Rooting Resilience in Newburgh


School of Architecture | Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment •
Students | Lama Al-Hammad, Megan Bednarz, Amron Lee, Ben Matusow, Joseph Roukos, Ethan Schwimmer, Carl Shumate •
Faculty | Elliott Maltby, Gita Nandan •

This project offers an experiential take on the topic of air pollution. The first part of the design is a personal air filter Working from a broad range of research, students in the Summer 2021 Green Infrastructure Design-Build Studio explored nature-based design solutions in Newburgh aligned with current green infrastructure best practices, innovations, and community needs. Designs linked site and network planning with small-scale installations, urban planning, and metrics-based thinking around water, health, transportation, public space, and species diversity. Rooting Resilience in Newburgh revitalizes downtown as a network of activated green spaces connected through green infrastructure & urban agriculture.

A hand-drawn conceptual site plan and goals for student design proposals
In addressing stormwater overflow in Newburgh, students addressed other local stakeholder needs like career development, youth programming, and gathering spaces, connecting existing urban agriculture initiatives, connecting multiple transportation modes, and growing educational and economic opportunities in downtown Newburgh through a green infrastructure network linking the community to essential resources.
 A map of Newburgh with orange shapes and yellow to red gradients on top of it.
Newburgh is a designated environmental justice (EJ) community (orange zones on map). Compounding inequitable climate impacts, almost all of Newburgh is at the highest level of vulnerability on the U.S. urban head island scale (red areas on map). Source: NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation
 A map of Downtown Newburgh with elevation contour lines, sewer lines, and blue circles representing amount of stormwater runoff
Students analyzed a 472,428 sq. ft study area in downtown Newburgh, centered on Broadway from Johnston to Liberty Streets. Students calculated 339,000 gallons of stormwater runoff to the Hudson River during a 1.2” storm. Student proposals could manage an estimated 274,663 gallons.
A map of Downtown Newburgh with the student designs shown in green and grey
Broadway divides Newburgh, with little means for safe pedestrian movement. Broadway Beneath the Canopy reclaims pedestrian space, provides tree cover, captures up to 37% of incident stormwater from a 1.2” storm through permeable surfaces connected to stormwater storage, and provides a nexus between various strategies in the surrounding area.
 A cross sectional digital drawing of the Broadway redesign, with trees and a water tank below, with a plan of the street to the right
Broadway divides Newburgh, with little means for safe pedestrian movement. Broadway Beneath the Canopy reclaims pedestrian space, provides tree cover, captures up to 37% of incident stormwater from a 1.2” storm through permeable surfaces connected to stormwater storage, and provides a nexus between various strategies in the surrounding area.
A photo montage of the Food Justice Center, showing a park and brick building with green roofs
The mission of the Food Justice Center, proposed for a vacant lot, is to provide space for educational and economic opportunities around food justice to flourish with a multi-use development with a food coop and classroom spaces. Fruiting trees, rooftop gardens, and other GI manage up to 77% of the site’s stormwater.
A section of a constructed wetland, a perspective of a shipping container with a green roof, and a section of a green roof system
On an existing Ann Street parking lot, a public green event space and plaza are proposed. A marsh rain garden stores and filters rain, and shipping containers pop-ups house green roofs and walls. A pantry garden provides free edible produce to the public. Bike and pedestrian paths connect the sites.