Rebuild by Design began as a design competition created by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in response to Hurricane Sandy’s impact on the eastern U.S. in 2012. It helps communities connect design, funding, and implementation strategies to ensure a more resilient future, marshaling the talent of the world to answer a region’s greatest needs. Using an innovative design competition process, the post-Hurricane Sandy Rebuild by Design is generating implementable solutions for a more resilient region.
Rebuild by Design resulted in 10 designs, with seven currently in the process of being implemented in the northeast United States, including Living with the Bay, in central Nassau County.
The four winning application principles for Living with the Bay include:
The primary objective of Living with the Bay is to reduce the risk of flooding and flood damage. Flooding can be caused by heavy rainfalls, storm surges, or sea level rise. Additional objectives include improving the environment through ecological restoration, increasing access to nature, and enhancing social resiliency through public education.
Addressing various flooding problems require a suite of potential solutions based on existing conditions and environmental considerations. The most basic concept includes adding or improving stormwater inlets to better collect the storm water at the surface, and increasing underground pipe capacities to minimize storm surge from overburdening pipes downstream.
The typical focus of improving water quality is improving water clarity and/or reducing pollutants in storm water runoff and keeping or restoring natural runoff filtering processes to protect drinking water supplies. A variety of means and methods can accomplish this, such as using retention basins to capture and infiltrate runoff, adding green infrastructure elements that absorb nutrients with native vegetation, and/or building treatment structures that capture garbage and sediments. By successfully improving water quality at the surface, the quality of underground drinking water supplies will also improve.