Now fast-forward to October 29, 2012. Established Category 1 Hurricane, Sandy barrels up the Eastern seaboard targeting the coasts of Long Island, New York City, New Jersey and southern Connecticut. A storm surge as high as 14' is predicted for Lower Manhattan, and 6-10' is predicted for Long Island and whats worse - there's nothing we can do about it. We can only sit and watch as the water's rise slowly, changing millions of lives forever within a few hours time. And it does. Homes act as fishbowls - filling up with saltwater as much as 6', destroying everything it tocuhes. The power grid is suceptible to salt water and all wires need to be replaced. Neighborhood scale fires erupt as a result of wire masts being broken off homes because of heavy winds. Cars are destroyed. Sand from nearby beaches inundate streets leaving several feet behind making streets impassible. All low-lying coastal communities become disaster zones in the aftermath - and these same communities more than 5 months after the storm are ghost towns because people cannot live in a home with no heat, water, floors, walls, etc.
Homeowners now face three basic options if their home is deemed 50% or more damaged: raise the existing home above the FEMA Base Flood Elevation (BFE), relocate to a new location away from water, or demolish the existing home and rebuild a FEMA compliant modular home. While these solutions are being implemented in the short term, there is a major problem with them. The combination of all three of these vastly different scenarios will disrupt the unique character and cohesion of once pleasant communities and it leaves these communities still hanging without a comprehensive plan that is very much needed. One home may be below the BFE that was unaffected by the flood, while a home just down the block is raised 8 feet or more above the street with unattractive monolithic concrete steps needed just to get into the front door.
New ideas are needed now to address this problem. The 3C competition aims to gather ideas from around the world which will focus on two main things: New resilient coastal home typologies and fitting that new prototype into a newly developed neighborhood block context. The combination of both things must be thought of and developed in tandem. A new and successful idea will rethink both homes and existing and outdated zoning codes, building codes, site planning, and master planning of an entire neighborhood within a coastal community.