West Village Houses Resiliency Plan

New York, New York

Spanning six riverfront blocks of New York City, the West Village Houses Cooperative was built in the 1970s in accordance with Jane Jacobs’ vision for low-rise, high density, moderate-income housing that fit the scale and vernacular of the surrounding neighborhood.

During Superstorm Sandy, the coop was ravaged by both the surge of the Hudson River, which breached the coop’s westernmost units, and the failure of the public stormwater utilities, which caused backups in the lower-level apartments. Local Office was brought in to develop a thirty-year plan for upgrading the landscape and streetscape of the entire coop watershed to create resiliency in the face of sea level rise and climate volatility, to reduce the coop’s dependence on the aging city infrastructure, and to create a network of open spaces that reflect the shareholders’ collective needs and aesthetics.

The first pilot project from the Resiliency Plan, a surge protection berm at one of the points of vulnerability adjacent to the Hudson, is expected to be completed in late 2016.