Rebuild by Design


An international design team consisting of the MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism (US) and Dutch Delta Collective (NL) was charged by Shaun Donovan, United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, with a study and design for the reconstruction and redevelopment of the northeast coastline of the United States, after the passage of hurricane Sandy in 2012. The team combines the cutting edge research and local knowledge of MIT and the best in water design and management from the Netherlands, such as De Urbanisten, Deltares, Volker Infra Design, ZUS and 75B. - More info on

New Meadowlands

The New Meadowlands project articulates an integrated vision for protecting, connecting, and growing this critical asset to both New Jersey and the metro­politan area of New York. Integrating transportation, ecology, and development, the project transforms the Meadowlands basin to address a wide spectrum of risks, while providing civic amenities and creating opportunities for new redevelopment.

The Meadowpark is a large natural reserve made accessible to the public will offer flood protection. It connects and expands marshland restoration efforts by the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, and makes them accessible. Around and across the Meadowpark the team proposes an intricate system of berms and marshes. These protect against ocean surges, and collect rainfall, reducing sewer overflows in adjacent towns. The Meadowpark adds value to surrounding development through its views and recreational offerings.

The Meadowband defines the edge of the Meadowpark, offering flood protection, connections between towns and wetland, and opportunities for towns to grow. The Meadowband consists of a street, Bus Rapid Transit line, and a series of public spaces, recreation zones, and access points to Meadowpark. The Meadowband brings together different systems (such as transport, ecology, and development) and different scales (from local to regional), as well as local residents and visitors from further afield who will gather at this new civic amenity.

The park and the band protect existing development areas. In order to be worthy of federal investment, it is imperative to use land more intensively. We propose shifting land-use zoning from suburban (single story, freestanding, open-space parking around structure) to more urban. Single-story warehouse zones should be up-zoned to become multi-story; areas around the Meadow­band would be zoned to include multi-sto­ry residential opportunities. These decisions over time will enhance the brand and identity of the basin, increase up the value of the land, and the ratable tax returns for the towns concerned.

Within the larger framework of New Meadowlands, we have identified three pilot areas to host the first projects. The northern edge includes sections of Little Ferry, Moonachie, Carlstadt, Teterboro, and South Hackensack. The eastern edge shown here contains Secaucus and a portion of Jersey City. Finally, the southern tip consists of South Kearny and the western waterfront of Jersey City.


US Army Corps of Engineers, State of New Jersey, Office for Recovery and Rebuilding, Environmental Protection Agency, Hackensack Riverkeeper, Meadowlands Commission, Meadowlands Conservation Trust. Municipalities/ Mayors of Little Ferry, Moonachie, Secaucus, Jersey City, and Kearny, Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSEG), Rutgers University, Warehouse owners

Design team members

MIT CAU: Alan Berger, Eran Ben-Joseph, Case Brown, Michael Foster, Kate Goldstein, Alexander D'Hooghe, Jihak Hong, Alexis Howland, Miho Mazereeuw, Heidi Nepf, Ariel Noyman, Jonah Rogoff, Alicia Rouault, Yaccov Ruthenberg, Andrew Turco, Lawrence Vale, James Wescoat, Sarah Williams, Wenfei Xu, Meejin Yoon, P. Christopher Zegras.

ZUS + Urbanisten: Kristian Koreman (Director, ZUS), Elma van Boxel (Director, ZUS), Jos Hartman (ZUS), Christopher de Vries (ZUS), Florian Boer (De Urbanisten), Dirk van Peijpe (De Urbanisten), Eduardo Marin (De Urbanisten), Mindert de Vries (Deltares), Frans Klijn (Deltares), Pieter Vos (75B), Merel Snel (75B), Philip Labouchere (Volker Infra Design), Barry Bader (Volker Infra Design), Frans Faber (Volker Infra Design).

Additional material

Press kit available here

Fall 2013