Red Hook, Brooklyn is an area with great potential for development. Its proximity to Manhattan, low density, and low land costs make it an attractive neighborhood to developers. However, Hurricane Sandy revealed the neighborhood’s vulnerability to flooding. Climate change research suggests an increased frequency of flooding, which along with rising sea levels brings into question Red Hook’s future.
Through an intelligent response to redevelopment, Red Hook can respond to the issues of flooding while simultaneously creating a much denser, vibrant neighborhood. Updated zoning combined with an innovative set of locally produced building components will allow new development in the form of vertical infill. Stilting above the existing neighborhood in a sensitive, contextually responsive manner protects new development from future water damage without neglecting the existing vitality of the ground plane.
This infill becomes a market-driven process that will eventually result in a new elevated connective infrastructure. Red Hook’s natural wetland habitats will be allowed to slowly encroach below the stilted neighborhood, restoring its function as a protective barrier. The adaptability of the wood construction system and the reintroduction of the historical wetlands represents a new ecological approach to market-driven development, a forward-thinking plan that will transform Red Hook into a resilient coastal neighborhood.