New York City’s four other boroughs and significant portions of the Connecticut and New Jersey shoreline. An unprecedented $19 billion in damages were incurred in Manhattan alone.  Sandy was the second costliest hurricane in United States history.

Manhattan’s economy endured devastating effects during and after the storm The New York Stock Exchange closed for a week, neighborhoods and business were ruined and transportation systems, such as parts of the subway, flooded. The shocking effects brought to the forefront New York’s vulnerability to coastal flooding on its unprotected coastline and its need for resilience. It is estimated that if no action is taken, New York will incur at least $500 million in damages over the next 50 years accompanied by ripple effects across the global economy.

In response to the storm, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) launched a competition, Rebuild by Design, to bring together the best and brightest ideas to protect the Northeast United States from the next big storm. Along with the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Arcadis and partners were the selected to design resilient infrastructure in New York City.

The winning solution, ‘The Big U’ aka the Dryline, envisioned a protective system around Manhattan to protect the millions who live, work and visit there.

The East Side Coastal Resiliency project is the first step to realizing the vision of the Big U and a resilient New York City. Arcadis and partners developed feasibility and conceptual design reports to provide flood protection and social infrastructure for 200,000 residents, and 21,000 business in the area. A range of multifunctional resiliency solutions integrated with neighborhood and community amenities improve community access and expand enjoyment of parks and recreational spaces.

The results are groundbreaking and highly acclaimed: the Big U will increase resilience and protection for residents of the Big Apple and present significant cost savings for the city.

Outcomes

200,000

Residents to be protected

21,000

Business to be protected

2.4

miles of protection