Resiliency Task Force Issues Report For New York City

Trees An Important Part Of Urban Resiliency

In the 20 years leading up to Superstorm Sandy, New York City experienced nine coastal storms and six heat waves. And we are no strangers to blackouts, with widespread power failures in 1965, 1977, 2003, and 2012.

These events have caused hundreds of deaths and billions of dollars of damage to buildings, infrastructure, and the city economy. We know that in the near future, heat waves will last longer and bring higher temperatures more often, heavy rains and storm surges will cause flooding more frequently, and there will continue to be power failures affecting large swaths of the city.

sustainable cities and urban forestry

New York needs resilient buildings that resist damage, protect occupants, and allow residents who must evacuate to quickly return to their homes. New York City enjoys some natural resiliency advantages. Gravity gives the city water supply enough pressure to rise five stories without electric pumps in many neighborhoods, and the natural gas supply has remained largely uninterrupted. City construction codes already contain emergency egress requirements, and go a long way toward addressing basic resiliency against flooding and high winds.

Urban forests and well-placed trees near building can make cities more energy efficient and more resilient to extreme weather.

Improving resiliency means filling gaps in what we already have. Yet we don’t know exactly what New York City’s next weather or power emergency will be, or whether it will happen next year or next decade. Because of this uncertainty, the Building Resiliency Task Force was reluctant to recommend many specific (and potentially expensive) retrofits to existing buildings. Instead, its proposals focus on removing the many barriers to resiliency improvements, sharing information, and giving owners options.

reforestation and carbon capture

For a copy of the full report, please click here>NYC Resiliency

climate change and deforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, carbon capture, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems.

Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information