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HUD Announces Winning Proposals in the Rebuild By Design Competition

New York, New York City, and New Jersey will receive funds to begin implementation of six proposals.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced yesterday that six design proposals have been selected as winners of HUD's Rebuild by Design competition. HUD is allocating approximately $920 million to New York, New Jersey, and New York City to begin implementation of the winning projects that will make the region more environmentally and economically resilient. This funding was included in HUD's most recent allocation of approximately $2.5 billion in Community Development Block Grants- Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) for the Sandy region.

Rebuild by Design was created in the summer of 2013 by President Obama's Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force as a way to develop ideas capable of dramatically improving the physical, ecological, and economic resilience of coastal areas. The competition has produced regional, cross-disciplinary collaboration between state and local governments, the ten design teams, regional nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and the public. The Rockefeller Foundation has been the lead financial supporter of the competition. Teams worked to create coalitions with local and regional stakeholders to develop locally-responsive proposals to improve the resilience of waterfront communities.

The winning proposals come from six interdisciplinary teams representing some of the best planning, design, and engineering talent in the world. These inventive proposals are a blueprint for how communities can maximize resilience as they rebuild and recover from major disasters. HUD chose the winners for their excellence in design and resilience and their engagement with local communities. These ideas will serve as a model for how we can mitigate the effects of climate change and natural disasters in communities throughout the Sandy region, the United States, and the world.

The six teams with winning proposals are:

  • The BIG Team - The BIG U (East River Park) - Manhattan
  • The Interboro Team - Living with the Bay (Slow Streams) - Nassau County, Long Island
  • MIT CAU+ZUS+URBANISTEN - New Meadowlands - Little Ferry, Moonachie, Carlstadt, Teterboro
  • OMA - Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge - Hoboken, Weehawken, Jersey City
  • PennDesign/OLIN - Lifelines - Hunts Point, South Bronx
  • SCAPE/Landscape Architecture - Living Breakwaters - Tottenville, Staten Island

The $920 million is being awarded to New Jersey, New York, and New York City to assist with implementation of winning proposals in these areas:



Proposal Design Team


New Jersey



       $150 M

New Jersey

Lower Hudson


       $230 M

New York

Nassau County

The Interboro Team

       $125 M

New York

Staten Island

SCAPE/Landscape Architecture

         $60 M

New York City


The BIG Team

       $335 M

New York City

South Bronx


         $20 M

The following teams were among the ten finalists.

  • HR&A Advisors with Cooper, Robertson, & Partners
  • Sasaki/Rutgers/ARUP
  • WB/unabridged with Yale/ARCADIS
  • WXY/WEST 8.

At the announcement, Secretary Shaun Donovan described the winning proposals as "truly transformative and serve as blueprints for how we can safeguard the region and make it more environmentally and economically resilient." He expressed the hope that Rebuild by Design will inspire other public-private partnerships to spur innovation and resilience in other parts of the country and around the world.

"From implementing storm mitigation measures along the southern shore of Nassau County to fortifying the Hunts Point section of New York City, this funding will go a long way toward protecting New Yorkers and their communities," said Governor Andrew Cuomo. "HUD continues to be a tremendous supporter of New York's infrastructure needs, and I am pleased to be working with them to build back stronger, safer, and better than ever before."

"There is no doubt that climate change is real and that it is here," said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. "As we learn the lessons of Superstorm Sandy, these bold, inventive projects will bring together some of the brightest minds and best ideas to help develop a storm-resilient strategy and ensure that communities throughout New York are armed with innovative practices to protect against future disasters."

"The Rockefeller Foundation is keenly focused on the global priority of building greater resilience," said Dr. Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. "There are no simple solutions, but we do have the best minds in the world figuring how to do things better and smarter. The Rockefeller Foundation funded the Rebuild by Design competition to create a space for talents of every stripe to break the models and construct innovative and creative ways to build for our future. The winning proposals will be beneficial to all of us in both directly improving Sandy-impacted communities, but also by providing models around which successes can be replicated."

"The American Society of Landscape Architects is pleased that landscape architects are front and center in the winning projects selected in the Rebuild by Design competition," says Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA, executive vice president and CEO of the American Society of Landscape Architects. "Landscape architecture is where nature meets the built environment. The landscape architects on the winning teams are providing innovative, sensible, and effective solutions for helping communities adapt to climate change. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, their contributions will improve the resiliency of coastal communities that are still vulnerable to the unpredictable impacts of climate change and rising sea levels. This is an exciting opportunity for landscape architects and other designers that has the potential to guide all future development."

The Rebuild by Design competition is a partnership between government, philanthropy, and nonprofit organizations. Lead funding for the effort has come from the Rockefeller Foundation, with support from the JPB Foundation, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, the Hearst Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, and the New Jersey Recovery Fund. The competition was administered in partnership with the Municipal Art Society, NYU's Institute for Public Knowledge, Regional Plan Association, and Van Alen Institute. 

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