Water Proving Ground

Project: Water Proving Ground
Location: New York, New York
Firm: LTL Architects
Year: 2010
Competition: Rising Currents: Projects for New York’s Waterfront, MoMA
Website: http://ltlarchitects.com/water-proving-ground/

Project Description:  What if the projected inundation of the urban edge by rising sea levels catalyzed a rethinking of the productive interplay between land and water? LTL addressed this question as one of five firms selected by the Museum of Modern Art to participate in the workshop and exhibition Rising Currents: Projects for New York’s Waterfront. The show examined the anticipated impact of global warming and the rising sea level on New York Harbor through a series of speculative design proposals for five sites on the water’s edge. LTL was charged with the zone located in the northwest quadrant of the harbor, including Liberty State Park and New York City’s iconic Liberty and Ellis Islands.

Created between 1880 and 1920 by extensive landfill operations associated with the arrival of the railroad, the site did not exist as land until the end of the nineteenth century. According to even the most conservative predictions of rising sea levels, it is currently destined to all but disappear underwater in the next fifty to seventy-five years. In response to these dire predictions, our proposal maintains the zone’s public use by allowing for selective infiltration of the site by the harbor. By tactically adjusting the historic fill through subtle topographic shifts, Water Proving Ground envisions a vibrant new amphibious landscape continually activated by rising tides.

Traditional defensive approaches, such as high sea walls, attempt to minimize the water’s edge. However, LTL’s design multiplies the length of the coastline by a factor of ten, to forty-four miles, sculpting the site into a series of four raised landscape piers, each crenellated to generate a sawtooth interlocking of land and water. While it renders the site a more resilient buffer to storm surge and flood events, the project also maximizes the intertidal zone’s capacity to serve as a testing ground for new uses and inhabitations based on the dynamic exchange between sea and land. Employing a wide range of boundary types, from hard-edge separations that isolate remediation zones to gradual sloping fields of estuarial interchange, the design actively engages tidal fluctuations, integrating water as a performative element rather than exclusively as a picturesque feature.

Structured as a series of petri dishes, the plan incorporates a diversity of programs and multiple ecologies—from experimental agriculture to aquatic recreation, from tidal flats to constructed wetlands—to combine productive landscape and urban park. Further drawing public activity into the site, each of the four land piers terminates in a programmatic anchor: an aquaculture research and development center, an amphitheater and tidal park, a water lodge, and a regional produce market. Enhanced systems of aquatic- and land-based transportation link the site to both the surrounding urban context and the harbor itself, reestablishing it as a vital point of exchange within the region. In testing the opportunistic and productive exchanges created by water levels linked to global climate change, the project explores modes of coastal occupation that will become pertinent for millions of the world’s citizens in the not-so-distant future.

Petri dishes are isolated environments for culturing cells to facilitate tests and studies. Premised on the maximization of biodiversity, Water Proving Ground adopts the logic of the petri dish to accommodate a multiplicity of landscapes, habitats, and programs that juxtapose natural and artificial, productive and recreational, land- and water-based uses. These wedge-shaped zones comprise distinct areas, ranging in their degree of containment from the highly compartmentalized (in, for example, bioremediation areas) to the very permeable (aquaculture zones). Within each wedge, the terrain slopes from higher to lower, harnessing the dynamics of water flow and tidal change.


Project Credits

Project team:  Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki, David J. Lewis; Aaron Forrest, Megan Griscom, Perla Dís Kristindóttir, Yasmin Vobis; Laura Cheung, John Morrison, Hye-Young Chung, Deric Mizokami, Cody Fithian, Mia Lorenzetti Lee, Jason Dannenbring, Clark Manning, Luke Smith, Yu-Cheng Koh, Amanda Kronk, Paul Landon, Phillip Chang, project assistants

Curator:  Barry Bergdoll, Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design


Living With Water

Project: Living with Water
Location: New Orleans, LA
Firm: Waggonner & Ball (lead)
Year: 2008-2010; 2011-2013
Website: www.wbarchitects.com
Project Website: http://livingwithwater.com/

