Beach to Bay in Edgemere, Rockaway

Year_Semester: 2019 Fall

Course Number: ARCH 400, UA

Course Name: Delta Cities Coastal Resilience Studio

Location: Jamaica Bay, Edgemere, Queens

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Summary (75-150 words):

Rockaway Peninsula, as part of the East Coast Outer Barrier Islands, is a unique landform between Jamaica Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Defined by bodies of water from both sides, Edgemere’s (sea’s edge) oceanfront beaches welcome beach-goers and Jamaica Bay shores offer recreational activities such as fishing, kayaking, sailing, surfing. Spanning from Beach to Bay, this neighborhood is vulnerable to flooding from both sides even with tidal movements. 


Hurricane Sandy and its devastating impact in the Rockaway peninsula galvanized the attention of the city agencies, the local residents and the design community. With extensive city-owned-vacant-land to be developed, Edgemere is at the brink of an urban transformation. Whether the influencing drivers are environmental, economic or cultural, the gravity of the situation calls for action.


Since its conception, RISE (Rockaway Initiative Sustainability and Equity) (formerly RWA) has taken a leadership role facilitating activities to raise awareness, to protect and revitalize this underserved community. RWA/RISE has identified several community goals that would contribute to life in Edgemere. 


Students are invited to envision flood and stormwater protection measures, creating socio-economic opportunities and making space where innovative programs can unfold, including housing, recreation, environmental restoration on or not limited to the vacant lots throughout the neighborhood while connecting Beach to Bay. 


Community Partner(s)/Collaboration(s): 

RISE, Jeanne Dupont


Student Participants (Last, First): 

Jang, Won Jin

Merkulova, Arina

Ozkan, Ayse

Rotondo, James

Rzadkowska, Nicole

Todd, Marlena

Sampaio Valente Miranda, Luciano

Shi, Zai


Faculty (Last, First):  

Kuz, Zehra 


Supporting Images: 

  • Edgemere, Queens, NY: City-owned vacant land to be developed
  • Beach-to-Bay proposed master plan: IFPS imbued with public programs and a new, holistic approach to housing
  • Site plan: Integrated Flood Protection System (IFPS) and expanded food network (by J. Rotondo)
  • Spatial integration of IFPS with public programs for the neighborhood along the Norton Ave (JR)
  • Spatial integration of IFPS with public programs for the neighborhood (JR)
  • Proposed site work for the low-lying area as a tiered garden and sacrificial space
  • Proposed elevated housing development near the beach over stormwater management system
  • Elevated permeable public space for the new housing/neighborhood
  • site and housing development between boardwalk and the elevated train with exposed stormwater detention tanks for a new life-in-Edgemere