City Council: New York Must Plan for Resilience at the Local Level

The city of New York has a new mandate for resilience planning.

2 minute read

October 12, 2021, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

A sign indicates closures on the New York Subway as the result of heavy rainfall from the remnants of Hurricane Ida.

Ameer Mussard-Afcari / Shutterstock

The New York City Council responded to the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Ida by requiring the city to make a comprehensive plan for climate resilience.

The City Council's vote will "step up pressure" on the city's government to honor promises made after Superstorm Sandy that failed to protect the city from the ravages of a storm that made landfall on the Gulf Coast in an around New Orleans, according to an article by Anne Barnard.

As noted by Barnard, the new legislation shifts the focus of previous resilience planning programs on Lower Manhattan to prioritize resilience at the neighborhood level: "The legislation also seeks to remedy years of concerns that slow-moving plans to protect Lower Manhattan’s Financial District have eclipsed equally urgent needs in working-class neighborhoods, like those in Queens and Brooklyn where people died in last month’s flash floods caused by remnants of Hurricane Ida."

"The Big U" plan approved after Sandy would have built a 10-mile U-shaped barrier from 57th Street on the west side, down the battery and up the east side to 42nd Street, according to an article picked up by Planetizen in October 2017, but quickly ran out of momentum.

Since then, the city did draft and approve a zoning rewrite to build more resilience measures into the built environment along the city's 520 miles of coastline.

The source article linked below includes numerous soundbites from local experts and advocates discussing the benefits and shortcomings of the new bill.

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