Project Description: Living in the Mississippi River Delta requires constant awareness of the forces of water, with multiple lines of defense to protect against high water in the Mississippi River, hurricanes approaching from the Gulf of Mexico, and intense rainfall inherent to the sub-tropical climate. The federal levees and floodwalls at the city’s perimeter protect human settlement from high river waters and hurricane storm surges. Within the levees, complex systems of canals, pipes, and pumps protect against flooding caused by rainfall. However, these systems are inadequate to the challenges posed by a changing urban landscape and climate and are the primary cause of subsidence in the region. With these concerns in mind in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Waggonner & Ball saw an opportunity for New Orleans to reinvent itself as a safe, resilient, economically vibrant city that embraces its life-blood: water. This water management concept, Living With Water, is paradigm shift from a drain-pipe-pump mentality toward a system that values water as an asset. Explored through the Dutch Dialogues workshops and developed in the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan, the first large-scale Living With Water projects will soon be implemented through the City’s winning National Disaster Resilience Competition entry for the Gentilly Resilience District.

Initiated in 2006 and facilitated by the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington DC, Waggonner & Ball reached out to a multi-disciplinary array of Dutch and American organizations to examine methods for improving the design of urban water in the greater New Orleans area. Cosponsored with the Dutch Embassy and the American Planning Association, the three Dutch Dialogues workshops engendered a knowledge exchange between Dutch and American planners and urban designers, architects and engineers, and soils and hydrology experts as well as agencies and universities. This process not only explored the potential to transform land use by focusing first on water, but also established an international network of water management experts whose involvement continues beyond the workshops and Louisiana.

Development of principles established in the Dutch Dialogues continued when, in 2011-2013, the State of Louisiana’s Office of Community Development funded the development of the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan. This science and design-based process for creating a resilient and sustainable New Orleans region generated an unprecedented exchange among industry, government, economic development, and non-profit leaders. The plan focuses on water within the existing levee system – primarily stormwater, surface waters, and groundwater – offering a new vision for managing these resources while also addressing pluvial flooding, subsidence, and the misuse of regional water resources. It outlines principles for water management, regional planning, and urban design that are specific to place and developed out of a process that considers local soils, water and biodiversity; existing infrastructure networks; and the city’s distinct urban fabric.

The Urban Water Plan proposes a new investment model for public works wherein spending on streets, canals, pump stations, and stormwater detention basins enhances public spaces and yields opportunities for economic growth and development. Proposed retrofits strengthen existing water systems, make use of undervalued water assets, enhance key corridors, and broaden the hurricane protection concept of “multiple lines of defense” to incorporate urban water management. The five core principles of Living With Water are:

  1. Slowing and storing stormwater
  2. Circulating and recharging surface waters and groundwater
  3. Building with nature
  4. Designing for adaptation
  5. Working together

The plan is a living document created to guide long-range planning and investments for the next fifty years. Because water knows no boundaries, the plan calls for implementation at a range of scales and across political lines. The Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan is publically available for download at livingwithwater.com.


Project Credits

DD1 Workshop Directors: Waggonner & Ball, Royal Netherlands Embassy, American Planning Association

DD1 Workshop Participants: (Dutch) Arcadis; Royal Haskoning DHV; City of Rotterdam; Netherlands Ministry of Environment, Spatial Planning and Housing; Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment; Netherlands Ministry for Transport, Public Work and Water Management; Rijnland Water Board; Delft University of Technology

(American) America’s Wetland Foundation; Center for Planning Excellence; CH2M; Conciously Rebuilding; CRCL; Fertel Foundation; Flood Protection Alliance; Laborde Marine; Port of New Orleans; SELA Flood Protection Authority; Wayne Troyer Architects; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; State of Louisiana, Senator Landrieu’s Office; Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development; Louisiana Economic Development; Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority; Louisiana Recovery Administration; Jefferson Parish; Plaquemines Parish; St. Bernard Parish; New Orleans Office of Recovery and Development Administration; New Orleans Regional Planning Commission; New Orleans City Planning Commission; New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board; Louisiana State University; Tulane University; Washington University in St. Louis

