Just over a month after AECOM presented a proposal to transform Red Hook with a project that would be twice the size of Hudson Yards, local residents have come forward with a more focused, comparatively conservative proposition, DNAinfo reports.
Part of a report created by German chemical company BASF, looking at solutions to improve the quality of life in neighborhoods like Red Hook, this proposal focuses more on fortifying the neighborhood against future Sandy-like storms, and for revitalizing the existing landscape of the neighborhood. AECOM’s proposal, in contrast, includes skyscrapers with apartments and between 25 to 45 million square feet of development overall.
This community-driven proposal, which was created after workshops and meetings attended by Red Hook residents, focuses on four keys goals: creating green corridors that would come with bike paths, community gardens, and bioswales; parks on the coast that would be fitted with temporary and permanent barriers to protect the neighborhood from storms; renovations to make the Red Hook Houses more flood resistant and energy efficient; and creating a job training center.
They call it the "model block" approach and one of the key players in pushing this forward is local resident Alexandros Washburn, who currently teaches urban design at the Stevens Institute of Technology, and served as the chief urban designer of NYC under Mayor Bloomberg.
He told DNAinfo that this approach took more of the community’s wishes into account as opposed to AECOM’s proposal. The new buildings that would be created through this plan will focus on affordable housing and will offer light manufacturing and green space as well. The residences will be located on higher floors to protect them from flooding.
This proposal is in the early planning stages, and Washburn told DNAinfo that he hopes to continue working with the Red Hook community in the coming months to create a more concrete plan. The city on its part presented three tentative plans last month to secure Red Hook from future floods.