Governors Island Climate Research Hub Hopefuls Include Ex-Bloomberg Deputy Mayor

The City: Governors Island is awash in ideas for a new climate research hub on the New York Harbor haven — including from influential former deputy mayor Dan Doctoroff and several major universities.

Doctoroff, who served as development czar under Mike Bloomberg, is among 37 individuals and groups who delivered 12 separate proposals to the Trust for Governors Island. The Trust, which issued a call this summer for ideas to anchor a climate center on the 172-acre strip of land, announced the list on Wednesday.

The proposed science center is among several sweeping changes in the works for Governors Island, as THE CITY reported last November. The City Council approved major land use changes for the isle in May.

Doctoroff is making a bid for the climate project through Sustainable Development Commons, a nonprofit he founded just this month, state records show. The group will be led by Josh Sirefman, another Bloomberg administration alum who helped craft Cornell University’s winning bid for its technology-focused Roosevelt Island campus.

Both men are co-founders of Sidewalk Labs, the urban technology company backed by Google’s parent company, Alphabet which served as a technical advisor on the proposal, a spokesperson for Doctoroff said. But the pair say they are pursuing the Governors Island venture independently from Sidewalk.

Doctoroff, who was responsible for Hudson Yards and other megaprojects, has long been directly involved in the planning and stewardship of Governors Island.

He oversaw its early redevelopment begun in the late 2000s, after the U.S. Coast Guard handed the land and its historic buildings to the city. Read more>>