DD2 Workshop Directors: Waggonner & Ball, Royal Netherlands Embassy, American Planning Association

DD2 Workshop Participants: (Dutch) Arcadis; Bosch Slabbers; Deltares; DHV; ds+V; ; Robbert de Koning Landscape Architects; City of Amsterdam; City of Rotterdam; Netherlands Ministry for Transport, Public Work and Water Management; Netherlands Ministry of Environment, Spatial Planning and Housing; NIROV; Province of South Holland; Delft University of Technology; University of Wageningen

(American) Audubon Engineers; Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions; DMJM/Harris; Goody Clancy; Manning Architects; Schrenk & Peterson; Spackman Mossop and Michaels; Villavaso & Associates; Wallace Roberts Todd; Greater New Orleans Community Data Center; City of Fort Worth; Louisiana State University; University of New Orleans; Tulane University; University of Virginia; Washington University in St. Louis

DD3 Workshop Directors: Waggonner & Ball; Royal Netherlands Embassy; American Planning Association; Netherlands Water Partnership; United States Environmental Protection Agency; Tulane University

DD3 Workshop Participants: (Dutch) Arcadis; Bosch Slabbers; Deltares; H+N+S Landscape Architects; Palmbout Urban Landscapes; Royal Haskoning; City of Amsterdam; City of Rotterdam; Delft University of Technology; Wageningen University

(American / Canadian) AECOM; Avegno Bailey & Associates, Inc.; Cashio Cochran LLC; CDM Smith; Brown+Danos Landdesign, Inc.; Gil Kelley & Associates; Manning Architects; Shrenck & Peterson; Stull & Lee, Inc.; SWA Group; Tierra Resources; Urban Progress Design; Waldemar S. Nelson & Company, Inc.; Friends of Lafitte Corridor; New Orleans City Park; City of New Orleans; New Orleans Department of Public Works; New Orleans Redevelopment Authority; New Orleans Regional Planning Commission; Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Louisiana State University; University of Toronto; University of Virginia; Washington University in St. Louis; Yale University


Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan

Design Team:
Waggonner & Ball, Project Lead, Coordination
Arcadis US; Engineering, System Cost Engineering
Bosch Slabbers Landscape + Urban Design; Landscape Architecture, Project Design
CDM Smith; Hydraulic Modeling, Outreach
City of Rotterdam; Water System Operations
Dana Brown & Associates; Landscape Architecture, Outreach
Deltares; Geohydrology, Implementation
FutureProof; Sustainability, Implementation
H+N+S Landscape Architects; Landscape Architecture, Urban Design
Manning Architects; Urban Design, Outreach
Palmbout Urban Landscapes; Landscape Urbanism
Robbert de Koning Landscape Architect; Landscape Architecture, Project Design
Royal Haskoning; Hydrology, Water System Analysis
Tulane University; Jurisdictional Context, Implementation
Washington University in St. Louis; Project Design

Senior Advisors:
Dale Morris, Royal Netherlands Embassy
Paul Farmer, American Planning Association
Piet Dircke, Arcadis NL

Kristina Hill, University of California Berkley
Bry Sarté, Sherwood Design Engineers
Jane Wolff, University of Toronto
Han Meyer, Delft University of Technology
Ton Schaap, City of Amsterdam
Steven Slabbers, Bosch Slabbers Landscape + Urban Design
Lodewijk van Nieuwenhuijze, H+N+S Landscape Architects
John Klingman; Tulane University

Resource Team:
Bright Moments; Outreach
Dewberry; NFIP Consulting, Risk Assessment
Eustis Engineering; Geotechnical and Hydrogeological Data
GCR; Economic Benefit Analysis
LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio; Visualization Tools
Waldemar S. Nelson and Company, Inc.; Project Cost Estimating



