Tags: resiliency

Reintroducing Natural Systems to Create Healthier, More Resilient Cities

Living Shoreline

Storm surges reached near record highs in Boston during an intense winter storm early this year. Storms are being seen with increasing strength and frequency throughout the country, and they’re being coupled with increasing costs of repairs and restorations. This has given rise to creative mitigation strategies to limit the impact of severe weather events.

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Saw Mill Creek and the First NYC Wetlands Mitigation Bank

Saw Mill Creek

New York City is in the process of creating its first wetland mitigation bank in the marshlands surrounding Saw Mill Creek on Staten Island.  Saw Mill Creek, a tributary to Prall’s Creek and the Arthur Kill, is encircled by the largest expanse of remaining salt marsh along Staten Island’s west shore. 

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Farther Afield: Seattle Bans Food Waste

Seattle Compost Violation

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) has recently added a $1 fine for having more than 10% of a household’s trash composed of food waste. Passed on January 1, 2015, this comes as the next step in Seattle’s attempt to remove compostable materials from ending up in landfills, following the city’s previous 2005 ban on recyclable materials under a similar $1 fine program and the encouragement of residents to compost via SPU-provided compost bins.

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Farther Afield: NYC Curbside Gardens

Well known to city dwellers, the urban landscape is dominated by impervious hard surfaces that require manmade sewage infrastructure to handle all rainfall and storm water management. In normally functioning environments, soil and vegetation absorbs this water and retains it to a certain capacity before runoff is generated.

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Farther Afield: Urban Heat Island Effect and the City

Summer 2014 has been quite moderate compared to other humid, sweat-drenched days of summer past. However, this relatively mild summer may just be an outlier. According to Climate-Central, not-for-profit climate research think tank, urban areas have increased their summertime temperatures an average of 2f during the day and 4f overnight.

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Designing Resilient Streets

This stretch of Columbus Avenue between 76th and 77th in Manhattan was recently re-designed to foster community and green space (Photo courtesy of Street Design Manual 2013)

How do you design a space to maximize its social and ecological resiliency? A green space where the community gathers and plants help clean the air and absorb storm water. You might think that such a space could only be achieved in a large park like Freshkills, but the newly released 2013 Street Design Manual demonstrates how the street in front of your doorstep can be transformed into a place that fosters social interactions and supports wildlife.

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Social Resiliency to Climate Change

When Hurricane Sandy struck last October, the capacity of infrastructure to protect us suddenly became vital. As buildings crumbled and the roadways flooded, neighbors reached out to help one another and create impromptu community shelters. How can we foster these types of social support networks can help communities be more resilient to climate change?

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Mayor Bloomberg Outlines 16 Initiatives to Make NYC Parks More Resilient

The comprehensive 438-page report, unveiled last week, represents the most significant series of forward-thinking initiatives and concrete proposals since Sandy. It builds on new data, also released recently by the Mayor’s office, which warns that New Yorkers will face even hotter summers, more rainfall, and more frequent major storm events.

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NYC Requests Bold Ideas and Creative Solutions for Resilient Waterfront Development

To engage best practices and innovative thinking from around the world, the city has invited designers and urban planners to submit plans for an 80-acre site in Far Rockaway, Queens. The FAR ROC [For a Resilient Rockaway] competition entries will provide inventive solutions to be applied directly in the Rockaways, as well as new ideas for other at-risk waterfront neighborhoods throughout the city.

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