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What Does a Resilient City of Tomorrow Look Like?

Updated: Jan 21, 2020

Earlier this month, Mayor DeBlasio unveiled a $10 billion resiliency plan for Lower Manhattan, the economic heart of NYC. Lower Manhattan is home to one out of every 10 jobs in NYC, 44% of which do not require a college degree. The Mayor’s plan comes at a salient time as Karp Strategies gets ready to kick off new projects that focus on resiliency.

We recently had the opportunity to learn more about other resiliency initiatives happening in the New York region at City of Tomorrow: Real Estate, Architecture & Design Summit at 92Y, where we heard from Illya Azaroff, Founding Director of +LAB Architect; Jainey Bavishi, NYC Office of Recovery and Resiliency Director; Justin Schultz, Principal of HR&A Advisors; and Lauren Zullo, Director of Sustainability at Jonathan Rose Companies.

The Karp Strategies team is encouraged by the multi-sector, multi-pronged efforts to prepare NYC for climate change impacts. Jonathan Rose Companies is in the process of building a new affordable housing development with considerations intentionally designed to combat urban heat island effect, mitigate flood impacts, and foster community connections. While sea level rise poses a serious threat to NYC, Justin Schultz of HR&A called attention to a different climate change risk: floods caused by rising groundwater levels, which could lead to frequent subway and electric grid outages. The city’s resiliency efforts aim to draw the development away from flood-prone areas on the shoreline through downzoning. In response, Illya Azaroff of +LAB Architect raised the issue of equity and the need to protect the home values of the residents who currently live in those neighborhoods.

To echo Azroff, both the private and public sectors need to recognize when climate change preparation calls for surgery instead of a band aid. Given the fact that over 400,000 New Yorkers currently live in potential flood zones, Karp Strategies is working hard to build a more resilient NY.

Missed us at the City of Tomorrow Summit? Connect with us at future events and let us know if you’d like Karp Strategies to attend your event.

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