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These 10 Design Proposals Might Save Us From the Next Sandy

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Although it's been 17 months since Sandy battered the eastern shore, its affects are still felt far and wide in consequence of the storm-permeable infrastructure and buildings naively lining coastal and low-laying regions. Seeking to address the fault in our infrastructure in a sustainable way, the Department of Housing and Urban Development introduced Rebuild By Design, a competition for coastal resilience projects that offers its winners "a slice of the federal government's $4 billion disaster-recovery pie," says NY Mag. Whittled down from 140 proposals, the ten firm finalists from around the globe selected to move forward in the competition eight months ago unveiled their proposals to the world today.

Justin Davidson points out that what Rebuild By Design hopes to achieve is not a glorified version of what the storm washed away, but a new and resilient infrastructure: infrastructure that diverts and adapts to "nature's assaults," which are forecasted to become more frequent moving into the millennium. "None of these strategies is whimsical or wishful," Davidson writes, "all have been tried—and have worked—somewhere else. New York can benefit from a lot of wisdom tempered by calamity."

The ten interdisciplinary teams—staffed by scientists to engineers, architects to politicians—were each given $200,000 and time to delve deep into community fieldwork, learning what the storm affected and how, and have developed their visions for an adaptive future. The results of their efforts, which each focus on a different area, are vast: from a Nassau county interlaced with water-permeable dikes and lowlands to a chain of artificial islands barricading the low-lying coastal areas, lets take a look at some of the projects that might save our behinds when Sandy 2.0 whips ashore. Shall we?

This is not a "winner-takes-all" competition, but rather one who's outcomes rely heavily on what's deemed worthy by the country's housing secretary Sean Donovan, who will announce the winners later this spring.
· 10 Ideas to Prepare Us For the Next Sandy [NYM]
· Rebuilt by Design [official]
· All Hurricane Sandy coverage [Curbed]