Landscape Architecture Core Studio IV | GSD | Spring 2013 | Group Project with Jenny Corlett
Sediment City uses dredge slurry for berm creation, shore protection, habitat restoration, land generation, and construction fill. Sediment City uses the vast amount of New York & New Jersey Harbor dredge material to raise the elevation of land intended for urban development, in anticipation of the increased frequency and intensity of storms and future sea level rise. To increase the area for future urban development, peninsulas are built out into the bay and an island archipelago is constructed to protect this urban growth. The barrier island archipelago acts as a wave attenuator, deflecting and reducing the energy of everyday and storm surge waves. Of these islands, one-third is reinforced and stationary in order to protect the bay and provide a multitude of habitats. The remaining two-thirds fluctuate, changing shape, size, and material. The reinforced archipelago islands are composed of a mixture of dredged material and soil stabilizers, allowing these islands to break the force of the currents and calm the waters inside the bay. The fluctuating islands are made solely of dredge material and react to larger erosive forces and the influx of new dredge material.
The urban fabric is based on the Brooklyn city block, but the strict linearity of the grid morphs in response to the new peninsula extensions, creating a flexible urban fabric. Building massing is designed to maximize the amount of publicly accessible space. Waterways and inlets puncture the urban fabric to elongate the shoreline. These punctures play a critical role in mitigating storm surge and flooding, as the edges are built to sustain tremendous impacts through various techniques of constructing hard and soft edges. These techniques include reinforced barrier islands (shock absorbers), shoals, riprap, marshes, and forested wetlands for wake dissipation. Sediment City explores ways of productively utilizing dredge material to generate urban regions capable of coping with sea level rise, the increased frequency and intensity of storm surge, and material flux in New York City.