We last reported on the Big U plan last year, a striking proposal by Bjarke Ingels to fortify lower Manhattan and one of the winners of the Rebuild by Design competition. Since then, we’ve sat with members of the Big U team, learning what it’s going to take to get the neighborhoods along the lower Manhattan waterfront to agree to some of these groundbreaking measures, which include reconfiguring park spaces and installing deployable walls. Nonetheless, the first part of the plan is underway along the East Side and recently the Big U team released this new video explaining the project, aptly renamed the “Dry Line.”
The video shows how underutilized spaces along the waterfront can be converted into flexible community spaces and athletic facilities. The animation shows how protective barriers can be rethought to be temporary, decorative, cool looking and even porous. The good news is that Big U was awarded $335 million in the competition to proceed. If completed, the “Dry Line” would cover 10 miles of Manhattan’s waterfront, impacting half a million residents and workers downtown.