New York city buildings

New York Plan Targets Infrastructure, Community Resilience

Following drenching rain, furious storms, sweltering heat and bitter cold, the plan outlines actions to continue adapting to impacts of climate change   January 29, 2024

By Dan Hounsell, Senior Editor 

As climate change continues to wreak havoc in the form of stronger and more destructive hurricanes, wildfires and rising coastal waters, institutional and commercial facilities, along with their surrounding communities, are expanding efforts to more effectively protect operations, equipment, occupants and residents and improve overall resilience. One U.S. state has now rolled out an aggressive program to do just that. 

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul recently announced a resilience plan to protect New Yorkers from extreme weather. Following an onslaught of drenching rain, furious storms, sweltering heat and bitter cold, the plan outlines multiple actions for New York to continue building more resilient communities and adapt to the impacts of climate change. To ensure New Yorkers are prepared for expected storms, the program will: 

  • make investments in statewide disaster response to improve training and preparedness and address evolving threats as they come 
  • equip localities with the tools to fend off floods and keep the lights on by directing the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to supply local and county partners with additional generators, high-flow pumps and flood barrier technology. New York will fund and deploy flood barrier technology, generators, pumps, and ancillary equipment for counties to use and maintain. 
  • develop a comprehensive adaptation and resilience plan to ensure state entities and localities can equitably adapt to climate change, including assessing impacts on disadvantaged communities, ecosystems, infrastructure, and vulnerable economic sectors 
  • release the Climate Projections from the New York State Climate Impacts Assessment, an investigation into how climate change is affecting communities, ecosystems, infrastructure, and industries.

The information will help New Yorkers make informed choices about climate adaptation.  

To ensure the infrastructure is prepared for extreme weather, the program will: 

  • repair aging flood control projects and remove hazard dams. Flood control projects, including 95 miles of walls and levees, will undergo rehabilitation, removal or repairs 
  • launch a supercharged Green Resiliency Grant Program to build green infrastructure across the state, including green roofs and permeable pavement 
  • Make state agencies more sustainable and climate resilient by investing funds to directly support state facilities and provide the resources to initiate procurement practices that prioritize sustainable and climate-resilient design practices 
  • Update the regulatory scoring method for funding water infrastructure to prioritize asset management and resilience to climate change 

Dan Hounsell is senior editor for the facilities market. He has more than 30 years of experience writing about facilities maintenance, engineering and management. 


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