Some scientists have predicted New York could be underwater before long as sea levels rise as much as 19 inches by 2050 and up to 20 feet by 2100.
Never fear: Five teams of architects brainstormed and came up with some solutions now on display at the Museum of Modern Art.
The Architecture Research Office suggests striping some Lower Manhattan streets with lush greenery to absorb storm water runoff, which is a major source of sewage overflows. ARO also suggests knocking down the World Financial Center and carving three shallow bays in Lower Manhattan that would cleanse water with a sunken marine forest and wildlife-rich marshes.
Landscape architect Kate Orff envisions oysters erecting New York’s defense against flooding induced by global warming. New York could build an incalculably expensive storm-surge barrier if seas rise two feet over the next few decades. Or it can use oysters (who’ll work for plankton) to build a protective “oysterpalego.” So contends Orff, a principal of the Manhattan landscape architecture firm Scape.
The Manhattan firm, Lewis Tsurumaki Lewis, proposes cutting inlets into New Jersey’s Liberty State Park.
And architect Matthew Baird’s team suggests repurposing the rotting fuel tanks and listing shipwrecks that line the industrial Kill van Kull. They would picturesquely rise amid biofuel production and restored beaches.