Project: Hydrofutures
Location: Lower Connecticut River, USA
Designer: Swarnabh Ghosh
Year: 2013
Program: Yale School of Architecture
Faculty Advisor: Greg Lynn with Brennan Buck
Website: http://www.swarnabhghosh.com/Hydrofutures

Project Description: This project explores the legacy and the future of hydroelectric power in the Northeastern United States. By tracing the history of dam construction in the US, this project calls into question the role of dams in the 21st century and proposes an alternative to the thousands of inefficient and obsolete dams that disrupt American river systems. By studying the potential application of inflatables in flood control and power generation, this project proposes a form of hydroelectric power generation that utilizes inflatables and extant hydrokinetic turbine technology to decentralize electricity production in river systems while producing an entirely new type of riverine urbanism.

This soft water-based infrastructure can be distributed along river systems in various configurations to perform a variety of functions in addition to power generation. Using a system of inflatable tubes, rings and pads held together by ‘clips’ in the form of barges, the project is rapidly deployable and utilizes hydrokinetic turbines to generate electricity from the kinetic energy of flowing water.

Over the last decade, governmental agencies like the Army Corps of Engineers as well as turbine manufacturers like Verdant and General Electric have shown increasing interest in the potential of hydrokinetic energy as a viable alternative to conventional hydroelectric power generation. A 2012 study by the Electric Power Research Institute posits that the ‘theoretically available’ hydrokinetic resource for the continental US is in excess of 1380 TWh/Yr [1]. Current annual hydroelectric output in the United States is in the region of 280 TWh.

While the technology to extract kinetic energy exists and continues to evolve, this project inserts/embeds a spatial variable to the mix. By embedding civic program in these otherwise submerged and invisible machines, the project performs like a radically expandable and configurable energy landscape, recasting infrastructure in a civic and cultural role. Moreover, by decentralizing power generation and dispersing it at the scale of a region, this form of energy production is more responsive and provides opportunities for multiple scales and timeframes of application without disrupting fragile fluvial ecologies.

The early stages involved the study of inflatables and their potential application in flood control and power generation. With the help of dynamic physics engines, studies were conducted to control and design the deflation and inflation of elastic objects. The second stage of the project involved the design of the spatial components of the hydrokinetic system and the analysis of efficiencies of possible configurations with the help of computational fluid dynamics. The components of the system consist of hydrokinetic turbines (~45 MW) suspended from barge ‘clips’ which, in turn hold together the programmatic rings and pads. The inflatable ‘tubes’ which control the flow of water are held together by the rings and an underwater system of cable ties. Grouping the system in different configurations such as dispersed arrays or tight packs or (dispersed array vs. tightly packed) could potentially modulate the flow velocity of river water to (i) help increase the productivity of the turbines as well as (ii) mitigate flooding.

The scalability and adaptability of this approach allows for careful scrutiny of the inherent geographical and political implications of hydropower production. Hydrofutures asserts the possibility of large-scale infrastructure as a productive civic undertaking by inserting a series of spatial variables into a predominantly technological mix. In this manner, it attempts to redefine the relationship between contemporary society and the increasingly vast infrastructural landscapes it inhabits.



[1] For more, see “Assessment and Mapping of Riverine Hydrokinetic Resource in the Continental United States”, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA:2012. The EPRI is a non-profit organization based in Palo Alto, CA funded by the electrical utility industry of the United States.



Project: Infrasurface
Location: Keelung River, Taipei, Taiwan
Designer: Jonathan Reyes
Program: Yale University School of Architecture
Faculty Advisor: Heneghan-Peng Architects

Project Description: A city situated at the bottom of a flood basin, Taipei’s urban dynamics are direct consequences of infrastructural systems and urban forms that enable to city to function throughout regular inundation and inclement weather.  Typically, flood-resistant infrastructure employs strategies of resistance, most evident in the enormous floodwalls along .  Unsurprisingly, the urban spaces adjacent to these walls are frequently devoid of activity beyond parking and storage.

