Financial District Coastal Improvement Program

Financial District Coastal Improvement Program

Manhattan, New York City

The City of New York

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The Brief

The aim of the Financial District Coastal Improvement Program [FDCIP] is to design a multifaceted waterfront improvement initiative that mitigates flood risk, reduces the pollution of New York City’s waterways, creates a vibrant open waterfront and spurs increased real estate value from Battery Park to Corlears Hook.


Our proposal for the FDCIP is facilitated by moving the southernmost section of the elevated FDR Drive to a tunnel, which dually functions as an underground expressway and a catch basin for storm water overflow.  Minimizing traffic congestion and pollution at street level, improving junctions and moving them below grade to create new development opportunities and providing the potential to create a vibrant, accessible, open waterfront.

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The tunnel operates in three modes: typical day-to-day, heavy rains and storm surges. FDCIP also proposes an automated, movable seawall to be located south of the Brooklyn Bridge. As sea levels rise, water from the river will fill a reaction chamber that will signal a hydraulic piston system to raise the promenade platform at the river’s edge into a vertical wall, blocking storm surge waves from reaching the adjacent areas and driving the water into the tunnel and back towards the river. In the northern portion of the site, both the tunnel and a coastal extension will be used for flood mitigation while also providing new land for the necessary open space for residents of the rapidly growing Two Bridges and the Lower East Side neighborhoods.

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