The unprecedented damage Hurricane Sandy caused along the East Coast of the US, especially to the densely populated New York and New Jersey coastlines, was a wake-up call to the threat that weather events pose to our communities. The world has always been plagued by severe and seemingly intractable problems, including storms, but today, we live with an unprecedented level of disruption.
Things go wrong with more frequency and severity, greater complexity, and with more inter-related effects. No longer can we afford to simply rebuild what existed before. We must begin to rethink our recovery efforts, making sure the damaged region is resilient enough to rebound from future storms.
In order to better protect Sandy-area residents from future climate events the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force
initiated Rebuild by Design (RBD) to develop fundable solutions that address structural and environmental vulnerabilities throughout the East Coast region. Recognizing the enormity of this challenge, the RBD process has looked beyond traditional solutions, supporting new approaches in architectural design, regional planning and environmental engineering, all of which are set within an innovative process that combines public, philanthropic and private sector resources and knowledge with community participation in a design competition.