Updates from Rebuild by Design

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Join Rebuild by Design for a full day of programming to celebrate our collective accomplishments as we look to build resilient communities in the Sandy-affected region and elsewhere, in the years ahead.

20 Cooper Square, NYC

Friday June 3 9:15am-5pm


For any questions about the event contact info@rebuildbydesign.org

9:15AM Registration & Breakfast
9:45AM Opening Remarks
10:15AM – 11:45AM Two Years Later – Updates from Each of the Rebuild by Design Projects

  • Lower Manhattan – Carrie Grassi, NYC Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency and Jeremy Siegel, BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group
  • Hunts Point – Julie Stein, NYC Economic Development Corporation and TBD
  • Meadowlands – David Rosenblatt, NJ Department of Environmental Protection and Chris Benosky, AECOM
  • Hoboken – David Rosenblatt, NJ Department of Environmental Protection and Kenneth Spahn, Dewberry
  • Long Island – Kris Van Orsdel, NYS Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery and Georgeen Theodore, Interboro
  • Staten Island – Alex Zablocki, NYS Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery and Pippa Brashear, SCAPE/LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
  • Bridgeport – David Kooris, Department of Housing and David Waggonner, Waggonner + Ball 

11:45AM – 12:15PM Discussion with Grantees moderated by Mary Rowe, Senior Fellow, Project for Public Spaces and partner of Rebuild by Design

  • Carrie Grassi, NYC Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency
  • David Rosenblatt, NJ Department of Environmental Protection
  • Kris Van Orsdel, NYS Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery
  • David Kooris, Department of Housing

12:15PM-1:00PM Lunch
1:15PM – 2:15PM Implementing Resilient Infrastructure: Lessons Learned from Rebuild by Design moderated by Scott Davis, Visiting Fellow at RAND – Panel
What are the challenges governments face when implementing large-scale resilient infrastructure post Hurricane Sandy and how can we encourage innovative, interdisciplinary projects elsewhere?

  • Kris Van Orsdel, NYS Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery
  • Jessica Grannis, Georgetown Climate Center
  • Dawn Zimmer, Mayor of Hoboken

2:15PM-2:30PM Break
2:30PM-3:45PM Community Engagement Best Practice Sharing – Breakout Discussion
This session will explore community engagement practices and strategies used in the past two years. Select community members will present their experiences and a guided discussion will follow. Community Participants include:

  • Juan Camilo, Hunts Point
  • Victoria Cerullo, Staten Island
  • Carter Craft, Hoboken
  • Danny Peralta, Hunts Point
  • James Rodriguez, Lower East Side
  • Jennifer Vallone, Lower East Side

3:45PM-4:00PM Break
4:00PM-5:00PM Beyond Sandy: Scaling Lessons Learned to Other Regions – Panel
Cities around the world are facing new climate realities and many have looked to the Rebuild experience for inspiration. How can we best capture our ongoing learnings to help other regions? Panelists will discuss what they look to learn from our region as we move from design to implementation.

  • Marion McFadden, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Grant Programs, HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development
  • Allison Brooks, Executive Director, Bay Area Regional Collaborative (BARC)
  • Michael Berkowitz, President, 100 Resilient Cities

Reception to follow.
For any questions about the event contact info@rebuildbydesign.org.
Rebuild by Design is in partnership with 100 Resilient Cities. Rebuild by Design would like to thank The Rockefeller Foundation and all of our funders for their ongoing support.

Outside Architecture's Profile Photo

Our first group visit to East Harlem

Amazing work – any updates?

Greening The Gap

On September 13th, we visited the East Harlem study area for the first time as a group. We were introduced to the neighborhood’s streets and green spaces by staff of the non-profit organization Trees New York, and met with different members of the community. What follows is a description of our visit and first impressions of the neighborhood.


1. P.S. 96 Tree Garden

Our first stop was P.S. 96 on East 120th Street at Third Ave. Standing in front of the school we admired the work of Trees New York and their volunteers. A once empty and gloomy sidewalk and building façade now flourish with a row of street trees and a mini garden. Standing in the shade of the trees we had the opportunity to learn more about the mission of TreesNY from Cheryl Blaylock, their Director of Youth Programs, and how important public participation is for the…

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As Jane Jacobs so eloquently described it in The Death and Life of American Cities, much of the essence of urban living is reflected in the “sidewalk ballet” of people going about their daily errands, wandering along the margins of public spaces (streets, sidewalks, parks and squares) and in and out of quasi-private spaces (stores, salons, bars, boutiques, bars and restaurants).

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Clusters of these quasi-private spaces, which are usually neighborhood businesses, activate a streetscape, both drawing life from and adding to a steady flow of people outside.

