Ridge Lane Awarded Grant!

RLN Awarded Grant! Groundbreaking on Caine-to-San Miguel this Spring!

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On January 17, 2017, Lanita Hernandez, Director of the San Francisco Community Challenge Grant program, announced the award of a $100,000 grant to Ridge Lane Neighbors.  This CCG award will be combined with previously allocated money from Supervisor Avalos office and allow for completion of steps and landscaping for Parcel 4 of  the project (Caine St. to San Miguel).  Ground breaking for the Parcel 4 project is expected in April 2017 and the work on the parcel should be completed by the end of Summer 2017.  Ridge Lane Neighbors expects to receive additional funds which will allow for completion of Parcel 2 and 3 sometime during 2018.

Please attend the Ridge Lane Neighbors monthly meetings on the first Tuesday of the month at the Ingleside Library meeting room from 7:00 to 8:30 for more information

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Biophilic Design

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the latest edition of Green Wall News. This month, we highlight biophilia, the concept undergirding all we do at AgroSci. Conceived by renowned naturalist E. O. Wilson, biophilia is the idea that human beings have an innate need to connect with nature. Research has confirmed Wilson’s hypothesis, showing that people are happier, healthier and more productive when they have regular contact with the natural world.

The biophilic design movement grew out of Wilson’s insights. It aims to incorporate nature into indoor, outdoor and urban spaces. Green walls are a key element of biophilic design. AgroSci’s patented air-purifying Aerogation™ system is an especially powerful biophilic element because of its unique ability to increase the natural air cleaning ability of plants about 200 times.

In this issue, we feature recent pieces on biophilia, including an article in an Arizona State University publication, a BBC story on improving urban air quality and a piece by Koru Architects on increasing productivity.

We also have stories on the green wall at the new Sacramento Kings arena, a Mexican seaside home wrapped in green walls and a seminar on green cities.

In AgroSci news, we just installed a green wall at a third 1 Hotel property, 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, which is slated to open later this month. We want to give special thanks to Harrison Green for their outstanding design. Scroll to the bottom for a picture of the new wall.

Business opportunity! AgroSci is looking for distributors both in the United States and overseas. We’d love to talk to anyone interested in selling our products, especially green roof and other firms that can provide soup to nuts services, installation, design and maintenance. If interested, contact us at sales@agrosci.com

To learn more about AgroSci Green Walls, visit our website. For sales and installation information, contact us through our website contact page.

Green Wall News is always interested in your comments, input and suggestions. Please email them to chrish@agrosci.com.

Sincerely Yours,

The AgroSci Team

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Cartooning the Landscape: Art, Nature, and Consciousness

Cartooning the Landscape: Art, Nature, and Consciousness

UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley

Friday, February 3
6:00 PM- 8:00 PM

UC Berkeley professor Chip Sullivan will take us on an optical sweep of the iconic landscapes of history and illustrate their interrelationship with art, nature, and consciousness. Chip will discuss his lifelong commitment to drawing, garden history. and environmental awareness. Through the medium of the sequential narrative, he will share with the audience tools that will help us envision the metaphysics of landscape to create positive environmental change.

Copies of Chip’s newest book, Cartooning the Landscape, will be available for purchase.

UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley
200 Centennial Drive
Berkeley, CA 94720

Date and Time
Friday, February 3
6 – 8 p.m.

$15 General admission
$10 Garden Conservancy and UC Berkeley Botanical Garden members
Free registration for UC staff, students, and faculty
Students from other schools may obtain complimentary tickets by calling David Seyms at 415.441.4300.

Register online via the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden website.

Event questions: gardenprograms@berkeley.edu, 510.664.9841

This program is presented in partnership with the UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley.

Chip Sullivan
is a professor of landscape architecture and environmental planning at the University of California, Berkeley. He was named the 1985 Fellow in Landscape Architecture at the American Academy in Rome, among other awards, and is the author of many books, including the classic Drawing the Landscape, which is now in its fourth edition. One of the singular talents in landscape design, Sullivan has shared his expertise through a seemingly unusual medium that, at second glance, makes perfect sense: the comic strip.

