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Waves of Change

map of jamaica bay
Waves of Change demo image
map of jamaica bay

Spring 2014

PLAN810 850, Studio – Sustainable Communities


In October 2012 the Rockaway Peninsula was inundated by Hurricane Sandy, a disaster that exposed the fault lines of race and class that run through the peninsula. In response, the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance partnered with Pratt Institute’s Programs for Sustainable Development and Planning to engage in a planning study of the peninsula, focused on the communities of Arverne and Edgemere, and create a plan for the future of the area.

This studio report not only summarizes the conditions faced by residents today, but also lays out concrete recommendations for how to move to a more resilient Rockaway in which all residents have decent, affordable housing, economic opportunity, and the ability to safely and rapidly move in and off the peninsula. Our recommendations are grouped functionally in this report, with separate sections on housing, economic development, and transportation.

These recommendations range from the very local, such as interventions surrounding Firehouse 59, to recommendations concerning the entire peninsula.

The danger from climate change and associated sea level rise should not be underestimated. While we have planned against a 2.3-foot sea level rise based on EPA projects, recent research projects sea levels to rise 3.2 feet by 2100. In light of such danger, the recommendations presented herein should be considered the minimum that the society can do to prepare this community for the threats of the future.

Client Partner: RISE

Professor: Burney, David Birmingham, Micaela Riano, Quilian Shiffman, Ron

Students: Coachman, Victor DiStefano, Leeza Duran, Paola Hernandez, Jason Joseph, Kat Lai, Lynn Lloyd, James Ross, Bryan Seely, Ted Stark, Ben Consultants: Walter Mayer; Jennifer Bolstad; David Gibbs; Bruce Lincoln;