Welcome to the Spring 2016 PSPD Delta Cities Resilience Studio: Red Hook.

Here you will find all the work and resources related to this course. Keep up to date on exciting resilience-related articles, reports and events on the Resilience Blog. View student assignments on the Student Work page, and learn more about the course and organization on the Class Resources Page.


Currently, NYC is undergoing a sea-change in it’s built environment; Super Storm Sandy was a wake up call to the region, reminding us of our vulnerability to extreme weather events, and the future impacts of climate change. in the three years since, there has been considerable effort on behalf of the design community and various government agencies to try to address the issue of how our waterfront communities will deal with rising sea levels and potential degradation of our coast that sits in direct harm. These areas are at the forefront of what is to come in the next century. A wide variety of design proposals are underway towards implementation from Hunt’s Point in the Bronx, to Hoboken New Jersey, to coney island, each with a very different approach and community response.

This studio aims to look in depth at the issues facing such coastal communities, through the example of the South Brooklyn Red Hook integrated flood Protection System (ifPS). The studio has the advantage of occurring simultaneously to real world conditions; the Red Hook ifPS feasibility Study has just kicked off this past December. The ifPS feasibility Study is led by Dewberry engineering and is managed through the Mayor’s office of Resiliency Reconstruction (oRR), the NYc economic Development corporation (eDc), and in partnership with the Governor’s office of Storm Recovery.

The primary goal of the studio, with it’s integrated team approach, is to produce multi-disciplinary design proposals that create effective and innovative flood protection measures, while simultaneously being sensitive to community, and context, and provide a better social and economic fabric. The complexity of the project allows students to understand the methodologies for decision- making, how to turn limitations into beneficial parameters, and how community goals have design implications. Topics such as the future of NYc’s maritime industry, waterfront development, job opportunities, alternative energy production, ecological restoration, NYC agency regulations, transportation, feMA and National flood insurance Protection requirements, economic development, tourism, social cohesion, and emergency preparedness are just a few of the larger issues that will be considered in the process of conceptualizing an IFPS.

An IFPS can simply be a line on a map. But a successful and fruitful vision must be much greater than a utilitarian structure that holds back the encroaching seawater. Each team (consisting of approx. 3 students) will determine a conceptual framework to work within taking the design from an overall vision to an outline of implementation. Based on the student’s background, interest and skills, each team will determine their approach, and the project’s focus. While students have the opportunity to explore a wide variety of issues, from planning to urban design to architectural interventions, we will look to understand how each of these has a spatial relationship and weaves together in a multidisciplinary fashion. Through an iterative exploration process, students will determine best practice recommendations.

The final deliverables will be a useful tool for the Red Hook Community, through the Red Hook New York Rising community Reconstruction Planning committee, to be able to further envision the opportunities, challenges, and potential for such infrastructure. These proposals can help the community build an understanding to further their vision and dialogue with the Dewberry engineering team as the feasibility Study moves ahead.

Finally, this PSPD Delta Cities Coastal Resilience Studio will be a continuation of our post-Superstorm Sandy community resilience efforts and will be the inaugural class of the Delta Cities Curriculum. Beginning in the Summer of 2013, the Programs for Sustainable Planning & Development initiated the creation of a suite of studios/urban labs, workshops and conferences called the Recovery, Adaptation, Mitigation and Planning [RAMP] www.ramp.prattpspd.org.

RAMP was predicated on the imperative that community residents must be the foundation of any resiliency strategy. They are part of the team of “first responders”, experts in their communities, and the ones for whom resiliency is most directly relevant. As such, they are central to the development of any plan related to their communities to mitigate and recover from future disasters. This is particularly important in low- and moderate-income areas and in communities of color where issues of race and economic status have too often led to exclusion and isolation in planning and decision-making. This exclusion inherently gives many of our resiliency initiatives overlays of social and economic injustice. By including these communities we improve the innovation and quality of resiliency planning. We create more social capital (a critical element to resiliency), ensure rooted and on-going buy-in/stewardship and a greater possibility of government and private sector accountability in adaptation, mitigation and resiliency.

