NYC considers Manhattan land expansion to fight climate change

March 19, 2019 by  
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On Thursday March 14, Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City unveiled a $10 billion plan to prepare lower Manhattan for the inevitable invasion of sea level rise predicted with climate change. The plan was announced alongside the release of the Lower Manhattan Climate Resilience Study , which provides a complete assessment of predicted climate risks, including sea level rise, storm surge, extreme rainfall and heat waves. The plan includes extensive construction of permanent and smartly integrated “pop-up” barriers, as well as a proposal to extend the city’s footprint by 500 feet between the Brooklyn Bridge and the South Ferry Terminal. Lower Manhattan gets expanded According to the study, the buildings between the Brooklyn Bridge and South Ferry Terminal are too close to the coast and too densely concentrated with utility and subway lines for the integrated barriers planned for other neighborhoods. Space for additional infrastructure is highly limited. The proposed concept is to build out the land by approximately two blocks at a higher level, so as to act as a raised barrier (called a berm) that protects the Financial District from high tides. Related: Women are essential to climate resilience in the Caribbean — here’s why De Blasio’s plan to expand the city’s footprint into the East River is not unprecedented. In fact,  Gizmodo  reports that Ellis Island, Rikers Island, the FDR Drive, the World Financial Center and Battery Park City are all built on in-filled land. Before urbanization, Manhattan was a marshy island that served as a natural buffer, bearing the brunt of waves and protecting mainland – so it’s no wonder the city built on this land is vulnerable. New York City’s former mayor, Michael Bloomberg had also proposed a similar land addition during his term. Other adaptation measures New York City’s new climate change plan also includes $500 million for resilience projects to protect other lower Manhattan neighborhoods, including some affordable housing projects. These resiliency projects include flip-up walls and barriers that can be deployed if a storm is approaching. The discrete, low-impact designs maximize recreational space – such as parks, coastal walkways and fitness areas — but can be flipped-up to provide a fortified wall during emergencies. Other planned adaptation measures include: -a five-mile sea wall around Staten Island – sand dunes around the Rockaways -$165 million to elevate the esplanade in the Battery (construction to begin in 2021) -a combination of flood barriers and deployable walls in Battery Park City -$3.5 million for water and sand-filled temporary barriers in Two Bridges and Financial Districts (to be installed in preparation for the 2019 hurricane season) Mayor de Blasio argues that some of the funding for this expansive project should come from federal funds. In an op-ed in New York Magazine , de Blasio argued that protective measures to address climate change-related risks, such as the invasion of the sea , should be just as important as any federal military equipment. “It will be one of the most complex environmental and engineering challenges our city has ever undertaken and it will, literally, alter the shape of the island of Manhattan,” de Blasio wrote. “The new land will be higher than the current coast, protecting the neighborhoods from future storms and the higher tides that will threaten its survival in the decades to come.” New York City at risk The Lower Manhattan Climate Resilience Study was funded in part by city and state funding from post-Hurricane Sandy recovery dollars. The hurricane that pummeled the city in 2012 was a wake-up call for city officials and demonstrated the imminent threat of sea level rise and storm surge. Sandy caused $19 billion dollars of damage and claimed 43 lives. Electrek reported  that 72,000 buildings in New York City, worth a combined $129 billion, are within a predicted flood zone. By other estimates , 37 percent of lower Manhattan is at risk of storm surge by 2050, and by 2100 the level of the ocean is expected to be 18-50 inches higher than its current level. Related: Climate change is wreaking havoc on Italy’s olive harvests Equitable and environmental concerns Environmentalists are concerned that the build-out will have negative impacts on marine and coastal ecosystems and point out that the Mayor’s plan lacks an in-depth assessment of the environmental repercussions and cost-benefit analysis. Still others argue that the plan focuses on the big banks and big business areas of lower Manhattan but ignores other economically vulnerable areas throughout the five boroughs. Given the magnitude of the build out and the expected permitting processes, the additional land may not be a reality for at least five years, during which time environmental impact assessments could be carried out. Most city officials, however,  argue that with “$60 billion of property, 75 percent of the city’s subway lines, 90,000 residents and 500,000 jobs,” the proposed lower Manhattan area is a clear, though perhaps not equitable, priority for the city and ideally for the nation. + NYC Economic Development Corporation Images via Shutterstock

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NYC considers Manhattan land expansion to fight climate change

New Map of Sea Level Rise Projections Highlights World’s Most At-Risk Cities

February 8, 2013 by  
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Skynavin / Shutterstock.com A new map of global sea level rise projections highlights the cities that are expected to experience the highest of rising tides by 2100. The map , put together by Mahe Perrette of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, lists Sydney, Tokyo and Buenos Aires among the most threatened cities. Read the rest of New Map of Sea Level Rise Projections Highlights World’s Most At-Risk Cities Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: antarctica ice , Climate Change , climate change research , global sea level rise map , global warming , ice sheets , melting ice , Perrette sea level map , Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research , sea level rise NYC , sea level rise predictions

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New Map of Sea Level Rise Projections Highlights World’s Most At-Risk Cities

Pretty Cornege-Preston House is a Passive Solar Sink in New Zealand

February 8, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Pretty Cornege-Preston House is a Passive Solar Sink in New Zealand Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Bonnifait + Giesen , Cornege-Preston House , Daylighting , double glazing , eco design , green design , New Zealand , passive solar design , rainwater capture , solar sink , sustainable design , sustainable wood , underfloor heating , wool insulation

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Pretty Cornege-Preston House is a Passive Solar Sink in New Zealand

China Introduces New Fuel Emissions Standards in Wake of Record-Breaking Smog

February 8, 2013 by  
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Record-breaking pollution in Beijing and environmental problems across China have forced the government to issue a timetable for oil companies to meet new standards for cleaner fuel. The laws focus on automobile diesel, as vehicle emissions become an increasing concern in China as car ownership increases rapidly. Read the rest of China Introduces New Fuel Emissions Standards in Wake of Record-Breaking Smog Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: air , air pollution china , air quality Beijing , c lean fuel China , China environmental destruction , China fuel standards , China toxic emissions , fuel sulfur , General Administration of Quality Supervision China , oil companies , record-breaking smog levels Beijing , toxic emissions

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China Introduces New Fuel Emissions Standards in Wake of Record-Breaking Smog

Massive Storm Could Dump Historic Levels of Snow in the Northeast United States

February 8, 2013 by  
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Manhattan during 2010 snow storm , Shutterstock Municipalities from New York to Maine are preparing for what some experts say might be a historic storm that could dump record levels of snow in some places. The New York Times reports that as many as 2200 flights across the region have been cancelled to prepare for the storm . The storm could hit hardest on Friday night when the arctic jet stream is expected to meet with the polar jet stream somewhere between New Jersey and Nantucket, according to Tim Morrin, who is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service . Read the rest of Massive Storm Could Dump Historic Levels of Snow in the Northeast United States Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: amtrak , blizzard , boston , coastal flooding , flight cancellations , great lakes , historic snowstorm , Maine , MBTA , national weather service , NE , New England , News , Northeast storm , NYC , Penn Station , record snowfall , storm preparation , storm watch

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Massive Storm Could Dump Historic Levels of Snow in the Northeast United States

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