For years Sullivan entertained readers of Landscape Architecture magazine with comic strips that ingeniously illustrated significant concepts and milestones in the creation of our landscapes. These strips gained a large following among architects and illustrators. Now those original graphic works, as well as additional strips created just for this book, are collected in his latest publication, Cartooning the Landscape. Read more about Chip Sullivan and his Gonzo Gardens.

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Lab explores projects to lessen effects of sea level rise on SF Bay

By John King, San Francisco Chronicle

January 22, 2017 Updated: January 23, 2017 5:02pm

Luna Taylor walks off of Pier 14 during the peak of the high tide along the Embarcadero in San Francisco, Calif. on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. Projections suggest that sea level rise could make such tides commonplace — which is part of the reason for Bay Area: Resilient by Design, a design competition where 10 multi-disciplinary teams will be awarded $250,000 each to explore how sea level rise can be managed in the decades ahead. The competition was announced this week and will run 15 months. Photo: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle

Photo: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle
Luna Taylor walks off of Pier 14 during the peak of the high tide along the Embarcadero in San Francisco, Calif. on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. Projections suggest that sea level rise could make such tides commonplace — which is part of the reason for Bay Area: Resilient by Design, a design competition where 10 multi-disciplinary teams will be awarded $250,000 each to explore how sea level rise can be managed in the decades ahead. The competition was announced this week and will run 15 months.

The Bay Area will soon be a laboratory that tests how urban regions can prepare for the likelihood of sea level rise.

That’s the aim of a $5.8 million design competition being announced this week that will select 10 multidisciplinary teams and assign each a different bayside setting. Each team will have $250,000 to work with and is expected to come up with a proposal that not only looks good but can become reality and has the support of the community where it is located.

Dubbed Bay Area: Resilient by Design, the competition has been slow to get off the ground because of fundraising difficulties. Now the Rockefeller Foundation in New York has agreed to provide $4.6 million to pull off the ambitious 15-month effort.

“This is a great opportunity for our region to start thinking about what the future holds and how to manage that future in a way that’s exciting,” said Allison Brooks, executive director of the Bay Area Regional Collaborative and one of 12 members of the competition’s executive committee.

The competition is modeled on Rebuild by Design, which was started in 2013 in New York and New Jersey. That effort was part of larger recovery efforts in response to the cataclysmic damage from Hurricane Sandy a few months earlier in 2012.

This time the hope is to get ahead of the curve.

“We were drawn to the idea of working with a region on a competition that’s about preparation, not recovery,” said Dr. Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, which also had a central role in Rebuild by Design. “I love the idea that the setting is the Bay Area, which is so well-known for its energy and innovation.”

The setting is also known for the body of water that defines it, an estuary that extends roughly 50 miles from San Jose in the south to Napa County in the north. That range exposes it to the threats posed by sea level rise, which is related to climate change and is expected to increase in coming decades. Tides could climb as much as 66 inches by 2100 in the Bay Area, according to forecasts done in 2012 by the National Research Council.

Some of those vulnerabilities were explored in The Chronicle’s Rising Reality series last year, from environmentally rich wetlands that would be engulfed to highways that would be submerged during even moderate storms. If nothing is done during the next few decades, for instance, a severe storm coupled with high tides could send water spilling into San Francisco’s Market Street subway.

Looking out over Mission Bay from the upper deck of AT&T Park home of the San Francisco Giants on Wed. Aug. 17, 2016. The parking lot shown is part of a development project at risk from sea level rise — as is much of the Bay Area’s shoreline — so planners want the height of the land raised by several feet before construction begins. Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle

Looking out over Mission Bay from the upper deck of AT&T Park home of the San Francisco Giants on Wed. Aug. 17, 2016. The parking lot shown is part of a development project at risk from sea level rise — as is much of the Bay Area’s shoreline — so planners want the height of the land raised by several feet before construction begins.


