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What if New York City...
What if New York City...

Purpose of the Competition

Competition Overview

The Competitors are asked to temporarily house a displaced population in a hypothetical disaster scenario in a realistic but fictitious neighborhood.

In a neighborhood of about one square mile (2.59 square kilometers), up to 38,000 households will seek housing for some length of time, from one month to up to five years. The City seeks to provide Provisional Housing within the neighborhood for as many residents as may be practical.  Permanent housing is not in the scope of this Competition.

The housing should be ready as soon as possible. Most of the displaced will stay with friends and family, move outside the city, or wait in congregant shelters until the Provisional Housing is ready. These living situations have proven to be problematic for anything but the short term after a disaster. The sooner housing is ready, the smoother each person’s recovery will be.

For the individual household, each unit should be safe and reasonably spacious. It should include all essential facilities that people expect in their homes: places to sleep, cook, eat, work, bathe, play, and store things.

The units should also fit together and integrate with the surrounding areas to form a neighborhood. Competitors should carefully consider how this housing will not only provide safe places to sleep, but also access to places where people can work, shop, and enjoy their lives—an interface to the life of the city. 

Provisional structures will be used during a time in which the entire region will be struggling through recovery. Building materials may be scarce and labor in high demand. Construction costs will be at a premium. Public resources will also be stretched. Competitors are encouraged to explore Green Building Practices and respect the climate, and weather patterns of the region.

Inhabitants of the housing will have a diverse set of needs. Some will be mobility-impaired or have special health needs. For others, safety and privacy may be their chief concern. Competitors are encouraged to accommodate as wide a variety of specific needs as is practical. 

Competitors are asked to select appropriate sites in the hypothetical neighborhood of the Disaster Scenario included in the Competition Materials; taking into account that the limited availability of land and the undetermined path of post-storm development. Most sites will become available only after debris clearance and infrastructure restoration.

The Provisional Housing should evolve with the neighborhood. Deployment and Deconstruction will likely take place incrementally, first as cleared sites become available, and later when permanent housing starts becoming available. Submissions ideally should account for the disassembly or Deconstruction of Provisional Housing as well as potential re-uses in future disasters or other non-disaster uses.

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