CASE Research Selected for Governor's Island Pilot Program

March 26, 2024

Governor's Island

Research from the Center for Architecture, Science, and Ecology (CASE) and the School of Architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute was chosen by the Trust for Governor’s Island to be part of its inaugural Climate Solutions Challenge, a call for small busi­ness­es, entre­pre­neurs, and non­prof­its to test and demon­strate urban cli­mate solu­tions.

Marcus Carter, an assistant professor at RPI and a founding partner at OBJECT TERRITORIES, will pilot a new iteration of Inter­tidal Objects, habi­tat-friend­ly coastal pro­tec­tion units designed in col­lab­o­ra­tion with OBJECT TERRITORIES, students from the School of Architecture, CASE industry member The Fort Miller Group, and after NATURE, as part of this year’s Water Abun­dance Chal­lenge. The ini­tial call for pro­pos­als by the Trust for Governor’s Island sought “projects that uti­lize water to help pow­er cli­mate solu­tions that grow blue and green jobs and cre­ate health­i­er com­mu­ni­ties.”

The team’s research explores ways to support a constructed shoreline that will better mitigate against storm surges. By using geometrically shaped and faceted concrete forms rather than hard sea walls, or riprap, the team is working to understand what materials and shapes will best promote micro-habitats that encourage algae and small aquatic lifeforms, and, in turn, protect the shoreline as the climate changes. Rensselaer’s students have the unique opportunity to take their work outside of the classroom, engaging in design, fabrication, and observation of the installation.

“Governor’s Island is an extraordinary site for the next installation of this research,” Carter said. “The mix of fresh and ocean water combined with the proximity to millions of people in New York City at a time when the impacts of climate change are making clear the critical need for water habitats in urban environments will be a good test for Intertidal Objects.”

OBJECT TERRITORIES has previously led installations of Intertidal Objects on Randall’s Island in New York City and in Hong Kong.

Five other pilot programs were also selected as part of the Climate Solutions Challenge. Their pilot sites will also pro­vide valu­able oppor­tu­ni­ties to engage with the Island’s rapid­ly grow­ing audi­ence of near­ly one mil­lion annu­al vis­i­tors through pub­lic demon­stra­tions, work­shops, train­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties, and oth­er initiatives.

For more information on the Climate Solutions Challenge, visit the Governor’s Island website or read this article in the Architect’s Newspaper.

Written By Jeanne Gallagher
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