Faced with dynamic influences including climate change and its predicted extreme weather conditions, population migrations, fluctuating economies, necessary infrastructure investment, technologically redefined communities, and public interest in a health; Manhattan’s resilience relies on a re-conception of property, increased inter-dependencies, aggregate benefit and a redefinition of the public realm.
We must begin with a new understanding of how to organize development: Sectional Planning. Instead of traditional setbacks, we need Dynamic edges and High-ground Development. The fluctuating zone at the low-lying edges will incorporate wetlands, new innovative recreation and habitation spaces, and new typologies of construction as well as incentives for transfer of development rights.
The higher elevations will see intensified development, and may absorb some of the development rights transferred from the Dynamic Zone. The grid may be morphed by new infrastructures; access to new transportation hubs, renewable energy sources, and potable water.
The volume of each building is determined by zoning; but the opportunity for development remains; by maximizing the surfaces. Each orientation (north, south, east, west, roof) has advantages, and even the smallest building has much more surface area than footprint. By increasing the depth of the surface, faceting and cupping – the facade can capture solar and wind energy, water, and planting areas. Smaller-scale decentralized infrastructure can offset some of the demand of old, exhausted systems.
The current technological era has contributed to the dynamism of public exchange, but has not re-framed the need for physical connectivity. The focal point of a community is both a tangible and intangible place; and is extremely important in a time of crisis or dramatic change. Manhattan should reinforce community focal points that extend beyond the traditional disaster-relief shelters, and expand into everyday life.
Individual Project | Marissa Vaish