The Embarcadero meets the Bay as seen from the Alcatraz Ferry, on Thursday June 5, 2014, in San Francisco, Ca. Projections suggest that sea level rise in coming decades could place the Embarcadero and other shoreline districts in the Bay Area at risk — which is part of the reason for Bay Area: Resilient by Design, a competition where 10 multi-disciplinary teams will be awarded $250,000 each to explore how sea level rise can be prepared for here. The competition, which will be funded largely by New York’s Rockefeller Foundation, was announced on Jan. 23, 2017 and will run 15 months. Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle

The Embarcadero meets the Bay as seen from the Alcatraz Ferry, on Thursday June 5, 2014, in San Francisco, Ca. Projections suggest that sea level rise in coming decades could place the Embarcadero and other shoreline districts in the Bay Area at risk — which is part of the reason for Bay Area: Resilient by Design, a competition where 10 multi-disciplinary teams will be awarded $250,000 each to explore how sea level rise can be prepared for here. The competition, which will be funded largely by New York’s Rockefeller Foundation, was announced on Jan. 23, 2017 and will run 15 months.


A pole placed at Crissy Field in 2009 marked the different levels of rising ocean waters that may occur due to global warming in coming decades. Concerns related to sea level rise in the region have only grown since then — which is part of the reason for Bay Area: Resilient by Design, a design competition where 10 multi-disciplinary teams will be awarded $250,000 each to explore how sea level rise can be managed in the decades ahead. The competition was announced on Jan. 23, 2017 and will run 15 months. Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle

A pole placed at Crissy Field in 2009 marked the different levels of rising ocean waters that may occur due to global warming in coming decades. Concerns related to sea level rise in the region have only grown since then — which is part of the reason for Bay Area: Resilient by Design, a design competition where 10 multi-disciplinary teams will be awarded $250,000 each to explore how sea level rise can be managed in the decades ahead. The competition was announced on Jan. 23, 2017 and will run 15 months.


Read the full article here!

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Save the Planet: Attend These Workshops

Dear all,


My name is Hope Hui Rising. I teach landscape architecture at the Washington State University including a studio course on climate change adaptation. My students and I will be coming to San Francisco from January 26 through January 29 to conduct a series of workshops specifically focused on the impacts of climate change on the Dogpatch and Potrero Hill area and how we can prepare for these changes. We are inviting you to attend and ask your help in contacting others who might be interested in participating. To sign up for the workshop(s), go to www.GreenBenefit.org/workshop.


These workshops are an opportunity for an intergenerational mix of high school and college students, neighbors and stakeholders and experts to look specifically at the challenges the Dogpatch and NW Potrero Hill Green Benefit District (GBD) will face in the years to come. Together, we hope to conceive solutions that will help the GBD cope with and adapt to those changes while responding to the impacts of other climate-adaptive measures being proposed for the adjacent waterfront properties. Most importantly, we will brainstorm how the GBD can begin taking steps now to be more resilient down the line.


The workshops will provide a hands-on climate adaptation educational experience focused on the GBD as a test case to think about how to use ecodistrict design principles to help mitigate the impacts of climate change, like water shortages, and sea level rise. The workshops are being organized with the help of the GBD. We expect to have expert presence from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the City of San Francisco’s Public Works and Planning departments, the San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority, the Port of San Francisco, SPUR, and environmental design and engineering firms.


Five workshops will be held between January 27 and 29, each lasting approximately 3 hours. Each will follow the same format, but different guest experts may attend each workshop. You may attend one or more workshops. The workshops will be held in the Slovenian Progressive Home located at 2101 Mariposa Street at the following times:


Workshop 1: January 27 (Friday) from 3 pm to 6 pm

Workshop 2: January 28 (Saturday) from 9 am to 12 pm

Workshop 3: January 28 (Saturday) from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm

Workshop 4: January 29 (Sunday) from 9 am to 12 pm

Workshop 5: January 29 (Sunday) from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm


There will be no costs to you for taking part in the workshop. You will not receive money or any other from of compensation for taking part in the workshop(s). Your participation in the workshop is free and voluntary and you can withdraw at any time. The only requirement is that you read the notification memorandum before attending the workshops and indicate your preference to be or not to be photographed, voice-recorded, and video-recorded when you provide your signature on a sign-in sheet at the workshop(s). The memo can be downloaded after you sign up at www.GreenBenefit.org/workshop. I can be reached at hope.rising@wsu.edu or 503-962-0220 to answer any questions you may have prior to the workshops.


