The Commercial Corridor Resiliency Project (Finalist)


Retail is the lifeblood of communities, providing jobs, critical goods and services, and neighborhood gathering places.

Throughout the region, retailers and their inventory, primarily located on the ground floor and basement of buildings, are particularly vulnerable to storm impacts.

The team recognized how commercial resiliency is tied to the physical and economic resiliency of whole communities. As local commercial activity goes, so goes the vitality of a neighborhood; protecting these areas cannot be separated from protecting whole neighborhoods. Flood protection and commercial revitalization can go hand in hand, supporting both goals in innovative ways: from local associations of merchants advocating for vitality and resiliency to utilizing commercial property itself as a pieces of flood mitigation infrastructure.

Source: Rebuild by Design

© HR&A/Cooper, Robertson | Rebuild by Design


The Commercial Corridor Resiliency project combines flood protection and commercial revitalization in at-risk coastal communities, through use of three major tools:

  1. Building mitigation improvements and activities by building owners and tenants, including behavioral modification, such as the creation of preparedness plans and use of deployable flood protection systems, and capital investment in building and tenant spaces.

  2. Corridor/neighborhood protection and revitalization through public capital investment with private involvement, such as flood barriers, raised streets and flood-protective streetscape improvements, sometimes accomplished through projects that also revitalize commercial areas.

  3. Organizational capacity through local entities such as merchant associations, business improvement districts and local development corporations to provide support for behavioral changes by small businesses and technical assistance to applicants for capital funding, as well as general economic development support for small businesses in at-risk areas. Some entities may be robust enough to guarantee loans for corridor-wide improvements.

Overall, the team’s proposal implements measures that maintain and enhance waterfront maritime and industrial activity while allowing for public access to the waterfront and restoring local ecology.

View a PDF of the team’s full proposal here

Source: Rebuild by Design

© HR&A/Cooper, Robertson | Rebuild by Design