This design for a research campus near the meeting point of the Damsui and Keelung Rivers adapts conventional urban logics to produce an integrated system of infrastructure and architecture.  Through the manipulation of the floodwall on the south bank of the Keelung, the resultant terrain simultaneously resists and embraces floodwater inundation to establish two distinct programmatic functions.  By pinching and stretching this wall into alternating positive and negative incursions, or inlets, into the site, the formerly vertical flood barrier becomes a compound, contoured, and traversable surface.

Negative depressions serve as inlets for floodwater retention, appropriately contoured to accommodate external laboratories, wet agricultural fields, recreational landscapes and other outdoor programming for the campus.

Positive extrusions become building masses and inlets for the infiltration of the city into the site and campus.  This topographic infrastructure serves as a series urban frames that protect the zones of infiltration from inundation while cultivating Taipei’s informal urban character within them.A site-wide contour logic serves as a physical demarcation of flood levels and event boundaries. The contours and the density of spacing between them establish a parametric system of slopes and modules employed across the campus.

A site-wide contour logic serves as a physical demarcation of flood levels and event boundaries. The contours and the density of spacing between them establish a parametric system of slopes and modules employed across the campus.


Carbon T.A.P.

Project: Carbon T.A.P. (Tunnel Algae Park)
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Firm: PORT Urbanism
Year: 2009
Competition: Winning Entry, UCLA/CityLAB WPA 2.0 Design Competition
Website: http://porturbanism.com/work/carbon-t-a-p/

Project Description:  As Federal, state and local governments undertake consideration of large-scale investments in the renovation and replacement of urban infrastructures, we see a unique opportunity to reconsider the role of these systemic networks and their effect on our contemporary urban landscapes.

In the scenario outlined herein, a new type of ‘green’ infrastructure is deployed at urban locations comprising concentrated sources of CO2 production. This new infrastructure utilizes a proprietary system of industrial scale algal agriculture to sequester and consume greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit their introduction into the atmosphere, while simultaneously creating a new economic resource through the production of oxygen, biofuels, bioplastics, nutraceuticals and/or agricultural feeds. In the scenario shown above, this new infrastructure manifests itself as a series of pier-like armatures linked to the ventilation system for the Brooklyn-Battery tunnel.

What is unique about this proposition is not just the introduction of large-scale urban green infrastructure, but rather the use of infrastructural armatures to create an exceptional public realm amenity for the city. Rather than considering urban infrastructures as a necessary evil to be hidden or mitigated, we view the renovation and re-imagination of these systems as opportunities to create new forms of civic and social domain that have the capacity to positively transform the American urban landscape.

Our proposal for a new infrastructural typology is one part climate action; one part agricultural production; one part ecological preserve; one part public realm; and one part economic catalyst represents what should be the aspiration for all newly deployed urban infrastructures—the ability to fundamentally improve the economic and social quality of a city, as well as the associated lives of its current and future residents.



Living Breakwaters

Project: Living Breakwaters
Location: Staten Island, NY
Firm: SCAPE / Landscape Architecture
Year: 2013
Competition: Rebuild by Design
Website: Rebuild by Design – Living Breakwaters 

Project Description: The Living Breakwaters concept design was developed by the SCAPE / Landscape Architecture team for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rebuild by Design Initiative, and was one of six winning proposals in the global competition. The proposal was awarded to New York State and will be implemented by the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery with $60 million of CDBG-DR funding allocated specifically for this project. (Read more here and here).

The Living Breakwaters project reduces risk, revives ecologies, and connects educators to the shoreline, inspiring a new generation of harbor stewards and a more resilient region over time. Staten Island sits at the mouth of the New York Bight, and is vulnerable to wave action and erosion. Rather than create a wall between people and water, the project embraces the water, increases awareness of risk, and steps down that risk with a necklace of breakwaters to buffer against wave damage, flooding and erosion.

