Location: New Rochelle, NY, USA
Program: Echo Bay Public Waterfront and Housing Development
Area: 20 acres
The Existing Site is a stereotypical urban waterfront where the once rich wetlands have been reduced to polluted mudflats with heavily polluted industries and businesses such as auto repair shops and scrap yards and concrete processing sites. The site is also where the City’s Sanitation Dept. and the Wastewater Treatment Plants are located.
But despite the industrial history of the site and its seemingly unsightly and odor producing mudflats, the site has rich ecological potentials. The mudflats are an essential part of the ecosystem and produces rich habitats for birds and shellfish through the natural process of decay and regeneration. It also has the ability to remediate toxins in the soil and waters and prevents coastal erosion. The Project utilizes the existing natural and artificial ecological systems of the site to propose sustainable remediation, restoration and regeneration strategies for the new waterfront of New Rochelle.
As a means to build a sustainable waterfront public space that becomes a new vision for New Rochelle, we propose a two phase aproach where sustainable environmental remediation and wetland restoration of the site becomes a generative force in attracting better development for the area in the long term.
For Phase 1 we propose a Bioremediation Recycling Center to utilize on site bioremediation processes to recycle the contaminated soil. The existing infill will be excavated to restore the tidal wetland area to expand the existing biodiversity of the ecosystem of the mudflats. The Center will not only be financially sustainable but will also become the site of environmental education, research and community involvement. The site will transform into an ecologically and financially self-supporting development.
Friends of Echo Bay will coordinate educational, cultural, institutional, financial programs of the Project in partnership with diverse public/private entities. The wetland educational efforts as well as arts and culture, small business support programs will assist with the wetland restoration and maintenance efforts of Echo Bay.
For the wetland restoration to continue and maintain its objectives, the community will be asked to adopt and/or sponsor a marshland through the Adopt-A-Marsh! initiative. City, state, federal funding will also be pursued through collaborative initiative by the community and the educational and government partnerships.
Generative Urban Laboratory
For the restoration project to be financially sustainable, the dredged and excavated materials of the site produced during the site regrading will be recycled into topsoil to be sold. This will become a prototype restoration business development for other similar small scale wetland restoration projects where large funding is difficult and requires sustainable income.
View of Phase 1 Recycling Center
View of Phase 2 Housing
Director: Yehre Suh | Office of Urban Terrains
Team Member: Hyun Chung
Environmental Remediation Consultant: Barry Hersh
Civil Engineering Consultant: Buro Happold