HUD announced six winners of Rebuild by Design, the post-Sandy competition to make the New York metro area more resilient to the effects of climate change. The six teams with winning proposals will share $920 million in federal funding to kickstart projects benefiting some of the most densely populated areas in the country that were severely affected by Sandy. A proposal to protect 10 continuous miles of Manhattan waterfront received the largest single allotment of funding, followed by the comprehensive proposal for Hoboken and adjoining parts of Jersey City and Weehawken:
- $335M – The BIG Team – The BIG U (East River Park) – Manhattan
- $230M – OMA – Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge – Hoboken, Weehawken, Jersey City
- $150M – MIT CAU+ZUS+URBANISTEN – New Meadowlands – Little Ferry, Moonachie, Carlstadt, Teterboro
- $125M – The Interboro Team – Living with the Bay (Slow Streams) – Nassau County, Long Island
- $60M – Scape/Landscape Architecture – Living Breakwaters -Tottenville, Staten Island
- $20M – PennDesign/OLIN – Lifelines – Hunts Point, South Bronx
This is fantastic news for New York and the region, but it’s absolutely transformative for Hoboken, because the city now has a real shot at being the model for comprehensive water management and climate change mitigation in a coastal urban environment. Hoboken occupies land that was once an island in the Hudson, was initially conceived by Col. John Stevens III–the city’s founder–as a weekend getaway destination for New Yorkers, and is the site of many American firsts, including steam-powered ferry service to and from Manhattan, the steam-powered locomotive, and the zipper. Hoboken has serious infrastructure challenges that are exacerbated by rising sea levels, and thoughtful solutions like the Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge plan will help the city strengthen its foundation for the future. A huge debt of thanks to Mayor Zimmer and her staff for their tireless efforts on behalf of the city.
My family moved to Hoboken in 2013 because we saw a bright future in this city of 50,000 just across the Hudson River from Manhattan. I’ve spent the past year getting to know the city’s history, ties to New York, and present-day resurgence as more people choose to raise families here. As I’ve learned more about the city, I’ve found that while there’s generally very good coverage of dining, lifestyle, news, nightlife, and politics, coverage of development and construction is sporadic, and usually tied to political stories. Although development and politics often go together, stories focused on politics usually include a cursory overview of the projects themselves, so someone interested in learning more is left to scour the Web for proposals, renderings, articles about past meetings and information from community outreach workshops to piece together an idea of what may be coming. Sites like Brownstoner, Curbed and New York YIMBY do a great job covering development in New York City (and Jersey City), but there isn’t a similar resource for Hoboken.
Stories Above NY started in 2011 as a way for me to get to know the urban landscape of the New York area firsthand. As I’ve visited spaces throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Jersey City, I’ve become more interested in understanding the forces that shape the built environment, and the issues that influence development. In 2012, as Hurricane Sandy impacted the region, I tracked photos of the storm’s effects shared via social media–including the very dramatic images of flooding in Hoboken. Now that I live in Hoboken, I’m writing about development here because I encounter it daily and I’m interested in what’s taking shape throughout the city. I regularly check out progress on under-construction projects like the 14th Street Viaduct and public spaces, Edge Lofts, Park Place, Waterfront Corporate Center III, Willow 14, and the (now complete!) Sinatra Park and 1600 Park. The Hoboken coverage here on Stories Above NY won’t be a play-by-play with the same frequency as Curbed and YIMBY. Instead, I’ll take a longer look at the history, design, and impact of big projects like Rebuild by Design, Hoboken Terminal and Railyards Redevelopment, and 14th Street Viaduct and northwest redevelopment. And there will be plenty of photography exploring views of Hoboken from above street-level!