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2012-11-19
Hurricane Sandy Sustainable Redevelopment Plan Unveiled

Hurricane Sandy Sustainable Redevelopment Plan Unveiled

Sandy Sustainable Devastation

Internationally acclaimed non-profit design team Architecture for Humanity has unveiled the first redevelopment plan for the ravaged eastern US coast. The US government has been incredibly swift in responding to Hurricane Sandy and industry members are following suit.

Taking 185 lives, the worst-ever storm in the US comes at a cost of approximately $US 20 million, with the New York subway and other historic and vital infrastructure damaged in an unprecedented way. Further damage to coastline areas and residential dwellings is severe.

The architectural institutions’ long-term reconstruction plan, which comes as a five-point brief, goes beyond repairing damaged areas to return them to their former state. It outlays an urban planning guideline that would see the US rebuilt on a foundation of sustainable, resilience architecture.

The guidelines are as follow:

  • Enable local chapters of Architecture for Humanity to provide technical assistance and support to existing recovery agencies
  • Provide design and construction assistance to non-profits and community-based organisations in affected communities to repair civic structures and public spaces
  • Provide technical assistance to property owners, with a focus on small businesses and rental properties in low-income communities
  • Provide community design, planning and architectural support to local agencies to rebuild and to develop model mitigation strategies, especially along the New Jersey shore
  • Rebuild green. Provide assistance to replace outdated building systems with more sustainable energy-efficient solutions.

Sandy Sustainable Devastation

While the events leading up to the redevelopment program were devastating, Architecture for Humanity has committed to working with the US’ leading architecture authority, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), in redeveloping damaged areas in a way that is both sustainable and strong.

This may include the use of reclaimed and reused materials in order to redevelop housing and major infrastructure.

Hurricane Sandy has reconfirmed the notion of drastic climate change. The realities it has reinforced are far too severe to ignore, with the opportunity to rebuild also offering an opportunity for US industry members to create a stronger, more resilient, sustainable built environment that does not encourage the changing of weather patterns that incur these increasing fluke natural disasters.

By Jane Parkins