Islands of Mud
       
     
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Islands of Mud
       
     
Islands of Mud

Jamaica Bay, NY

With Hurricane Sandy’s devastating effects in 2012 on Jamaica Bay, concerns for the creation of infrastructure that would protect the islands from future storm surges have proliferated the discussion. Since the occurrence of the natural disaster, coastal resilience has become a forefront issue for habitation existing along water edges. Since an estimate of 123.3 million people live along coastal cities around the world, inundation from storm surges, flood plains and global climate change raised the question on how to build, not only resilient urban forms, but also one that could potentially respond to the rising water.


Looking at Jamaica Bay as a site of intervention, its current 3-year dredge cycle was used as a hinge-point in the creation of islands that anticipates the projective growth of population and density. The current dredge processes employed by the US Army Corps of Engineers ships the dredge 15 miles outside of Jamaica Bay to be deposited onto the ocean floor. Instead, with the proposed strategy, the dredge would be deposited locally within the Bay and be used for the creation of islands. The varying scales of water transit, which would serve as the islands’ infrastructure, determine the depths of dredging.

Through the process of cut and fill, the subtraction that occurs underwater would inform the deposition build up of the existing island’s projective expansion. These expanded land areas occur most significantly perpendicular to the dredged channel, as it would face the strongest currents coming from the opening of the Bay.

Design Partner: Leif Estrada
Design Critic: Bradley Cantrell
Harvard Graduate School of Design
2015

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