Climate change research center proposed for Governors Island

October 7, 2019

Photo by Michael Vadon on Flickr

A research center dedicated to climate change could open on Governors Island, the New York Times reported on Sunday. The city is seeking proposals for a “major center for climate adaptation research, commercialization, conversation, and policymaking,” to be built on the southern portion of the island, according to documents obtained by the Times. The city has looked to transform Governors Island into a 24/7 community since taking over control of the 172-acre site from the federal government in 2003.

“Being an island in the middle of the harbor–there’s no better place to put the heart of climate adaption and education,” Michael Samuelian, who served as the head of the Trust for Governors Island until June, told the Times.

The center, which could take up as much as 4.2 million square feet on the island, would become the “anchor” of the island’s development. It could also bring in revenue to maintain the upkeep of Governors Island.

Alicia Glen, a former deputy mayor who now leads the Trust, told the Times the goal of the center is to make the island “a living laboratory in how you deal with these issues in an urban context.”

The city has asked consultants to create a plan and “pitch deck” to show universities and foundations within the next two months. By the end of the year, the city will solicit bids from developers.

The public review process for rezoning 33 acres of the land’s southern side began last summer, with new development including offices and cultural institutions. Last month, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council opened the first year-round tenant dedicated to arts and culture on the Island in a 19th-century warehouse. Although a federal deed restricts residential development on Governors Island, student dorms and hotels would be permitted.

“Governors Island is a model for resilient design at the center of NY Harbor, and is poised for growth as a laboratory for research, education and public engagement surrounding the critical issue of climate adaptation,” Clare Newman, the president and CEO of the Trust, said in a statement.

“We’re excited to explore the potential for Governors Island to serve as a platform for solutions as surrounding communities across NYC grapple with the effects of a changing climate.”

[Via NY Times]


More: Policy
Location: Manhattan

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