CHALLENGE: RISING SEAS LOCATION: NEW YORK CITY
2012’S SANDY was one of the deadliest hurricanes in New York City’s history. More than half of the 43 people killed were on Staten Island, where tidal surges as tall as 14 feet swamped the coastline. As the waters retreated, a federal task force held a competition to figure out how to best protect the area from future tempests. Living Breakwaters, one of the winning designs and led by architecture firm SCAPE, plans to tame the waves along the borough’s south shore with a 4,000-foot necklace of rubble, stone, and concrete barriers. The structure will also encourage protective ecosystems, including oyster beds, which form natural reefs.