2021 Honor Award

Un-Built Projects

River Ring Master Plan

Brooklyn, New York

Landscape Architect:

James Corner Field Operations

Project Team:

Two Trees Management (Client)
James Corner Field Operations (Master Plan & LandscapeArchitecture)
Bjarke Ingels Group (Master Plan & Architecture)
Langan (Marine & CivilEngineering)
TMS Waterfront (Marine Engineering, Coastal Resilience Modeling &Survey)
eDesign Dynamics (Natural Resources & Ecology)
Philip Habib & Associates(Environmental & Traffic Engineering)
Sive Paget Riesel (Environmental Counsel)
FriedFrank (Land Use Counsel)


About the Project:

Project Statement
The River Ring proposal represents a resilient and environmentally innovative approach to waterfront
development in New York City. Anchored by a first-of-its-kind public waterfront park that incorporates
privately-funded resiliency infrastructure, this mixed-use project serves as a model for responsible
development as we confront climate change and continued environmental challenges along our city’s
The project features breakwaters, marshes, and wetlands that take the energy out of storm surges, reducing
flooding and erosion and better protecting the North Brooklyn waterfront. As a new model for urban shorelines,
River Ring will enhance access and connectivity of the public waterfront, restore natural habitats, elevate the
standard for urban waterfront resiliency, and transform the way New Yorkers interact with the East River.

Special Factors
A Shifting Regulatory Environment: River Ring is one of the first waterfront proposals in NYC that incorporates
privately-funded resiliency infrastructure and provides a framework for future waterfront policy that elevates
waterfront development standards. Working closely with regulatory agencies, the project incorporates nearly all
of the recommended ecological interventions established by the NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation and
the Army Corps of Engineers which emphasize nature-based solutions for increased coastal resilience.
Environmental Stewardship & Ecology: The waterfront park and in-water space are designed to engage,
educate, and inspire New Yorkers to embrace the East River and support essential habitat restoration and
environmental stewardship. Formerly an oil terminal, existing conditions include a predominantly hard edge
with limited native vegetation. By optimizing current flow and wave energy, the project will restore salt marshes,
wetlands, oyster beds, and tidal flats, enriching wildlife and habitat while creating new protected areas for
recreation and environmental education.
A series of pre-design charrettes were held to ensure the park would meet the needs of the local community
and address issues of environmental equity. Unique park programming directly reflects input from these
visioning sessions, including that it be a place for exploration and public engagement. This is critical for
charting a collective community response to climate change and protecting the natural resources that will make
this response effective in the long run.
Integrated Co-Benefits: River Ring has been thoughtfully designed to include integrated co-benefits. It provides
diverse park experiences and recreational opportunities; promotes protected water access and uses; increases
resilience, habitat, and ecological benefits; creates thoughtful architecture; and offers educational
opportunities. Together, these reinforce each other and create a stronger, more interconnected network. This
proposal is also a call to action for New Yorkers to expect more from development and developers, and an
example that such expectations can be met.

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