Arverne East Community Plan

Far Rockaway, New York

Local Office led a team of architects, engineers, scientists and alternative energy experts to develop a master plan for a 45-acre coastal development in post-Sandy New York City. At a time when the prospect of re-building in coastal areas, let alone building anew, is highly-debated, the team was charged with demonstrating that design-led development can offer resilience for the proposed community and also mitigate the risks of neighboring properties.

The planned infrastructure anticipates sea level change, climate volatility and economic challenges. Twelve hundred units of housing and 160,000 square feet of retail are proposed for a transit-oriented neighborhood situated above the 100-year flood plain. A connected network of bioswales captures storm water, creates flood storage capacity in times of extreme weather events, and incorporated recreation paths to promote an active lifestyle. Solid waste, waste water and compost feed an anaerobic digester that produce irrigation water, electricity and green jobs. The development produces all its own energy and is designed as a resilient hub for the neighboring communities in times of disturbance.