The SCAPE team designed “reef street” micro-pockets of habitat complexity to host finfish, shellfish, and lobsters, and also modeled the breakwater system at a macro scale to understand how and where they can most effectively protect communities. This living infrastructure will be paired with social resiliency frameworks in adjacent neighborhoods. Through the Billion Oyster Project and an associated network of programmed water hubs, local schools will be empowered with science, recreation, education, and access.

The layered approach is especially suited to Staten Island’s south shore, but it is also replicable in other waterfront communities faced with the similar duality of risk and opportunity presented by their connection to the water. Tottenville, the site of our proposed Phase One pilot, was once known as “the Town the Oyster Built.” During Sandy, lives were tragically lost, and homes and parks were severely damaged. Moving forward, we can foster a vibrant water-based culture, invest in our students, shoreline ecologies and economies, and Tottenville can claim the mantle as the Town the reef re-built.

Project Video: 

Living Breakwaters from Rebuild by Design on Vimeo.

The SCAPE Team:
SCAPE Landscape Architecture
Parsons Brinckerhoff
Dr. Philip Orton / Stevens Institute of Technology
Ocean and Coastal Consultants
SeArc Ecological Marine Consulting
The New York Harbor School
Paul Greenberg

Aqueous Ecologies

Project: Aqueous Ecologies
Location: Willets Point, NY
Designer: Michael Ezban
Year: 2013
Program: Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Faculty Advisor: Chris Reed

Project Description: ‘Aqueous Ecologies’ imagines a future for Willets Point, a derelict peninsula in Queens, NY, in which new ecologies, economies, and cultural identities of the city are intertwined with landscape-based solutions for adaptive, polyfunctional, and publicly accessible wastewater management and treatment. Aquaculture becomes a foundation for an ecological urbanism.

Rather than starting with a traditional masterplan, this project proposes a productive ecology of multi-trophic aquaculture (closed-loop fish farming) as a catalyst for urban development. A 50-year process for cultivating aquaculture and urbanism at Willets Point increases wildlife biodiversity and creates cultural and economic synergies over time, at both local and regional scales. Over time, synergistic relationships between aquaculture and urbanism mature, establishing the urban core as a greywater and stormwater supply for a burgeoning aquaculture industry.

At areas of high urban density, waters flow through hard- and soft-bottom channels, from sidewalk swales to plaza basins. The alternating conditions of saturation and desiccation at these urban spaces foster a dynamic range of recreational and commercial activity. At the littoral zone of Willets Point, the character of the landscape is quite different. Biotic succession and daily tide dynamics are evident in the expansive salt marshes, while kelp cultivation groins — thriving on aquaculture wastewater — extend into Flushing Bay, becoming armatures for sediment accumulation and spontaneous vegetation. The kelp can either be exported into culinary and medicinal economies, or remain within the aquaculture system as processed fish meal.

Public access throughout the littoral zone, via boardwalks that convey wastewater for treatment, allows for immersive cultural experiences and an opportunity to experience the dynamism of succession and daily tide dynamics. Processes of sediment deposition and accumulation against these boardwalks lead to the emergence of publicly accessible habitat islands. During storm events, public activities shift to elevated civic spaces that float above temporarily flooded civic spaces. The raised infrastructure connects to existing elevated transit lines and roof gardens and allows aquaculture and wastewater filtration to intertwine at multiple levels within the fabric of the city.


Featured in Scenario 3: Rethinking Infrastructure 


Reclaiming The Shoreline: Redefining Indiana’s Lake Michigan Coast

Project: Reclaiming the Shoreline:  Redefining Indiana’s Lake Michigan Coast
Location: Michigan City, IN
Designer: Dane Carlson 
Year: 2011
Program: Ball State University, Undergraduate

Project Description: The NIPSCO coal generating station in Michigan City, Indiana is one of a series of industrial complexes which have dominated the shoreline of Lake Michigan for decades, bringing with them pollution of ground and water and crippled shorelines. This design solution utilizes the framework of industrial infrastructure to return the site to ecological and community function; as ecological processes develop through a series of phases, human inhabitation brings the site to life.

