Structures of Coastal Resilience

2013–2015 | Jamaica Bay NY, Atlantic City NJ, Narragansett Bay RI, Norfolk VA

Client Rockefeller Foundation and US Army Corps of Engineers
Team Members Princeton University—Guy Nordenson, Project Director; City College of New York Spitzer School of Architecture; Harvard University Graduate School of Design; University of Pennsylvania School of Design

Structures of Coastal Resilience (SCR) is a research initiative dedicated to the development of performance based resilience designs for North Atlantic urban coastal environments vulnerable to flooding. SCR combines probabilistic hurricane storm surge and climate change science with performance based design of natural and engineered coastal infrastructure, and land use planning and building regulations. The design teams produced in-depth coastal planning and design proposals for four sites that are all prone to recurrent coastal flooding and include socioeconomically vulnerable communities.

Concurrently the science team has developed a probabilistic hazard risk assessment using projected sea level rise and synthetic hurricane analysis that consider future storm scenarios under climate change, based on global circulation models. The climate and storm science research and the design proposals come together through mapping of projected magnitudes and probabilities of surge inundation at the design sites. The performance of specific design strategies are evaluated for storms and surges corresponding to exceedance probabilities of 40%, 10% and 2% in the typical fifty year lifespan of a structure, under projected climates in a series of time intervals throughout the next century.