Preserving Lower Manhattan’s distinct and vibrant character
Soaring skyscrapers flank historic cobblestone streets. Wall Street borders quaint storefronts. Bustling days are balanced with easy going weekends along the water. As next-door neighbors, the Financial and Seaport Districts make a dynamic duo.
But the distinct and vibrant character of these two neighborhoods also make them particularly susceptible to flooding. The density of buildings, low-lying streets, an active waterfront and complex transportation infrastructure present unique challenges. Realizing traditional flood protection measures would not be feasible, New York City leaders turned to Arcadis to design a bold, new climate resilience plan.
Designing a climate resilience master plan
Our resilience specialists are helping city leaders create a comprehensive action plan to protect the Financial District and Seaport neighborhoods from climate change threats like increased storm surge, tidal waves and severe rainfall.
The climate resilience strategy centers on a conceptual design that could include extending Lower Manhattan’s shoreline up to 500 feet, or two full city blocks. Elevating land to be 20 feet or more above sea level, the shoreline will act as a flood barrier during storms and protect the area from rising sea levels. Additionally, our resilience experts will integrate the transportation, maritime and interior drainage infrastructure needed to support the shoreline extension.
Connected to New York City’s comprehensive resiliency strategy for Lower Manhattan, this climate resilience master plan will also consider the climate adaptation measures happening throughout the borough.
Community support is crucial; our team will reach out extensively to the public and create immersive and innovative opportunities for residents to give input on the design of this pioneering flood protection system. In early 2020, the team successfully hosted an immersive open house where participants learned about climate risk and its impacts to Lower Manhattan. The team also recently launched an online engagement portal – a website where visitors can learn about the project and share their insights and feedback, all from the comfort and safety of their own home.
A clear path forward
The climate resilience master plan will detail a clear path forward, including how the project will be financed, constructed and managed throughout its phased approach. Protecting the Seaport and Financial Districts is only one part of New York City’s comprehensive resiliency strategy but essential to protecting residents and ensuring Lower Manhattan’s livelihood well into the next century.