Liv­ing Break­wa­ters

Popular Science - - BUILT TO OUTLAST: POPSCI 2018 -

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.

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