In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) enacted the Rebuild by Design (RBD) Competition to promote development of innovative resilient projects. AECOM, working with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is developing the RBD Meadowlands project. This ongoing project is a real-time iterative study in balancing social, environmental and community benefits while realizing flood risk mitigation and increased resilience for communities located within 100-year floodplains.

Given the complexity of combined flood risks from both stormwater and tidal surge, the approach to the Meadowlands is multidisciplinary in nature; requiring a fully-integrated team of engineers, urban planners, landscape architects, ecologists, environmental scientists, and economists working in concert.

We are developing multi-benefit, integrated flood protection solutions which improve public spaces, reduce impacts to the natural environment and improve future resilience for social, environmental and economic systems. Solutions to both inland and tidal surge flooding can be implemented separately, or together, to address a wide spectrum of risks while providing civic amenities and economic revitalization, ultimately connecting design, funding and implementation strategies.

Image caption (above): Integrating nature and nature-based solutions for resilience from storms can create civic benefits that can improve neighborhoods and enhance the lives of the people who live, work and play in them.