First phase of Manhattan’s climate resiliency project opens
Stage one of the Holcim Awards winning urban flood protection infrastructure project completed in New York City
The Dryline in USA
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The Dryline: Urban flood protection infrastructure in New York City, USA - Project Update - July 2023
New planting and seating areas, new paths, and railings as well as a new floodwall and flood gates are part of the new Stuyvesant Cove Park. Image: courtesy NYC Department of Design & Construction.
Last updated: July 21, 2023 New York City, USA
This protective ribbon incorporates public space punctuated by community seating, bicycle shelters and skateboard ramps, green areas that attenuate freeway noise, and public pavilions with storm shutters that can be deployed to contain storm surges.
Phase one of the project, the northern section of Stuyvesant Cove Park, was officially opened on May 31, 2023.  The park includes 75 newly planted trees, 579 shrubs, and 360m of seating areas and enhanced solar-powered lighting. The rest of the park, from East 18th Street to East 20th Street, will open in mid-2023. 
A climate resiliency project that “wants to give you a hug”
Hurricane Sandy caused USD 19 billion of damage, and damaged or destroyed 305,000 homes, many of which were here in the vulnerable Lower East Side, a low-lying, low-income district. ESCR is a USD 1.45 billion climate resiliency project that will provide flood protection and improve open spaces for over 110,000 New Yorkers, including 28,000 residents in NYCHA public housing, as well as businesses, critical infrastructure, and public buildings.  The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provided USD 338 million for the project.
The system includes a 3.8km long flexible flood barrier comprising walls, gates, berms and raised parkland. Blending a robust flood protection barrier with infrastructure enhances social amenity and encourages local communities to thrive.
We wanted to create an uncompromising seawall that also wants to give you a hug. Bjarke Ingels Founder & Creative Partner, Bjarke Ingels Group: BIG 
Raising the bar on integrated urban infrastructure
Two new floodgates are now installed, a swinging gate at East 23rd Street which is 12m long and weighs 16 tons and a sliding gate at East 20th Street which is 23m long and weighs 47.5 tons. The gates are designed to remain open to allow continuous access to the waterfront, but would be closed before any future storm event, and will eventually be part of a system of 18 gates within the ESCR network. The total of 360m of concrete precast seating areas are designed to break up the force of any waves that may approach the floodwall from the East River. Pylons driven up to 40m below ground support the floodwall using 2,560 cubic meters of concrete and 333 tons of reinforcing steel, with sheet piling installed to block water that may infiltrate the neighborhood from underground during future inundation events. 
The restored tree canopy will introduce over 50 different native tree species, paying special attention to pollinator species, and those that can withstand salt spray, increased precipitation, strong winds, and extreme weather to create a more resilient plant community. Approximately 2,000 new trees will be planted as part of the landscape design of East River Park. [6, 7]
Turning a problem into an opportunity
The Dryline received the Global Holcim Awards Bronze in 2015 and a Holcim Awards Silver for North America in 2014. The global jury praised the project for responding to climate change with creative urban infrastructure. “The jury appreciated the scheme’s bold proposition to tackle the ramifications of climate change by means of a construction that offers a surplus value to society – turning a problem into an opportunity,” said Moshen Mostafavi, former dean of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD), and Chair of the Global Holcim Awards jury 2015.
The Dryline proposal was led by BIG – a Copenhagen and New York City-based group of architects, designers and builders operating within the fields of architecture, urbanism, research, and development. Partners involved in developing the design include AKRF Engineers, Arcadis, JACOBS MNLA, Hardest Hanover, Siteworks, Wesler Cohen, Hazen & Sawyer, ONE Architecture, Pentagram. The Holcim Awards jury for North America appreciated the project’s conceptual framework proposing to merge the requirements of a “Robert Moses” type of hard infrastructure with the local community-driven sensitivity of “Jane Jacobs”.
-  Moses, D. (2023, May 31). Stuyvesant Cove Park reopens after three years of coastal resiliency construction | amNewYork.
-  East Side Coastal Resiliency. | City of New York.
-  Wainwright, O. (2021, August 25). Bjarke Ingels on the New York Dryline: “We think of it as the love-child of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs.” The Guardian.
-  Dailey, J. (2015, March 10). See the 10-Mile "Dryline" That Could Protect NYC's Waterfront. Curbed NY.
-  Stuyvesant Cove Park Reopens with New Recreation Areas and Flood Protection for Surrounding Community. | City of New York.
-  City of New York. (n.d.). Environmental Benefits: East Side Coastal Resiliency. Retrieved June 29, 2023.
-  Bjarke Ingels Group. (n.d.). The Big U: Rebuilding by Design - Promoting Resilience Post-Sandy Through Innovative Planning, Design, & Programming. City of New York. Retrieved June 29, 2023.
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