State of Resilience: New York announces $20 Billion climate change protection plan

State of Resilience: New York announces $20 Billion climate change protection plan

On June 11, 2013, just eight months after Hurricane Sandy, New York announced a $20 Billion climate change protection plan. The plan relies heavily on the developing principles of sustainability and resilience, key areas of expertise and interest within DIALOG, particularly among principal Craig Applegath and resilience expert Alec Hay. The plan includes recommendations on how to bolster protection against rising sea levels, heavy rains, and drought, among many other things.

“Aside from the boldness of Bloomberg’s vision, one of the most important things about the plan is the signal it sends to other coastal cities about the necessity to take seriously the future impacts of climate change,” says Applegath. “It demonstrates that we are actually beginning to develop comprehensive plans for not only reducing our species’ harmful impact on the planet, but for how to build resilience to meet the ever more frequent shocks and stresses associated with severe weather events induced by our changing climate.”

Hay agrees that resilience planning is essential for cities, particularly managing utilities and resources in the face of the growing number catastrophic events related to climate change.

“One of the most important aspects of building urban resilience capacity is to balance the demand and dependency upon critical utilities and city resources. This will necessarily include diversity and adaptability, as well as redundancy of critical systems,” says Hay. “It comes down to the question of how the city will continue essential function and rapidly recover following the next catastrophic event. That necessitates a community/neighbourhood resilience scheme within a strategic city-wide resilience plan.”

New York officials have taken to referring to New York as the world’s largest living sustainability laboratory and we will certainly be paying close attention as this plan gets rolled out. Find Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s entire speech regarding the announcement below and the entire climate change protection plan titled “A Stronger, More Resilient New York” here.

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