Urban planner and the founder of Outside New York, Carter Craft, spoke on Sunday night at Grace Van Vorst Church about rebuilding the areas affected by water damage from Sandy. The essence of his message, as far as I understood, was that water needs to move and flow and it needs access to places where it can do that harmlessly. Inlets, wetlands, canals, etc. Humans have tried to restrict water's natural inclinations and it's not working. He also stressed the need for interaction between people and the water. Boating, fishing, swimming, paddle boarding, etc. A lot of this touches on the notion of who has access to the water's edge, what socio-economic groups "own" the water's edge and restrict "non-owners" from accessing it. https://outsidenewyork.wordpress.com/
Rebuild by Design is a competition between some of the brightest minds in the design world. They have attempted to come up with solutions to rebuilding the Sandy affected regions in a sustainable way. I went to the presentation at NYU by the ten design groups who have been chosen as finalists. What excited me most about their plans were the strategies that involved the factors Carter Craft talked about....accessibility of water into the water's edges and the interaction of people and water.
Go to Rebuild by Design's website to see updates on their public forums in and around Jersey City.