Thank you for your interest in this project. We look forward to meeting you at the workshop.

Hope Hui Rising, PhD, PLA

Adaptive Water Urbanism Initiative Lead



Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture

School of Design and Construction

Washington State University



Washington State University’s (WSU) Institutional Review Board (IRB) ahs reviewed and approved this project with workshops and if you have any questions regarding the review and approval of the project and your rights as participants, contact WSU IRB at 509-335-3668 and refer to IRB #15819

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Call To Action / Opportunities to Change

Dear Members,

I am writing to let you know of some exciting initiatives from various groups who have asked for ASLA-NCC’s assistance in publicizing their upcoming programs and events. In this changing political climate it is imperative for landscape architects to take a public stand for social and environmental justice, and uphold the code of environmental ethics upon which our profession was founded.

To this end I am happy to share with you the following opportunities for engagement:
  • Design As Protest / National Day of Action – January 20, 2017
    A2 Café, CA College of the Arts, 5212 Broadway, Oakland CA
    This gathering will bring together community members, artists, activists, and designers in pursuit of a design intervention with the explicit intention of addressing issues of injustice throughout the built environment. For more information visit the website, or contact Rachel McQueen, ASLA, at rachel@quadriga-inc.com
  • The Watershed Project / Tree Planting – January 21, 2017
    Boorman Park, South 25th Street and Maine Avenue, Richmond CA
    The Watershed Project works to restore and preserve the unique ecosystems that make up the San Francisco Bay through various programs including monthly tree planting. For more information visit www.TheWatershedProject.org, or contact Jennies Tran at Jennies@TheWatershedProject.org.
  • Climate Proofing Dogpatch & Potrero Hill / Community Workshops – January 27, 28, and 29
    Five different morning and afternoon sessions
    Slovenian Progressive Home, 2101 Mariposa Street, San Francisco CA
    These hands-on workshops will explore how Green Benefit Districts can help mitigate climate change and foster resiliency. For more information visit www.GreenBenefit.org/workshop, or contact Hope Hui Rising, PLA, at hope.rising@wsu.edu.
  • Rebuilding Together SF / Garden Design – April 29, 2017
    House by house, and block by block, this group works to preserve affordable housing and non-profit community facilities throughout the city by providing free building repair, modification, clean-up, and renovation work. This year they are looking specifically for several landscape architects to help design gardens at local community nonprofits. For more information visit www.rebuildingtogethersf.org, or contact Karen Nemsick at karen@rebuildingtogethersf.org.
I look forward to meeting you at one of these upcoming events!
Kind regards,
Elizabeth Boults, PLA
President, ASLA-NCC

ASLA Northern California Chapter  3130 Balfour Road Suite D #275  Brentwood, CA 94513  Tel. 415.974.5430
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Sydney Park – a vibrant recreation and environmental asset for Sydney

The Sydney Park Water Re-Use Project is a seamless intersection of design, art, science and ecology, an outcome achieved by the collaboration landscape architects Turf Design Studio and Environmental Partnership (TDEP), Alluvium (water and environment), Dragonfly Environmental (ecology) and Turpin + Crawford Studio (public art).

Much has been achieved over the past two decades to transform the Sydney Park site from its former post-industrial history and waste disposal, into 44 hectares of parkland and a vital asset for the growing communities of Sydney’s southern suburbs.


This project forms the City’s largest environmental projects to date, built in partnership with the Australian Government through the National Urban Water and Desalination Plan. It is an integral component of Sustainable Sydney 2030; targeting 10% of water demand to be met through local water capture and re-use in the park. The City also seized the once in a lifetime opportunity to use what was essentially an infrastructure project to breathe new life into the park – as a vibrant recreation and environmental asset for Sydney.


