In the wake of Superstorm Sandy and in response to Mayor Bloomberg’s call to make New York City more climate resilient, last month the Building Resiliency Task Force in New York City presented their report.
The report presents a comprehensive range of actions that must be taken in order to protect the city against future storms, flooding, heatwaves and blackouts – events that are accelerated by global warming.
It’s a fascinating read: educational, revealing, action-based and at times chilling.
The report addresses buildings adaptation, infrastructure upgrades, planning and policy, and disaster planning and response. What I found interesting though is that a raft of the recommendations are just what we’ve been pushing for in our industry – greener buildings and communities. Here are a few of the key recommendations;
- improve building envelope performance so that residents can remain home during a blackout, even when it’s a heat wave or the middle of winter;
- reduce urban heat island effect through tree planting and reducing dark roofing;
- harvest storm water to reduce flooding;
- improve a building’s water reserves and remove barriers to rooftop solar.
The list goes on, the majority of recommendations centred around making buildings and neighbourhoods less reliant on city-wide power, water and sewerage grids and more resilient in their own right.
Have a read, and consider what we’re doing in our own cities to deal with the same issues. My out-take is that making our cities more resilient is not just sandbagging against storms, but making them more comfortable, efficient, livable and affordable.