Program: The program consists of three primary components: ecological development, creation of a public realm and spatial network, and community development. Rather than creating the site as a destination, the program intends to extend all surrounding elements directly into the site design.

Ecology: Reestablishment of tiered dune ecosystems is the primary component of ecological restoration. The introduction of new sediment flows through littoral drift and longshore current, in addition to the creation of a semi-permeable jetty, allows for the accretion of sand along the shoreline, and this process is accelerated by the staggered formations of sheet pilings driven into the lakebed. As a new layer of dunes form here, landward sand becomes stabilized by pioneer vegetation, allowing it to host new and varied plant communities.

Four intradunal wetlands, also known as pannes, and one coastal wetland replace the series of ash settling ponds along the shoreline. The remaining layer of sheet piling, together with a sub-grade sheet of clay, forms a waterproof barrier leading to the accumulation of water at the bottom of each depression. The wet feet of each depression make them uniquely suitable to host rushes and sedges which form the basis of panne plant communities.

The creation of dune forests inland of the shoreline mimics the natural progression of successional dune ecologies. The ini­tial layer of dunes begins organic matter accumulation with cottonwood and dunegrass. Jack pine forest and oak savannah inhabit the layers of dune beyond this, and oak/hickory forests beyond these. Introduction of these tiers of dune evolution creates the basis for a permanently evolving, functional ecological system which mimics that of the national lakeshore to the south.

Community: Introduction of dense residential development allows the site to be a place of inhabitation as well as a destination. Located directly north of an existing neighborhood, this new community provides pedestrian connections to existing streets and al­lows residents from surrounding communities to access pedestrian circulation routes into the heart of the site. Community development lies on the site’s southern portion, maintaining the northern reaches as a place for ecological growth, ecotour­ism, and education. All homes front on open space and residents can easily access woodland canopies or recreational hotspots through aerial circulation systems. A central node makes basic services, such as daycare and grocery, within walking distance of homes.

Public Realm: The most iconic features of the generating station, in addition to most of the auxiliary structures, are adapted into public amenities. In the west, the cooling tower becomes a hotel, providing a viewing platform for the public and creating an anchor for the aerial circulation system. This system extends eastward through the community, carving a path for the creation of a green avenue defined by woodland plantings. To the east, both boiler houses host sport courts and adventure recreation due to their proximity to the creek’s waterfront. Here, an extension of the Franklin Street corridor forms the primary com­mercial and open public space on site. Access extends northward, connecting this attraction to the public beach through a series of woodland and waterside pathways open only to pedestrians.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Project: Brooklyn Bridge Park
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Firm: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.
Year: 2010 – Piers 1, Pier 6;
2012—Pier 5;
2013—Pier 2, Pier 3/4 Uplands.
Firm website: www.mvvainc.com

Project Description: Currently under construction, Brooklyn Bridge Park will eventually encompass approximately eighty-five acres and 1.3 miles of waterfront. The park’s goals are both ambitious and straightforward: to preserve the dramatic experience and monumental character of the industrial waterfront while reintroducing self-sustaining ecosystems to the site and investing it with new social and recreational possibilities.

MVVA took a broad mandate of sustainability and applied it across a range of spheres—ecological, structural, cultural, and economic. Sociological diversity, programmatic flexibility, and a robust post-industrial nature are threaded together to create a park that can function both as a metropolitan park on the scale of Olmsted’s landscape infrastructures and as a collection of smaller, nested neighborhood parks.

Brooklyn Bridge Park’s design took on a site with limited access points, a narrow overall width, extreme noise pollution from the adjacent elevated highway, a complex structural waterline condition, and a goal of capturing and recycling stormwater. Excess stormwater is collected from buildings, paved areas, lawns, and planting areas, conveyed into underground tanks, and then cycled and cleansed through rain gardens, supporting a lush swath of rain garden plantings. This runoff collection system, in conjunction with the increased use of water-absorbing lawn and planted areas, dramatically curtails the discharge of stormwater runoff into city systems and lowers the likelihood of combined sewer overflow.