The City engaged a design team led by landscape architects Turf Design Studio and Environmental Partnership who orchestrated an intense and multi-disciplinary collaboration intersecting design, art, science and ecology – in a ‘roundtable’ of creatives shared between water experts Alluvium, artists Turpin + Crawford Studio, ecologists Dragonfly Environmental, engineers Partridge and the City’s own Landscape Architects. Design Landscapes constructed the project.


The beating heart of this project tells a story about water; through its function and processes that enables water to be harvested in its wetlands, made good and returned to viable use within the park and nearby industry. Bio-retention wetlands captures water from the Newtown catchment; the equivalent measure of 850 million Litres/year. Making these water flows and reuse processes visible was an important part of the project, as they highlight the intrinsic relationship between water and urban life, topography, people, plant life and fauna.


The project reinterprets conventional park design, by creating intrigue and dialogue as park users explore and discover ‘moments’ in the landscape that can be at times playful, dramatic and peaceful, but at all times connected to the water narrative of capture, movement, and cleansing. The transformation not only offers inner city residents and the wider community a new place to relax, play and gather in, but it educates on the importance of water management and how improving water quality and reducing potable water can be intrinsically linked into our natural surroundings.



Team |
City of Sydney, Turf Design Studio, Environmental Partnership, Alluvium, Dragonfly Environmental, Turpin + Crawford Studio

Award | 2016 MAAS Design Award

Photography | Simon Wood; Ethan Rohloff Photography;


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Team Felixx – jvantspijker wins design competition in Gufunes, Reykjavik

Gufunes, Reykjavik-final-phase-impression-front
The Dutch design offices Felixx and jvantspijker, together with Orri Steinarsson, have won the international urban design competition in Gufunes, Reykjavik. The task was the strategic redevelopment of a vast coastal area of approximately 140 hectares, at the edge of the city. The winning proposal is committed to transform the area, with striking industrial buildings along the coast and a vast green zone inland, into a haven for urban pioneers. The 1st prize was awarded during a ceremony on Wednesday night (December 7th) by the mayor of Reykjavik. In due course the process to elaborate and implement the project will be developed.

Gufunes, Reykjavik-framework-schemes

The winning proposal positions the area as an overflow for downtown Reykjavik. Tourism keeps growing, and the city can hardly cope with the increasing pressure on space and program in the center. Gufunes will therefore become an unpolished haven for starters, city pioneers and creative businesses that can no longer be accommodated elsewhere in the city. The vast area is being restructured into a coherent whole. The zone around the existing industrial buildings will be re-densified into a new urban center. The open green area transforms into a multifunctional recreational park for events and large-scale outdoor activities.

Gufunes, Reykjavik-framework-concept

The spatial strategy creates the conditions for a phased transformation, able to anticipate on different development speeds. A simple grid structures the industrial area, and a network of paths and roads organize the recreational landscape. The urban and park landscape are linked, and necessary connections with the surrounding urban environment and the shoreline are established. The framework ensures the overall spatial quality and functioning of the area. It both defines the frame and generates the conditions for the re-development of existing and construction of new buildings.


A crucial element is the proposed waterbus service, making Gufunes accessible for commuters and tourists in an environmentally friendly way. The heart of the community is the revitalised pier, where the first phase program is driven by the realisation of the famous Baltasar Kormákur’s film studios in an existing warehouse. Around the pier a wide variety of functions and programs are planned: small businesses, cafes and restaurants, a hotel, residential buildings, leisure and outdoor program. Together these interventions will put Gufunes on the map as a new destination in Reykjavik.



The combination of a new pioneer area and a recreational landscape park add necessary space and non- existing conditions to the city. They enrich the urban ecology: Gufunes as the urban fertilizer for Reykjavik.

