The largest movable structures on Earth could save New York City from another Hurricane Sandy, but will they get built?, D.J. Rasmussen (2309867)
On the night of October 29th, 2012, Hurricane Sandy ravaged New York City with water levels nearly 14 feet above normal. The storm’s flood claimed the lives of 44 New Yorkers, caused nearly $20 billion in damage, and shut down both the subway and the New York Stock Exchange for multiple days. In an effort to prevent catastrophic floods from wreaking havoc once again on New York City, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are currently exploring several flood control options, including massive close-able gates called “storm surge barriers”. Storm surge barriers are among the largest moving structures on Earth and have prevented catastrophic floods in London, St. Petersburg (Russia), and the Netherlands. But while storm surge barriers may be technically viable options for New York City, they must overcome multiple hurdles before breaking ground. This includes obtaining support from elected officials and the public. However, busy New Yorkers may not be aware of the Army Corps’ proposals, some of which carry significant environmental, economic, and safety risks. Public works planning that is more participatory and democratic can encourage fairness in project outcomes, make government agencies more accountable, and also avoid costly implementation delays. I create a short film to highlight the plans for storm surge barriers and their alternatives in an effort to connect audiences to resources where they can voice their opinion on the proposed projects.