HR&A Advisors, Inc. with Cooper, Robertson & Partners
New York

Connect, Diversify, and Protect a Waterfront Neighborhood

Red Hook’s waterfront economy is supported by a mix of industrial, commercial, and creative uses. Its maritime industrial past left its edges vulnerable to still water flooding during Sandy. Innovative edge protections, including an elevated Brooklyn Greenway and integrated flood protection system, are slated for study and investment. However, these protections will take time, and Sandy uncovered several other vulnerabilities including gaps in the commercial corridors; exposure of the Red Hook Houses public housing complexes; and a lack of connectivity between Red Hook and the rest of the city.

Red Hook can become a better-protected, more integrated community with more resilient commercial businesses and better connections through projects including: flood protection for existing stores and buildings along Van Brunt Street; an increase in commercial activity on higher ground along Columbia Street, connecting the neighborhood on the waterfront with Red Hook Houses and encouraging denser development along both corridors; development of new public housing to relocate ground floor tenants to higher elevations in new structures; and connecting Red Hook north to Brooklyn neighborhoods along Columbia Street through reconfiguration and flood protection of the Hugh L. Carey (Brooklyn-Battery) Tunnel. New regulations supporting innovative commercial development and support for collective action by Red Hook businesses would help to implement these solutions.