TOWARD A RAINPROOF NYC
TRANSFORMING THE CONCRETE JUNGLE INTO A SPONGE
On September 1st, 2021, New Yorkers were confronted with a new reality. Across the five boroughs, communities were inundated with heavy rain, causing massive flooding in places that have never flooded previously. Cars, bikes, and pedestrians were stuck in floodwaters; rain poured into subway stations, turning staircases into waterfalls and disrupting service; floodwaters gushed into basements and ground floor apartments. Over 3.15 inches of rain fell during a single hour, breaking a record set only ten days prior by Hurricane Henri.
24 hours later, the water seemingly vanished, but the psychological imprint of the storm will last for years to come. The flooding caused between $16 – $24 billion in property damage in the Northeast, left 150,000 homes in NY, NJ, PA, and CT without power and over 18,800 tons of debris. Most shockingly were the 43 deaths in the New York Area – 11 of whom drowned in their own homes, trapped by flood waters in basement apartments. New York City was simply not equipped to handle the intensity and duration of the rainfall.
To prepare New York City for increased heavy rain, Rebuild by Design, One Architecture & Urbanism, the Mayor’s Office of Climate & Environmental Justice, the NYC Mayor’s Office of Housing and Recovery Operations, and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection have launched the working groups for Rainproof NYC.
The working groups, co-facilitated and composed of NYC agency staff and community leaders, will meet regularly from January through June 2024 to identify and recommend strategies and policies to adapt to increased heavy rainfall.
To learn more about the “Managing Increasing Heavy Rainfall” working group and its participants, click here.
To learn more about the “Housing Mobility” working group and its participants, click here.
To learn more about the “Everyone Has a Role to Play” working group and its participants, click here.
OUR RAINPROOF NYC INITIATIVES
RAINPROOF NYC WORKING GROUPS
To prepare New York City for increased heavy rain, Rebuild by Design, One Architecture & Urbanism, the Mayor’s Office of Climate & Environmental Justice, the NYC Mayor’s Office of Housing and Recovery Operations, and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection are launching an open call for individuals and organizations to participate in the Rainproof NYC Working Groups.
Rebuild by Design, One Architecture & Urbanism, and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, and NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate & Environmental Justice held a hands-on symposium with dozens of stakeholders, 16 government agencies, and international experts to workshop solutions to drive policy and practices towards a Rainproof NYC.
GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE (GI) – The range of measures that use plant or soil systems, permeable pavement or other permeable surfaces or substrates, stormwater harvest and reuse, or landscaping to store, infiltrate, or evapotranspirate stormwater and reduce flows to sewer systems or to surface waters. (Water Infrastructure Improvement Act). Green infrastructure systems can reduce stormwater flooding.
NATURAL INFRASTRUCTURE – Uses existing, restored, or enhanced ecosystems to generate infrastructure outcomes either on its own or in combination with built infrastructure. (International Institute for Sustainable Development)
NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS – Sustainable planning, design, environmental management and engineering practices that weave natural features or processes into the built environment to promote adaptation and resilience. (FEMA)
SMART INFRASTRUCTURE – Uses real time data to inform and deploy systems using sensors, cameras, and other monitoring devices.
STORM SURGE – The rise in seawater level caused solely by a storm. (NOAA)
RETENTION SYSTEM – An area that stores water on a more permanent
basis. such as ponds. reservoirs, and streams.