Resilient Cities 2015

City in Focus: New York City after Hurricane Sandy

After "Superstorm Sandy", New York local and state government responded with recovery strategies and incorporated resiliency planning for future hurricane mitigation; while federal efforts promoted innovations in local resiliency preparedness with a foundation’s encouragement. Speakers in this session discussed New York City, New York State and federal resiliency initiatives and compared objectives, strategies, tools, funding, stakeholders, community engagement, and lessons learned. 

New York City’s Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency (NYC SIRR) were presented followed by NY State’s NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program (NYRCR) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Rebuild by Design competition focused on the Northeast. 

The Economic Lens of Disaster Planning:

Innovative alternative strategies for community-specific resiliency financing was also discussed during this two-hour session. Addressing costs requires robust economic analyses and creative tools to adapt preexisting investments and inform planning decisions while creating and capturing value in at-risk coastal communities. Small businesses exemplify this framework’s application: As drivers of recovery and the lifeblood of communities heavily impacted by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, they require an implementable, financially viable plan to rebuild, which may involve combining public and private financing. Discussions at this session highlighted a series of initiatives for innovative rebuilding, resiliency, and economic development strategies at the city, state, and national levels developed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Key themes covered in this Session: 

  • Resiliency-focused approaches and methodologies at different government levels;
  • Public and private financing for resilience;
  • Necessary strategic stakeholder partnerships;
  • Community based planning