The Rebuild by Design (RBD) competition was launched after the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy, and the winning designs have put a significant emphasis on green infrastructure (GI) as a means of achieving flood resilience in urban areas. Previous research in the field of urban stormwater management indicates that wide-spread implementation of GI remains a challenge, largely due to a lack of understanding of the required governance approaches. Therefore, by using a case study of Hoboken, for which the winning design was developed, this paper explores whether RBD provides governance structures and processes needed for the uptake of GI. Semi-structured interviews and desk study provided the data for an analysis of the presence of factors for supporting the transformative governance needed to facilitate the uptake of innovative solutions. Results indicate that RBD brought a greater change in terms of governance processes when compared to governance structures. In Hoboken, RBD created a narrative for long-term change, put GI as a preferred solution for tackling multiple challenges, and strengthened the local political buy-in. However, pitfalls were observed, such as limited funding provision, lack of regulatory compliance, economic justification and large investments required from public and private parties. The absence of these factors can hinder the overall uptake of the GI solution. Even though the design competition presents a novel approach to the field of resilience development, further steps should be made in understanding how the RBD methodology can be adjusted to provide results of equal quality in different settings (e.g., less developed regions, different governance contexts).

Note: Journal articles and conference papers (and links where available) are available under open access arrangements where possible. Otherwise please contact your institution’s library, the authors, or publishers to organise full access.

Last updated: 17th May 2018