In an effort to begin to quantify this key aspect of neighborhood vitality, we’ve developed a new statistical indicator—the Storefront Index (click to see the full report)—that measures the number and concentration of customer-facing businesses in the nation’s large metropolitan areas.

h/t http://cityobservatory.org/storefront/

Continue reading

Party for Public Space and Places

We know placemaking isn’t a “new” term. But nothing prepared us for this…

An archaeological team recently uncovered a lost city within a site believed to be over 600 years old, revealing structural foundations from public places like plazas and squares, and evidence of a very social civilization.  Dug up alongside decorative bowls and animal remains, several large cryptic stone etchings were also found.  After extensive study, experts believe that the markings on these petroglyphs read “Start with the petunias.”

h/t  Project for Public Spaces

link: http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=2c803e70a8ad33c13a95a1ee6&id=73738e376c&e=ea27eda8bf

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Affordable Housing, Berlin style



Berlin has become the first city in Germany in which effective legislation has come into force in a bid to put the breaks on some of the fastest rising rents in Europe.  From Monday, landlords in the capital will be barred from increasing rents by more than 10% above the local average. Such controls were already in place for existing tenants but have now been extended to new contracts.

“The rent ceiling is very important for Berlin because the difference between the rent paid in existing contracts and new contracts is so high,” said Reiner Wild, managing director of the Berlin Tenants’ Association. “The other problem is that we have 40,000 more inhabitants per year. Because of this situation the housing market is very strong.”

Berlin is pioneering the rent cap after the national parliament approved the law, aimed at areas with housing shortages, in March…



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Land Banks – a How To…

Land Banks and Land Banking Cover(1)
Land banking is one of many tools that can be used to
address vacant and abandoned properties. As its title suggests,
this publication is focused squarely on land banks. But it
also highlights the many important links between this tool
and other systems that govern the use and reuse of land,
including, perhaps most critically, property tax enforcement.
In addition, it explores in what context a land bank is likely
to be most impactful and when a community might be
better served looking to other tools, entities, or strategies.
Indeed, one of the most valuable lessons contained in this
edition is the recognition that each community’s challenge
is a little different and that the first step in any community’s
fight against vacancy and blight must be to understand and
diagnose the problem. Only then will it become clear which
tools or strategies, including land banking, need to be part of
the solution.
Communities that are considering the creation of a land bank
and communities that are looking to improve the operations
of an existing land bank would both do well to spend time
studying these pages:

The “Forgotten” Father of Greater New York: Andrew Haswell Green

MCNY Blog: New York Stories

November 13, 1903. An 83 year old man leaves his office at 214 Broadway and gets on the Fourth Avenue street car by City Hall to join his nieces for lunch at his home. At 38th Street and Park Avenue, he disembarks the car and walks toward his house at 91 Park Avenue, a mere three houses away from the station. At his front gate, a man rushes at him, accusing the older man of turning a woman’s affection against him. (For a highly dramatic take on the confrontation read the opening of this Daily News article.) A passer-by hears the older man shout, “Who are you anyway? I don’t know you! Get away from me!” Five shots are fired, and the older man falls dead, right inside of the gate to his property. The shooter stands over the body with his revolver, his shoulders heaving, but his feet rooted…

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There Will Be No Tall (Seaport) Tower

Save Our Seaport

[Download Press Release]

New York, NY (November 6, 2015) – “There will be no tall (Seaport) tower on the New Market site ”says an Howard Hughes Corporation (“HHC”) spokeswoman.

“That is not happening.”      (As quoted in Thursday’s New York Post).

Save Our Seaport’s Michael Kramer said that the grassroots group was encouraged by today’s announcement.  “Both the Seaport Working Group and Manhattan Community Board One have strongly opposed inappropriate development at the historic Old Fish Market site. We echo their call to extend the South Street Seaport Historic District to include the New Market Building, that further there be no “tower” on that site, and ask for a Master Planning Process to find a way to re-use this unique structure and its location to honor its maritime history with a water dependent or enhancing use.”

David Sheldon of Save Our Seaport added: “there is a certain sense of…

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Hunters Point South

Deep Dive into the Hunters Point South Project
Friday October 16, 2015 5:30 pm-8:00 pm
Archtober Hall @ waterfrontalliance.org
159 John Street, South Street Seaport

The Harbor and The Hudson Class Blog

Hunters Point South is the future site of the largest affordable housing project since the 1970’s. The proposals for development include up to 5000 housing units, parks, bike lanes, beaches, a high school, retail space, a kayak launch and much more. The full plan can be seen here: Plans

The total area that is proposed for all this development is 30 acres of water front land, that is bordered by the East River and New Town Creek. This past Friday the 17th of September, many construction companies bid for the large scale project, which will be highly subsidized by the city, because of the plans to designate 60% of the housing for low-middle income families. The construction is to take place in two stages, but there is still no estimate for the final date of completion.
This project is intended to stimulate the economy in the area, and among other…

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