Eric Adams Unveils Resiliency Plan

Date: 2021-09-26 05:37:25

Friday, Democratic mayoral nominee Eric Adams unveiled his resiliency plan for New York City to address the rising threat of climate change to New Yorkers’ safety, underlined by the destruction and loss of life caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida earlier this month. He was joined by local elected officials and resiliency advocates outside Haber Houses, a NYCHA senior development in Coney Island that is one of more than two dozen public housing sites citywide still rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy. 

Adams’s plan, developed in consultation with leading resiliency advocates and experts, focuses on keeping New Yorkers physically and financially safe from climate events — in the short-term and in the future — as well as shoring up the city’s ability to thrive and grow long-term through the adverse effects of climate change.

You can view the full plan here or attached:

“Coney Island and other marginalized communities in New York knew the hard truth before many in this city: Climate change is here. Making New York City more resilient and protecting our people from extreme weather is not some far-off consequence of the things we do today—it is an urgent public safety issue, right now. As the flooding from Ida underlined with devastating effect, our focus can no longer solely be on climate change prevention; it must also be on the interventions we need right now to warn, educate, and insulate New Yorkers from damage and death,” Brooklyn Borough President Adams said. “We must be bold and ambitious. We need a City government that protects future generations while taking care of those most in need right now–especially those lower-income communities and communities of color who are most impacted by climate change, and who will benefit the most from investments in resiliency that create green jobs. With preparedness and protection, we can create the New York City we want to live in — and we want our grandchildren to live in — while becoming an example for the world. That is the mission powering my resiliency plan.”

Highlights of the Adams Resiliency Plan for NYC include:

Creating an early warning system for extreme weather that can notify New Yorkers regardless of primary language, level of education, income status or disability status;

Coordinating through OEM to rate adverse climate events on a straightforward Level 1 through 3 scale; each rating corresponds specific emergency responses and tasks from City agencies;

Ensuring DEP’s Flood Activation and Notification procedure and NYC’s Flash Flood Emergency Plan are optimally aligned and develop notifications for basement dwellings;

Launching a public education campaign about storm and flood risk;

Bringing basement apartments into compliance with City codes and regulations to ensure the safety of residents;

Developing a climate resilience retrofit incentive program that builds off successful City-funded initiatives such as NYC Accelerator, helping to advance retrofits under the Zoning for Coastal Flood Resilience, mitigate temporary displacement of residents, as well as support those that do need to move while work is done;

Speeding up the deployment of federal aid already allocated to New York City in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and ensuring a more efficient process in anticipation of Federal Infrastructure bill funds;

Appointing a climate resilience czar within the City Planning Commission to weigh in on all land use actions and make suggestions for addressing resiliency;

Engaging with New Yorkers to help the City take action against future adverse climate events, like painting their roofs white to combat extreme heat and supplementing DEP cleaning of catch basins;

Fast-track developed but unfunded resiliency projects at NYCHA developments, as well as in communities across the five boroughs such as the Brooklyn waterfront, East Harlem, East Shore of Staten Island, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Hunts Point, and Lower Manhattan;

Conducting a climate stress test of the city to determine very urgent priority infrastructure needs and the economic impacts of these simulated events;

Requiring a single comprehensive citywide resiliency plan that includes neighborhood-specific needs assessments and overall city priorities and goals;

Integrating New York City’s Climate Resiliency Design Guidelines into building codes and zoning for all buildings and infrastructure, public and private;

Evaluating neighborhoods at extreme risk of flooding to determine homeowners that are potentially eligible for a City-funded buyout in order to move families who request;

Commit to one percent of the City budget for parks, which includes operational funding in addition to capital funds that will be used to build smart climate infrastructure such as recreation spaces that can double as water retention areas in emergencies;

Utilizing the City capital program and significantly increased investment in resilience and climate infrastructure — including stormwater sewers, storm surge flood barriers, and natural rainwater management infrastructure — to create a massive climate jobs program that partners with CUNY to help train workers;

Reassessing the cost of burying power lines and utilities —  taking into account the rising costs associated with keeping them above ground — and exploring a public works initiative with a mix of public and private funding streams to bury these lines given a feasible cost estimate;

Making our riverbanks more absorbent to flooding by investing in wetlands and natural areas and protecting wetlands from development;

Increasing access to low-cost resiliency loans for homeowners and small business owners who need help financing resiliency retrofits;

Valuing our natural resources by developing a natural asset policy that defines the value of ecosystems in New York City and incorporates that valuation when considering the cost/benefit of building over the ecosystems;

Planning for supply chain disruptions when delivery routes are closed in other parts of the country and world;

Improving self-sufficiency and resourcefulness by building out urban agriculture and other industries to produce our own necessities so the city is prepared to self-sustain in emergencies.

Exploring public-private partnerships and incentives to fund improvements, including everything from co-investments on major infrastructure projects to expedited permitting for developers who prioritize project resiliency.

“The Waterfront Alliance is working to ensure all candidates for office this November embrace new, bold, and targeted strategies for New York City to meet its climate future. Protecting and preparing New Yorkers from the effects of the climate crisis must be on par with the standing and greatness that is New York City, and as robust as the City’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We are pleased that the Borough President’s climate resilience plan is a very solid step forward in that direction,” said Cortney Koenig Worrall, president and CEO of the Waterfront Alliance.

“Coming from a community that was hard hit by Sandy, I’m pleased that climate change has become a kitchen table conversation. We are now seeing more frequent and more fierce weather events. Lessons learned from Superstorm Sandy has taught us that we must be proactive as we face a world that is poised to be affected by the negative effects of climate change. It is imperative that government and community join hands in correcting our past actions as we prepare for a better world.” said Pamela Pettyjohn, President of Coney Island Beautification Project.

“New York City is actively facing the reality of a changing climate, witnessing extreme heat and flooding firsthand. Our leadership needs to understand the urgent danger of climate change and the necessary actions that will prepare our city for the years ahead. We applaud the Adams Resiliency Plan for NYC, which prioritizes climate resiliency, public health, and green jobs. The plan outlines several important initiatives, from creating green buildings, fast-tracking resiliency projects, and creating a climate jobs program, all of which will be essential to our fight against climate change. We look forward to working with the next mayor to make these programs a reality,” said Julie Tighe, president of the New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV).

A noted champion of environmental issues, Eric has been endorsed by NYLCV and was recognized by Resilience PAC as a Resilience Builder. Earlier this year, he released “A Greener City, a Brighter Future,” a broad environmental agenda with a range of policy proposals that will take on disparate health impacts facing communities of color, invest in sustainable infrastructure built and maintained by local green jobs, and advance a plant-powered future.

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