New York City is channeling their inner Donald Trump and proposing to protect Manhattan from global warming by building a 10-foot-high wall around it.
The project, nicknamed ‘The Big U‘, plans to build a 10-foot-high wall around Manhattan that would stretch for 10 miles, in a bid to protect New York City. City officials see global warming and sea level rise as a huge issue for the future.
“One of our goals is not just to protect the city, but to improve it,” Daniel Zarrilli, head of New York’s Office of Resilience and Recovery told Rolling Stone Tuesday.
Superstorm Sandy brought massive flooding to New York City in 2012, and damages that totaled $19 billion.
“The problem for New York is, climate science is getting better and better,” Chris Ward, former executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey told Rolling Stone Tuesday. “It fundamentally calls into question New York’s existence. The water is coming, and the long-term implications are gigantic.”
Sea levels have been rising by an average of 2.84 millimeters a year, or 0.111811 inches, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The low spots of Manhattan are roughly five feet above sea level, meaning, if sea levels rise continues at its average pace, it would take about 540 years for sea level rise to breach a 10 foot wall.
Of course, New York is more worried with the ‘once in 100 year’ storms, like Sandy, that brought an absolute deluge along with it.
Donald Trump, however, has been lambasted for his plan for a southern wall on the Mexican border. While the Manhattan wall isn’t designed to keep anyone out, it does have its detractors nonetheless.
“When it’s done, it’s just going to be a big dumb wall,” an unnamed architect familiar with the project told Grist Tuesday.
“Not only is New York City going to build the cheapest, ugliest version of the big dumb wall,” a caption from 6sqft.com reads on a story ran Wednesday. “There’s a very good possibility that it won’t even be big enough.”
Another concern being raised is that a flood wall protecting Manhattan could potentially make flooding in neighboring Brooklyn even worse, as water meeting the wall will have to go somewhere, as reported by Grist Wednesday.
Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) is the Danish architecture firm that proposed the wall. BIG has plans to make the wall appealing to residents of New York City by building skate parks, public pools, urban farms, bird sanctuaries, and marshland trails into the wall.
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