When The Storm Hits, The Parks Sink

A part of the Big U, on an ordinary day.

The “Big U” is a proposed 10-mile-long horseshoe-shaped (social) infrastructure that will guard the southern half of Manhattan from storm surges and rising sea level.

When the East River swells, the urban space next to it turns into a lake.

The barrier—which will extend from West 57th Street, wrapping around the southern tip of the island and run back up the other side to East 42nd Street—will, during ordinary times, masquerade as a combination of parks, promenades, recreational zones and cultural spaces.

The Lower East Side would be protected by a “bridging berm”—a level space separating two areas—at the East River Park. Both the berm and the bridge will be wide and planted with salt-tolerant fauna.

The bridge (foreground) and the berm (background.)
The Big U can absorb a storm surge.

This is a project by the Danish architect, Bjarke Ingels.

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