Coney Island was once an actual island, separated from south Brooklyn by a collection of wetlands, tidal marshlands, bays, inlets, and creeks. As these waterways were filled in connecting the island to south Brooklyn, new immigrants arrived by the tens of thousands to settle and start businesses, while others came to participate in the spectacle and splendor of the famed beach and Coney Island boardwalk.
Today Coney Island is a different place - one defined by its extreme vulnerabilities as a coastal community and the transformations that will soon result from a rapidly changing climate. While the impacts of Superstorm Sandy in 2012 placed an emphasis on issues of sea level rise and high tide influences, flooding issues have impacted Coney Island for the history of its habitation.
Cornell Landscape Architecture students in the LA 6010 - Integrating Theory and Practice studio undertook a "Green Infrastructure Plan for a Resilient Coney Island" in the Fall of 2017 to explore near-term and long-term scenarios for Coney Island. Objectives included developing a comprehensive strategy for a more resilient landscape; developing shoreline protections such as new topographies, constructed/living breakwaters, beach nourishment, armored shore, tidal barriers, and dike development; re-examining the relationship of Coney Island Creek to surrounding/associated land uses; and developing urban design strategies that sought to re-position Coney Island as a transformed urban archipelago for the next hundred years.
The studio was led by Professor Peter Trowbridge and visiting critic Mitch Glass. The following pages same from a booklet of studio work provided to our community partner, the Coney Island Beautification Project, at the end of the semester. Click on the following images to enlarge.
Landform Strategy by Jia Min Chen, MLA candidate '19:
Social Vulnerability Analysis By Elizabeth Fabis, MLA candidate '19:
Sea Level Rise Future Vision Rendering by Junwei Dai: