Resilience + the Beach (Finalist)


The team's research and design strategies focus on the value of “the beach,” a place of special significance to memory, state and local economies, and a vital component of coastal ecosystems.

New Jersey’s northern shore is an ideal place to study the identity and function of the beach, since it includes the three coastal typologies found across the eastern seaboard of the United States: Barrier Island, Headlands, and Inland Bay. Over the past century, Jersey Shore tourism has evolved to play a significant role in the state’s economy and in its regional cultural identity. Yet, tourism practices have also impacted the ecology and resiliency of the beach and shore communities.

The shore’s relevancy is deeper than the narrow strand of sand where the ocean waves fall. In New Jersey, sandy soils extend inland to the expansive, ecologically rich pine forests (the Pine Barrens). Twenty-two coastal lakes and myriad rivers and creeks extend estuarine and wetlands environments inland miles from the coast. Ultimately, the Jersey Shore’s future resiliency must be linked to projects that deepen the physical extent, ecological reach, and cultural understanding of the beach.

Source: Rebuild by Design

© Sasaki/Rutgers/Arup | Rebuild by Design


The Sasaki team has two approaches to resiliency for the Jersey shore.

The first is a regional program for the Shore, building on the strategic strengths of each community and developing collaborations spanning from Barnegat Bay to Raritan Bay.

The second enacts local interventions in three sites that will serve as replicable “pilot” solutions. The pilot sites represent the three coastal typologies. The Barrier Island strategy diversifies the traditional beach economy, allowing the economic, social, and ecological health of communities to evolve as the environment of the shore shifts and changes. The Headlands project introduces a series of layered strategies with integrated social and ecological components to address these challenges. The case study is Asbury Park, a community known for its diverse cultural history, its memorable and iconic beach, and its series of significant coastal lakes. Finally, Keansburg, Union Beach, and Hazlet provide a pilot site for Inland Bay. The proposal reclaims the inland bay’s underutilized water spaces as public places, allowing for habitat migration, increasing recreational opportunities, integrating water management, expanding ecological education, and improving water quality. The project reimagines the waterways of the inland bay as new public space, providing recreation, as well as ecological and economic benefit.

View a PDF of the team’s full proposal here

Source: Rebuild by Design

© Sasaki/Rutgers/Arup | Rebuild by Design