What is this plan to save New York from rising waters?

The BIG U is an ambitious project intended to protect New York from the floods which have tended to increase in recent years. A huge earthwork is planned as well as the erection of walls and dykes.

A two-meter rise in water levels is what New York City will gradually have to face by 2100! The 8.4 million inhabitants of this city are increasingly threatened by rising waters and floods, as in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy hit North America, killing 200 people. The images of the streets of New York submerged by water have somewhat traumatized the population, which has led the municipality to launch an urban planning competition intended to find solutions in order to preserve the “big apple”.

One of the winners of this contest is the BIG U project which is nothing but a plan to fight against global warming as often downstream from the problem. Nevertheless, we can hope that the budget of 335 million dollars allocated to the architects of the Danish firm Bjarke Ingels Group is justified.

As shown in the image below, the goal is above all to protect the 16 kilometers of shoreline in lower Manhattan, a particularly dancing and vulnerable area. However, it is also about making them usable and useful in everyday life.

(Image credit: Bjarke Ingels Group)

In a publication of the Rebuild By Desing site, the developers specify a little more the purpose of the project:

“The Big U is an example of what we call social infrastructure. We said to ourselves: what if we could create a resilient infrastructure that is not a wall between the city and the water, but rather a string of pearls of social and environmental facilities adapted to each neighborhood (…)? This project should not only make the waterfront more resilient, it should make it more accessible and welcoming for citizens. »

In reality, the BIG U is a collection of small detailed projects in a huge 276-page file (PDF in English). However, with the arrival of convinced climate-skeptic Donald Trump in power, this project (which has not yet started) could fall by the wayside.

Here is a video produced by Bjarke Ingels Group:

Sources: Rebuild By Design – Arte – Capital

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