Existing Site

Images Credit | Team Felixx – jvantspijker



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A Progress Report from the Cutting Edge of Resilient Design

Resilient Bridgeport / Rebuild by Design
Resilient Bridgeport / Rebuild by Design

“We don’t know what resilience policy will look like in the new administration. There are lots of unknowns, but we can take solace in what we do know,” said Amy Chester, director of Rebuild by Design, at an event in Washington, D.C. that provided updates on how the six teams devising novel resilient designs in the tri-state area are doing two years into planning and design.

Rebuild by Design, a unique cross-sector initiative supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Initiative, and numerous non-profit organizations, was created by President Obama in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which hit the east coast in 2012 and damaged or destroyed 650,000 homes across 13 states. 148 teams submitted proposals to create new layers of defenses that could also be beautiful public amenities. 6 teams went onto receive nearly $1 billion in public financing.

Each team provided a brief update:

Bridgeport, Connecticut (see image above): David Kooris, with the Connecticut state government, explained how his team received $10 million from Rebuild by Design to create a comprehensive plan to make the low-lying, vulnerable South End more resilient to flooding. The funds, which are much less than what they’ve asked for, gave them extra capacity to plan. From that effort, they learned transit-oriented development, combined with surge protection, green infrastructure, and micro-grids should be core of their approach. They have since received another $54 million from HUD’s national resilience competition. Those funds will be split between implementing the project and developing a “state-wide policy” that can guide other coastal Connecticut resilient projects.

Alan Plattus at Yale University, who is involved in the research side of the project, explained how their plan will link two Olmsted-designed parks, Seaside Park, which is already tasked with surge protection duties, and Beardsley Park, at the mouth of the water system. Plattus thinks Olmsted’s original vision was to connect them. Bridgeport will begin implementation in 2019. Learn more.

Hudson River and Meadowlands, New Jersey: Hoboken, the 4th most dense city in America, received $230 million to control flooding. Alexis Taylor, New Jersey state bureau of flood resilience, explained how a network of berms and gates will be created to protect the vast majority of the city during storms. All the infrastructure will be created in public right-of-ways:  alleys, plazas, and parks. An undulating sea wall will be aligned towards the interior of the city, rather than the coast. Vital infrastructure is protected. A network of green infrastructure also helps reduce inland flooding.

Hudson River / NJ DEP
Hudson River resilience project / NJ DEP

Taylor said about “85 percent of the city will be on the dry side, but this benefits 100 percent of the population because Hoboken will no longer be an island cut-off when it floods. All evacuation routes will be dry. This plan strikes the right balance.” Learn more in this presentation. Alternative 3 was finally selected by New Jersey’s government after much community input. Balmori Associates are the landscape architects.

Separately, the Meadowlands project received $150 million, which is far less than the $850 million they requested for the 9 miles of flood protection measures needed. As a result, the team is created a set of modular flood protection systems on streets, a “kit of parts, pre-cast, that can be easily scaled or replicated, and enables prototyping.” Pretty smart. MIT CAU, ZUS, and URBANISTEN are the landscape architects and planners on the team. Learn more.

Meadowlands / MIT CAU, Zus, Urbanisten
Meadowlands / MIT CAU, Zus, Urbanisten

Staten Island, New York City: Alex Zablocki, New York governor’s office of storm recovery introduced Pippa Brashear, ASLA, SCAPE Landscape Architecture, and their project, Living Breakwaters, which will result in a “necklace of breakwaters” off the Staten Island coast that will attenuate the impact of storm surges, build back beaches, create habitat for millions of oysters and fish, and “reconnect people with the shoreline.” SCAPE modeled the shoreline with their engineering team and tested specially-designed concrete that will enable biogenic build-up. Working with the One Billion Oyster Project, they are collecting literally tons of shells from restaurants to reuse in their breakwater reefs and educating the public about their mission. Brashear said the citizens advisory group was critical to the process, as was going out into neighboring communities to “show progress,” and make public events fun, through the use of virtual reality headsets and games.

Living Breakwaters / SCAPE Landscape Architecture
Living Breakwaters / SCAPE Landscape Architecture

Final designs will be ready in 2018. They are now working on schematic designs and environmental assessments before partnering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on implementation. Learn more.