Pier One and Pier Six function as “urban junctions,” entrances to the park that will attract families and individuals on a daily and year-round basis with programs such as playgrounds, picnic tables, benches, areas of accessible natural plantings, a dog run with water, and park concession buildings with restrooms. This first phase of Brooklyn Bridge Park provides vital new social spaces and urban programs while bookending the site and laying the foundation for a continuous waterfront park to grow in between. The salt marsh landscape on Pier 6, sports fields and courts on Piers 2 and 5, a community lawn space on Pier 3, a beach, and other park amenities will come with future phases of park construction.

Project Websites: Brooklyn Bridge Park NYC 
An interview with Matthew Urbanski (Places Journal) 

Project Team: MVVA, Team Lead, Landscape Architecture / Urban Design
AECOM, Marine & Site Infrastructure
Ysrael A. Seinuk, P.C., Structural Engineering
Nitsch Engineering, Stormwater Reuse Consultant
Maryann Thompson Architect, Architecture for Pier 2 and Warming Hut
Richmond So Engineers , Pier 2 Park Building & Warming Hut Structural Engineering
Domingo Gonzales Associates , Lighting Design
Open , Graphic Design
Pine & Swallow Associates , Soil Science
R.J. Van Seters Company , Water Feature Consultant
Paulus, Sokolowski and Sartor, Park Buildings Architect & MEP

The CityDeck

Project: The CityDeck
Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA
Firm: Stoss Landscape Urbanism
Year: 2009-2012
Firm website: www.stoss.net

Project Description: The CityDeck is the heart of a multi-phase redevelopment project along Green Bay’s Fox Riverfront with aims to significantly increase access to the river and to diversify social and ecological life along it. The boardwalk is activated by an undulating wooden surface that provides spaces for gathering, docking, watching, and playing. The sectional diversity creates a wide range of seating configurations and river overlooks. The boardwalk is flexible, accommodating both large and small gatherings comfortably for round-the-clock and year-round activity.

The design inventively integrates sustainable stormwater, material, and lighting strategies; it reorients downtown to the riverfront; it frames opportunities for new development; and it creates an entirely new image for the City of Green Bay. Project planning and design involved intense public and stakeholder participation, as well as extensive coordination with local, county, state, and federal agencies.

Phase 1 opened in stages in 2009 and 2010. Phases 2 and 3 were completed in 2011-2012.

Project Team Members: Chris Reed, principal, lead designer; Scott Bishop, project manager.
Design Team: Tim Barner, Cathy Braasch, Steve Carlucci, Jill Desimini, Adrian Fehrmann, Carl Frushour, Kristin Malone, Chris Muskopf, Susan Fitzgerald, Jana Kienitz, Lisl Kotheimer, Bryan Miyahara, Graham Palmer, Megan Studer, Sarah Wright.

Vetter Denk, urban design
GRAEF Anhalt Schloemer and Associates, structural engineering
STS Consultants/AECOM, civil and geotechnical engineering
Light THIS!, lighting design
Pine + Swallow, soil science
Clark Dietz, electrical and plumbing
WF Baird Associates, cost

Find out more:
CityDeck Website.
“Restaurants Loving Dine on the Deck,” Fox News, July 2011.
“Dine on the Deck livens up downtown Green Bay Waterfront,” Scott Cooper Williams, July 2011.
“River key selling point for Green Bay’s downtown: City in talks with two unnamed businesses,” Mark Leland, July 2011.

Image credits: 
All images and photos by Stoss Landscape Urbanism, except for the final image: Photo by Jeff Mirkes, Executive Director for Downtown Green Bay, Inc

Text and Stoss drawings are all provided for use on the Scenario Journal website. No other use or distribution is authorized.