In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, MoMA PS1 and MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design had a call for ideas in the form of a five minute film illustrating possible responses to the threat of rising sea levels in the Rockaways. In response, we generated 71%, a film made in collaboration with Horns + Tails Productions, illustrating a new paradigm for resilient coastal communities, consisting of culturally specific, multifaceted breakwater strategies, involving interventions in the landscape, infrastructure and architecture. ( The title , 71%, refers to the percentage of the earth covered in water.) Our proposal was among 25 entries that were jury selected for exhibition at the VW Dome 2 in Rockaway Beach as part of EXPO1: NEW YORK in the spring of 2013.
The first part of our scheme involved creating artificial reefs to protect against storm surges. For the Rockaways, we suggested the use of recycled shipping containers and old subway cars. Another element was the installation of underwater turbines and/or wind farms in bay areas to harness the energy of the storm surge and convert it to power that can be stored for emergency use.