Long Island, New York: Nassau County received some $125 million, less than the $1 billion they asked for, said Laura Manufo, New York governor’s office of storm recovery. A layered solution will focus on integrated stormwater management along a greenway corridor that follows the Mill River, and preventing flooding and storm surge impacts from the bay through “strategically deploying protective measures like constructed marshes and dikes, which in turn will improve water quality and the bay ecology.”

Living with the Bay / Rebuild by Design
Living with the Bay / Rebuild by Design

Given the team received far less funds than they hoped, they needed to re-scope, explained Michael Bomar with Tetra Tech. “We narrowed the focus to low and middle income neighborhoods. One thousand acres is more manageable.” But, still, the team is dealing with 45 separate municipal and other stakeholders. An extensive team includes landscape architects H+N+S. Learn more.

Manhattan, New York: The Big U, which received the lion’s share of the Rebuild by Design financing, with $355 million, is designed to numerous communities and billions of real estate along the tip of Manhattan. The Big U will create an integrated system of compartments that can be closed in storms. The first phase to be built will protect the Lower East side, ranging from Montgomery Street up to 23rd Street in Stuyvesant Town, explained Carrie Grassi, City of New York. Most of the infrastructure will overlay the 2.4-mile-long East River Park. New berms accessible via bridges and a series of gates will protect critical infrastructure and communities. Protective measures average 8-9-feet-tall but reach up to 16 feet in some places.

The Big U berms / BIG
The Big U berm in park / BIG

Travis Bunt with One Architecture, a member of the team led by BIG, which also includes Starr Whitehouse landscape architects and Mathews Nielsen landscape architects, said the preliminary design work is done, but now details must be refined. Construction is expected to begin in early 2019.

Hunt’s Point, South Bronx: Jessica Colon, City of New York, said Hunt’s Point has suffered from years of disinvestment and bad planning decisions. It’s a mile from Manhattan, but feels like a world away. Hunt’s Point has a major market, which is one of the key food distribution hubs in the tri-state area, an industrial area, and a smaller residential area. The South Bronx team asked for $800 million but only received $20 million, so they decided to invest that in more planning. Through that process, the community decided to focus on coastal and energy resilience. They have received another $125 million to prototype projects. One realization that came out of their research: critical facilities are not the biggest worry; the “problems are more at the building level.”

Hunts Point Lifelines / Penn Design / OLIN, via Rebuild by Design
Hunts Point Lifelines / Penn Design / OLIN, via Rebuild by Design

Colon said the South Bronx is now at the “vanguard of adaptation. They’ve been ignored by the government for so long. They’ve been to hell and back. They can survive.” Design and construction on prototype projects begins in 2018. OLIN and PennDesign are the planners and landscape architects. After hearing from the teams, Jessica Grannis at the Georgetown Climate Center shared findings from her research into how “public officials overcame challenges to make these projects happen.” She offered a summary of key take-aways, which included:

  • Create a long-term vision to drive policy and regulatory change. Create regional coordinators, as many issues cross jurisdictional boundaries.
  • Design berms with benefits. Coastal defenses can offer multiple social and environmental benefits.
  • Coordinate the layers of authority involved in nature-based coastal resilience projects. In inter-tidal areas, the federal government, state, and local governments will all have a say. Involve regulators early on in a coordinated way.
  • Leverage public right-of-ways to avoid permitting and ownership issues.

For Grannis, if Rebuild by Design is successful, the projects will not only influence state and federal policy-making for public projects but also for private development.

And she thinks all of this work should have bipartisan support: “Resilience is more important than ever. If you are a Democrat or Republican, you want safe and prosperous communities.”



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OMGEVING wins landscape design competition in Vietnam

OMGEVING, a member of the B-DNA partnership[1] and for this competition named ‘OMG-designers and partners’, was awarded the joint first prize in the prestigious international design competition for Han Riverfront Da Nang City. The jury decided to select two laureates out of seven accepted applicants.

