“A lot of cities are still afraid to take these steps. But once they become more streamlined... I think it will be easier for towns in the Northeast to integrate these solutions.”
— Katelyn Liesner ’16 M.E.M.
While these approaches might not prevent significant home damage during major events, they will prioritize accessibility and dry egress and encourage smarter growth principles in the future. They also reduce the impact of the human development on floodplains, river channels, and other coastal ecosystems.
In some cases, community leaders might even consider more innovative strategies in urban design, such as a proposal to connect newly raised homes on the Fairfield waterfront with a network of boardwalks that improve access to the coast — and to the homes.
In Morris Cove, current efforts to control coastal damage mostly entail “hard” infrastructure, such as sea walls. The Yale team offered alternative solutions, including “hybrid neighborhoods” that utilize green infrastructure and raised parking platforms for long term access while avoiding the need for raised roads. Such phased practices, members say, would promote the resurgence of the historical wetlands and make the area more resilient to future climate conditions.
“A lot of cities are still afraid to take these steps,” said Katelyn Liesner ’16 M.E.M. “But once they becomes more streamlined in the future you'll see the benefits, and I think it will be easier for towns in the Northeast to integrate these solutions.”