The Delta cities curriculum aims to build upon the success of RAMP and develop community capacity while also developing the professionals and aspiring professionals in: architecture, urban planning, environmental policy and design, sustainability, placemaking, and preservation to develop strategies and skills to support community-scale, innovative climate resilience. The Delta Cities Curriculum, a global partnership of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Design Schools, aims to develop global best practices for coastal resilience by way of collaborative research, studios/urban labs, workshops and conferences. following the RAMP pedagogy, Delta Cities will foster the sharing of curricula and lessons learned that emerge in other participating delta cities governments, educational institutions, community-based, environmental and policy organizations. Currenlty the PSPD has engaged academic institutions in Rotterdam, Hong Kong, Bangladesh and Jakarta. The findings from our Red Hook Resilience Studio will be shared at the upcoming Adaptation futures conference in Rotterdam.


JamieStein gita2 Tom Jost Resume DRAFT 4 zk 5
Jaime Stein is an Academic, Sustainability consultant and urban Researcher with more than 15 years experience in advocating for sustainable communities through community engagement, sustainability planning and policy analysis.

Currently, Ms. Stein directs the Sustainable environmental Systems program at Pratt institute. Her academic research focuses on systems thinking integrated with community self-determination, green infrastructure and community based resilience. She is co-Director of Pratt institute’s Recovery, Adaptation Mitigation & Planning (RAMP) initiative, is a founding member of the Stormwater infrastructure Matters (SWiM) coalition as well as the Collective for Community, Culture & the Environment. Jaime also serves on the NYC DeP’s Water infrastructure Steering committee and is the Mayoral Appointee for the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation.

Gita Nandan is an architect, designer, educator, and community resiliency leader. She is a founder and principal of the award winning design firm, thread collective, LLc., chair of the Red Hook NY Rising community Reconstruction Planning committee, and instructor at Pratt institute and the School for Visual Arts. Working in the field for over 15 years, Ms. Nandan has overseen design and construction on a wide range of project-types from single family homes to the first farms on NYCHA.

As a community leader in Red Hook, she is exploring how innovative community-wide projects such as micro-grids, integrated flood protection systems and community investment funds can transform the physical landscape of a low-income waterfront neighborhood. Gita received her Master of Architecture from UC Berkeley and is a registered architect in New York and New Jersey, an accredited LEED professional and Enterprise Green Communities Technical Assistant.

Thomas Jost directs the integrated urban strategies practice at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff. Tom has focused on exploring the drivers that influence sustainable urban development in order to create adaptive strategies to solve the challenges of climate change, carbon reduction and reducing fossil fuel dependence.

Tom has worked with the City of New York through the Special initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency to integrate coastal protection with community-based urban design strategies. for the NY State office of Storm Recovery, Tom helped to develop community resilience strategies for ten NYc communities. for the federal government, Tom was a member of the winning Living Breakwaters Rebuild by Design team. Tom’s career includes several transformative planning and design projects, including The High Line and the fresh Kills Landfill to Park conversion. Tom has a Bachelors in economics from Lehigh university and a Masters in urban Design from Pratt institute.

Zehra Kuz is a registered Architect in New York and Connecticut and Adjunct Professor with cce at Pratt institute, School of Architecture. She is the principal of oasis Design Lab, a collaborative office for architecture and engineered design. Prior she worked for edward Larrabee Barnes – J.M.Y. Lee Architects and later for SOM in New York where she was an active member of Professional Development Committee with a focus on environmentally conscious design.

Her approach to design is influenced by reciprocal relationships that exist between buildings, their inhabitants and the surrounding environment. Similar ideas inspired the exhibition “Autochthonous Architecture in Tyrol” and the symposium ‘The organic Approach to Architecture’ which she co- authored. Presently she is one of the primary investigators for fluid frontiers, a research funded by the NY Community Trust fund and focuses on Stormwater Management in Red Hook.