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What If New York City…Got Slammed By a Hurricane?

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What If New York City…

New York City continues to impress me. Since Hurricane Katrina hit two years ago, America realized that we are completely unprepared for large scale disaster. So what do we do about it? Today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the “What If New York City…” design competition, hoping to address this issue for NYC. The competition is extremely well designed and complete, posing that Hurricane Kirk, a Category 3 storm hits New York and displaces thousands.

Because of the density of New York City, the traditional solution of trailers doesn’t work. The competition website will take you through the fictional coastal neighborhood of Prospect Shore, where 38,000 people would be displaced after the storm. You can meet the people that live there, see what happens to their homes, and what happens the first 200 days after the storm.

At that point, the rest is up to you. What is a housing solution that could be used for a year to five years after that? How does it incorporate principles like density, rapid deployment, flexibility, cost, and eco-concepts like reusability and sustainability?

You must be 18 or older to enter. You may work as an individual or as part of a team. You must register between October 15 and November 23, 2007. Submissions are due by December 14, 2007. Then, in January 2008, finalists will be selected and given $10,000 to develop their ideas, which will be shown off in May.

Kudos to New York City, Mayor Bloomberg, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Architecture for Humanity for setting forth this challenge and making it utterly clear what kind of devastation would occur with an incident such as this. Even if you are not considering entering the competition, check out the What If New York City… website. It is an interesting place to click around.

Cool challenge, wish I had design skills!

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