The city of Da Nang is located in central Vietnam and consists of five districts. These districts cover a total surface area of 1,250 km² and have a total population of about one million inhabitants. The city of Da Nang, characterized by its two coastlines along the East Sea and the Han River Delta in the city centre, is currently in a state of vast economic expansion and urban development.

A combination of three separate design strategies – ‘green corridor’, ‘green connections’, ‘green program’ – has resulted in one combined masterplan for the Han Delta at the scale of the urban area. These strategies contain solutions for the regeneration of the river’s natural system, stronger slow connections and a sustainable built program.


The three general design strategies have been converted into the design of a masterplan for the Han river, which runs through the city centre over a length of seven kilometres. At the scale of the urban river, a rehabilitation of the riverbanks would be connected to a diverse program within the public space: making use of an extensive recreational walking network, deck paths over the river and next to the riverside and water-taxi stops, you can reach floating river nature, a floating market place, a city park and an urban sport park. The integration of four public buildings adds to the public nature of the river as a whole: from north to south over the whole length of the river there will arise an opera building, waterhub building, a redesigned market hall and a concert hall. The combination of a landscape and architectural design makes for a high quality and diverse riverfront. This masterplan should be the solid base to be able to manage the rapid development of the city, in 2030 up to 1.5 million inhabitants.


This park area transforms both riverbanks in a high quality public park with a customized design for the rapidly expanding city of Da Nang. The key principle remains restoring the river nature in the city while creating a park of which the shape refers to the original riverbanks. These riverbanks will be allocated their new functions according to the implementing program. On one hand there will be water-bound functions such as water-taxi stops and waterhub building, and on the other hand there will be park functions in the form of sports and leisure areas. The introduction of 3,000 new trees will create a design unity at the scale of the city as a whole. The integration of two new (motor)bike and pedestrian bridges, one of which will be a market bridge, allows the park areas at both riverbanks to function as a whole. This integration consolidates the relationship between the eastside and westside of the city of Da Nang. The total construction cost of the strategic park area is estimated at 85 million euro. It is the intent to involve the city closely in the development of the city.


Developing the design, OMGEVING was able to count on the local partners HUNI architectes (France – Vietnam, architecture), NEY&partners (Belgium – Vietnam, design market bridge), Boydens Engineering (Belgium – Vietnam, sustainability) and HYDROSCAN (Belgium, water management).

After the first round of selections out of a group of 39 applicants, OMG-Designers was selected as one of eleven design teams to submit a proposal. Seven of the eleven teams actually submitted a design. The other competing teams represented countries such as Vietnam, Japan, Singapore, France and Germany.

OMGEVING is a design company that has its headquarters in Antwerp and also has a smaller office in Ghent. The firm focuses on urban, landscape and architectural projects, from research to design and execution of the projects. In Flanders, the firm is known for its projects such as Ringland, Plan Landscape Be-Mine in Beringen, Abbey Square in Averbode, Boekenbergpark swimming pond, the vision for Space for Ghent, masterplan former sugar factory Veurne, urban vision for the Linkeroever dikes and the E313-E314 interchange.

[1] B-DNA (Belgian Design Nature Architecture) is a unique partnership established by Belgian architects, engineers and urban designers (B-Studio), as well as manufacturers of building materials and design products (B-House). Together they have more than 30 years of R&D (research & design) experience in the European construction industry. The common interest of the partners is their focus on sustainability and energy efficient design, together with the establishment of business relations and possibilities in the southeast Asia region. OMG-Designers, Boydens Engineering and NEY&partners are members of B-Studio.

International landscape design competition for Han river

designer | OMGEVING, competition name ‘OMG-designers and partners’
location | Da Nang, Vietnam
client | Vietnam Institute of Architecture

team | Amedeo Ardolino, Andries Deconinck, Carolien Decq, Daphné Roels, Hang Zhang, Luc Wallays, Kevin Favere, Steven Petit partners
HUNI architectes (France – Vietnam), Boydens Engineering (Belgium – Vietnam), Ney&partners (Belgium – Vietnam) en Hydroscan (België)



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