climate change

Design, Green Design, Policy

Via US Army Corps

In response to intensifying hurricanes that have hit the New York and New Jersey coastal region in recent years, the U.S. Army Corps is proposing a handful of measures to reduce the risk of storm damage. The proposals include constructing barriers, either in-water or land-based, and floodwalls that would stretch over 2,000 square miles across New York Habor to protect the area’s waterfront neighborhoods.

The barriers, already being used in cities like Stamford, Conn. and London, would have gates that remain open to let ships pass, but close when a hurricane is advancing (h/t WNYC). After completing a study that looked at nine high-risk areas, including 25 counties in NY and NJ, on the Atlantic Coast, the Corps this month will present the proposals at public information sessions across the two states.

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Green Design, New Jersey, Policy, Urban Design

Via ORG Permanent Modernity/Regional Plan Association

Released last fall, the Regional Plan Association’s (RPA) Fourth Plan includes 61 recommendations focused on improving and expanding the area’s deteriorating infrastructure, transportation, and affordability, much of which revolves around climate change and its transformation of the region. According to the report, more than one million people and 650,000 jobs are at risk of flooding due to rising sea levels. In the plan, the RPA ambitiously recommends that the New Jersey Meadowlands, 21,000 acres of low-lying wetlands, becomes a national park as a way to mitigate impacts of climate change (h/t Curbed). Designating the region’s largest wetland as a national park would restore the natural habits, protect nearby communities, and create a recreational space, becoming, the report says, a “Climate Change National Park.” The Meadowlands National Park would adapt and grow with climate change by drawing and redrawing the boundaries of the park as coastlines change.

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Transportation

mta, subway, nyc subway

Workers pumping seawater out of the L-train tunnel after Hurricane Sandy in 2012, photo courtesy of the MTA on Flickr

The subway’s crippling, century-old infrastructure is not the only reason behind the system’s constant delays and disruptions. The other problem involves about 13 million gallons of water, or more depending on the rainfall, that gets pumped out from underground on a nearly daily basis. A perpetual hazard, water can drip onto electrified equipment, cause a short and create chaos, as the New York Times reported. After ineffectively using only sandbags and plywood to fight flooding in the past, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has turned to more high-tech solutions, like flood-proof doors and inflatable gaskets, which will be a part of its $800 million emergency action plan to fix the subway.

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City Living

flooding, climate change, superstorm sandy, nyc weather

Flooded Battery Park Tunnel after Hurricane Sandy. Image: Timothy Krause via Flickr.

With the October 29th anniversary of superstorm Sandy approaching and storms leaving the world’s coastlines waterlogged, 6sqft recently covered a new report predicting rising sea levels and a growing flood risk. Now a new study, published Monday, found that New York is almost halfway through a 500-year span of rising seas that began in 1800–and the worst is yet to come. But according to the Washington Post, this increased likelihood of flooding has a silver lining.

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maps, Policy

Density of population and infrastructure in the projected 2050 floodplain. Image: RPA.

Hurricane season is impossible to ignore, and as the October 29th anniversary date of Superstorm Sandy approaches, the Regional Plan Association (RPA) has released a report titled “Coastal Adaptation: A Framework for Governance and Funding to Address Climate Change” that warns of the imminent threat of rising sea levels and outlines a strategy to protect the many vulnerable stretches of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. According to the report, 59 percent of the region’s energy capacity, four major airports, 21 percent of public housing units, and 12 percent of hospital beds will be in areas at risk of flooding over the next 30 years. RPA research found that even in light of these projections, the region’s climate change planning tends to be reactive and local rather than pro-active and regional–and it’s not nearly enough.

Find out more about who’s at risk and what can be done

Policy

Photo via pixabay

Following President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement in June, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order that committed New York City to honor the standards of the accord, which is an international negotiation aimed to mitigate climate change worldwide. On Tuesday, de Blasio released an action plan that details ways to lower the city’s carbon footprint, reduce 10 million metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2030 and introduce a citywide single-stream recycling program by 2020. New York City is the first metropolitan area to release a Paris Agreement-compatible action plan, according to the report.

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Policy

michael bloomberg, mayors challenge, bloomberg philanthropies

The former mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, announced a new philanthropic project on Monday aimed at investing and empowering the country’s cities. The $200 million program, called the American Cities Initiative, will help mayors push for policies that deal with climate change, gun violence, public health and immigration. As the New York Times reported, a major component of Bloomberg’s project will be a “Mayors Challenge,” which will award six-and seven-figure grants to mayors who draft interesting policy proposals.

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Policy, Red Hook

Flooding during Hurricane Sandy left many residents of Red Hook without basic services for weeks. While many had hoped the city’s $100 million initiative would help protect the Brooklyn waterfront neighborhood from a 100-year flood event, a new feasibility study shows the plan would actually only protect it from a 10-year flood event. As the Wall Street Journal reported, the city plans on scaling back the flood-protection system in Red Hook because of its high costs, and the study revealed a larger project could cost about $300 to $500 million more.

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City Living, Green Design, Policy

Prospect Park, Prospect Park Alliance, grilling spots NYC

After a few days of extreme heat, Mayor de Blasio launched a $106 million initiative on Wednesday to protect New Yorkers from the risks of dangerously high temperatures this summer. The Cool Neighborhoods program aims to lessen the effects of the “urban heat island effect,” a problem that occurs in New York City due to its abundance of heat-holding asphalt and concrete and lack of greenery. According to Gothamist, to reduce heat-related health risks and deaths, the city plans on planting more trees on streets and in parks, supporting forest restoration efforts and painting roofs of homes in vulnerable areas with reflective white paints.

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maps, Policy

This week marked the beginning of hurricane season and experts predict storms will be worse than usual, especially following President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord on Thursday. To better inform New Yorkers about the risks of rising sea level and storm surges, the Waterfront Alliance, a nonprofit that works to protect waterfronts, released a Harbor Scorecard, as reported by the Brooklyn Eagle. The interactive scorecard lets users view each neighborhood by its waterfront safety and coastal resiliency. The group found that more than 400,000 New Yorkers face a 50 percent risk of a major flood by 2060.

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