McGregor Coxall Shortlisted for New York Competition News / Awards / 15.07.2013

The Sydney and Melbourne based urban design and landscape architecture practice, McGregor Coxall, have been short listed as one of ten from 117 international entries to be considered for Phase II of the ‘For a Resilient Rockaway’ [FAR ROC] competition in Queens, New York. McGregor Coxall’s master plan embeds environmental and social resilience into the 50 hectare site through adaptable design initiatives that respond to climate change impact on coastal communities. The FAR ROC competition came about in response to the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy on low lying ocean front communities in the Greater New York Area. The Rockaways Peninsula was one of the most severely impacted areas, with storm wave surges, fire and flooding affecting the entire peninsula. Sea level rise and climate change will worsen current impacts. Developers and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development promoted the use of the 120 acre Queens competition site as a laboratory for New York City to identify and explore best practices in waterfront development for the 21st century and beyond. McGregor Coxall designed a modern beach community comprising 2300 residential units and 47,000 sqm of commercial space, that rapidly transforms into an emergency response centre for low lying surrounding communities. Using nature as the engineer, the master plan proposes a replenished coastal dune system and parkland supported by a vibrant array of community and recreation facilities including a surf club, coastal park, wetlands, walking trails, and sports park, all connected to the beach access ways and LIFEline. Utilising the space under the elevated MTA rail line, the LIFEline was proposed as a generous new regional pedestrian and cycling spine linking neighbouring communities together. It also adaptively converts into a community escape path and refuge above the flood waters when code red hurricane conditions prevail. This resilient design approach is made possible by incorporating flood doors on all ground floor business and shops and an Emergency Response Centre located at the top of the landmark BEACON tower that would house emergency power generators, fire fighting equipment, a rooftop evacuation helipad and inflatable rescue boat services.

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