Building a resilient NYC

Building a resilient NYC

New York City has released its preliminary Climate Resiliency Design Guidelines that provides step-by-step instructions on building a resilient NYC.

Globally, cities are facing increasing risks brought by climate change including more frequent and severe floods, droughts and heat waves, as well as sea level rise. As such, cities will need to become resilient to a variety of climatic risks, where climate resilience is the capacity of a system to absorb stresses imposed by climate variability and climate change. In a climate resilient city, both the population and infrastructure become more robust over time, enabling them to withstand the increasing impacts of climate change. One city that is leading the way is New York City.

A resilient NYC

New York City has recently released its preliminary Climate Resiliency Design Guidelines to provide architects, engineers, planners and other professionals with step-by-step instructions on how to incorporate projected impacts of climate change into the planning, engineering, construction and renovation of City-owned facilities. Some of the impacts of climate change will be:

Rising temperatures : The mean annual temperature is projected to increase between 4.1 and 6.6 °F by the 2050s and between 5.3 and 10.3 °F by the 2080s

More frequent heat waves : The frequency of heat waves is projected to triple by the 2050s to 5-7 heat waves per year

Increased precipitation : Mean annual precipitation is projected to increase 4-13% by the 2050s and 5-19% by the 2080s

Rising sea levels : The sea level is expected to continue to rise by 11-21 inches by 2050 and by 18-39 inches by the 2080s


Climate resilient City-owned facilities

To ensure City-owned facilities are resilient to a wide range of possible climatic extremes, the Guidelines:

The take-out

To build resilience to climate change, cities need to incorporate climatic risks into new capital projects from day 1.

*Robert C. Brears is the founder of Young Water Leaders and author of Urban Water Security (Wiley), The Green Economy and the Water-Energy-Food Nexus (Palgrave Macmillan) and the forthcoming title Blue and Green Cities(Palgrave Macmillan). He is Founder of Mitidaption, which consults on climate change risks to business, governance and society.