The Dryline project addresses New York City’s vulnerability to coastal flooding with a protective ribbon in Southern Manhattan – and is the winner of the global Bronze prize of the LafargeHolcim Awards, the most significant international competition for sustainable design and construction. Created by a consortium led by BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group, the 13km (8mi) long infrastructural barrier incorporates public space with the high-water barrier doubling as parks, seating, bicycle shelters and skateboard ramps. At the ceremony in New York City, Daniel Zarrilli, Director at the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, commended the project for taking an furthering an important City resiliency priority that will enable New York City to withstand and emerge stronger from the impacts of climate change.

Yolanda Kakabadse, President of WWF International and member of the Global Awards Jury 2015, praised the project’s sensitive blend of hard flood protection infrastructure and solutions for community needs that foster local commercial, recreational, and cultural activities. She enthusiastically commended the project for making a political statement by means of an architectural and urban proposition that demonstrates how the future challenges of sustainability can be a mechanism for enhancing our cities. “The jury had a difficult task with many high quality submissions, but could clearly see The Dryline’s potential as a model to be applied in susceptible regions around the globe, especially in regions with limited economic resources,” she said.

Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Design and Head of the Global Awards Jury 2015, commented on the scope of the project and its multifaceted problem-solving approach. “This is a bold proposition to tackle future challenges by means of a construction that offers a multiple value to society – turning a problem into an opportunity. The Dryline makes an outstanding contribution in terms of risk and resilience, and was selected out of more than 6,000 submissions from all continents to receive one of the top three global prizes,” he said in a video message.

Architects Kai-Uwe Bergmann, Bjarke Ingels and Jeremy Siegel from BIG (Copenhagen/New York) together with Matthjis Bouw from One Architecture (Amsterdam) emphasized the collaborative team approach in establishing the project which included a close involvement of the communities to ensure benefits to local neighborhoods are maximized. The project authors stressed how the project would provide flood protection that anticipates the effects of sea level rise and the likelihood of more intense storm activity. The project also takes the opportunity to enhance social infrastructure. “This project is about resiliency – it is about clever social solutions for generations to come,” Bjarke Ingels explained.

Daniel Zarrilli, Director of the New York City Mayor's Office of Recovery and Resiliency, highlighted the importance of the project in building social and infrastructural resilience. “New York City has seen the devastation caused by Sandy. We are firmly committed to addressing these threats, strengthening our neighborhoods, and building a more tenacious New York,” he said.

To learn more about the project and see a list of other winners, click here.