Janus

Project Description

As the title of this proposal suggests, JANUS is a new vision for Bridgeport that leverages the simple and fluid reversal of fronts and backs of buildings to redefine this neighborhood’s urban fabric and provide it with viable land above the flood plain for future development. Most properties in this neighborhood remain uninsurable due to their location within the flood plain – during even light rains the streets become flooded to the curb. This proposal shifts the current street grid to occupy the space of back-yards, allowing for a re-grading of the street without the need to relocate utilities. The low lying areas that were streets before would be redefined as a system of pedestrian paths whose natural slope and permeable surfaces would help keep adjacent lots dry. Additionally, the vacant and unkempt lots that characterize many of these streets would be used as retention basins during flood events, and provide a recreational amenity connected to the system of pedestrian paths during the rest of the year. What was once the backside of these properties becomes an enlivened street, while the front side opens onto new trails and gardens.