For this project, we decided that assuming the scenario of sea level rise, Coney Island as we know it is going to “die” if we do nothing. That by the year 2080, much of it will be partially or completely under water. The question we were interested in investigating was, would Coney Island be able to salvage its identity during the coming years as the island slowly disappears? We proposed a compact form of development that maintains the key aspects of Coney Island’s identity while sacrificing other parts of the city to the rising sea levels.
As a method of analysis, we chose to study the city through the lens of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, and acceptance. With each stage, we have identified key elements of the island that are both problematic and integral to its survival.
Currently the city is comprised of a depressed commercial spine, a concentrated area of amusements, segregated zoning and building types, and voids within its built fabric. By taking advantage of these existing voids, we proposed to fortify the commercial spine, create a network of amusement parks, and redistribute existing and new building types across the island. We focused our study on Mermaid Avenue, proposing interventions over time that were specific to the existing conditions and their projected development in response to sea level rise.