Today (Nov 27) the President signed the New York City Natural Gas Enhancement Act into law, which will finally make the construction and operation of a new natural gas pipeline in New York City a reality. Given the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, this law could not come at a more critical time for New York City. This pipeline will help us build a stable, clean-energy future for New Yorkers and will ensure the reliability of the City’s future energy needs. I would like to thank President Obama for signing this bill into law and all of the New York City delegation members who supported it, especially the sponsors – Congressman Grimm, Congressman Meeks and Senator Schumer – for their leadership in securing this victory for New York City.
-Mayor Bloomberg’s Statement on President Obama’s Signature on the New York City Natural Gas Enhancement Act (via nycgov)
Sea levels rise about 1 inch every 10-years along the coast of NYC. This shifts the flood plain inland slightly. But, with rapid glacial and polar melt, and thermal expansion of the oceans, sea-levels will rise much faster. There are about 900,000 building at risk in NYC, making for one of the most expensive infrastructure protection projects in existence.
This excellent graphic from the NYTimes piece on climate adaptation shows what rapid sea-level rise will look like. If businesses and residents in the yellow zones experience more floods, the city just might take adaptation more seriously.
Unlike New Orleans, New York City is above sea level. Yet the city is second only to New Orleans in the number of people living less than four feet above high tide — nearly 200,000 New Yorkers, according to the research group Climate Central.
The waters on the city’s doorstep have been rising roughly an inch a decade over the last century as oceans have warmed and expanded. But according to scientists advising the city, that rate is accelerating, because of environmental factors, and levels could rise two feet higher than today’s by midcentury. More frequent flooding is expected to become an uncomfortable reality.
With higher seas, a common storm could prove as damaging as the rare big storm or hurricane is today, scientists say. Were sea levels to rise four feet by the 2080s, for example, 34 percent of the city’s streets could lie in the flood-risk zone, compared with just 11 percent now, a 2011 study commissioned by the state said.
Delicious morning city planning read of the day. Moss, a culture critic in NYC, criticizes the High Line’s economic effects while mourning the loss of Chelsea’s gritty “charm.”
It’s a great piece, my favorite in weeks. Moss forgets three things. First, the real-estate boom was not just located in his precious little piece of the world. It burned like wildfire, scorching economies around the world. Second, did Moss hang out there before the High Line was built? I severely doubt it. He shows that this section of town was once called gasoline alley, due to all the auto repair shops and other mechanical industries. Why is Moss, or anyone for that matter, nostalgic for that? Third, and important to me as thinker of city infrastructure, what about the nearly 20 years of community outreach done by the city’s non-profits, architects, students, PhD researchers, city planners, artists, economists, and econ-dev folks (among countless others)? Neighbors, developers, and business owners wanted revitalization. They wanted a large, effective redevelopment project. And they got the High Line. Chelsea got what it wanted.
Jeremiah Moss pans the Times Squarification of West Chelsea as the outgrowth of the High Line, and the loss of the neighborhood of working class residents and light industry.In his view it’s part of the quick march to Disneyland On The Hudson than Bloomberg and developers are interested in capitalizing on.
1) Men cut ice from Kissena Lake in Queens, ca. 1860-1900.
2) New York Fire Department demonstration of a steam pumper converted from horse-drawn to motor-driven, at 12th Avenue and 56th Street.
The New York City Municipal Archives just released a database of over 870,000 photos from its collection of more than 2.2 million images of New York throughout the 20th century. Their subjects include daily life, construction, crime, city business, aerial photographs, and more.
”The Bloomberg administration has put city agencies on alert that they must slash another two percent from their budgets this year, and a whopping six percent in 2013, to cope with a “dire financial situation.”
Agencies including the NYPD, FDNY and the Department of Education have two weeks to submit their suggestions to the city’s budget office, according to a letter sent to city agencies on Tuesday.”
Note the NYC Department of Education has had 3 straight years of budget cuts, and classrooms are bursting at the seams. The article is worth a read.
If Irene hits with sufficient force, a flood of the human waste quaintly known as combined sewer overflow (CSO) is almost a certainty. What is less certain is how much of the heavier, more dangerous contaminants will be churned up by the storm surge and heavy winds and deposited by the flood waters.
The 50-odd blocks that surround the canal — known lately for open-air dance parties and hipster houseboats — are in Zone A and are subject to mandatory evacuation. The two neighborhoods that border the Gowanus, Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, are both uphill from the canal. But whether those hills are steep enough to turn back a toxic shitstorm won’t be known until Irene passes through.
PANEL DISCUSSION: CLIMATE CHANGE, CHINA, AND THE WTO Wednesday, March 30, 2011, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM Columbia Law School, 435 W. 116th St. (at Amsterdam Ave.) Jerome Greene Hall Room 104 New York, New York In December 2010, the United States initiated a landmark dispute at the WTO challenging a range of Chinese subsidies to domestic renewable energy manufacturers. Although the dispute is currently still in the consultation phase, it represents a significant step by the United States government and could be a harbinger of things to come as China continues its aggressive push towards clean energy infrastructure and development. What are the environmental, economic and geopolitical implications of this case? Join our distinguished panelists for a wide-ranging discussion of the dispute and its context within international trade law and economics.
THE PANELISTS: • Joseph Stiglitz, University Professor, Columbia University; Chair, Columbia University Committee on Global Thought; Nobel Laureate in Economics • Robert Howse, Lloyd C. Nelson Professor of International Law, New York University School of Law • Andrew Shoyer, Partner, Sidley Austin LLP; Former Counsel, Office of the United States Trade Representative
Sweet degree program. Interesting that Columbia has softened the fall 2011 admissions deadline to May 1st.
The Earth Institute and School of Continuing Education at Columbia University invite you to join us for an information session on Thursday, March 24 at 6:30 p.m. to learn more about the Master of Science in Sustainability Management program. This will be the program’s last information session before the May 1 deadline for Fall 2011 admission.
All organizations, whether they are multinational corporations or local nonprofits, face a growing number of environmental challenges, from limiting carbon emissions to managing water resources. The M.S. in Sustainability Management is a highly specialized professional program that will formally train and educate sustainability practitioners for a broad range of fields.
The program is designed to meet the growing demand for sustainability managers and will train leaders to bridge the gap between the principle of sustainable development and its practice. Students in the program will learn sophisticated environmental measurement tools and cutting-edge environmental science to fully understand the systematic and organizational role of sustainability in any organization, as businesses in fields including law, financial management, media, pharmaceuticals, transportation, and energy seek out capable managers to guide their environmental stewardship. This program is ideal for practitioners and aspiring professionals working in organizational management, regulatory compliance, facilities operations, and environmental stewardship among many other areas.
The program, co-sponsored by Columbia University’s School of Continuing Education and the Earth Institute, is offered full-time or part-time to accommodate the schedules of working professionals.
Date: Thursday, March 24 Time: 6:30 p.m. Location: Faculty House, Columbia University’s Morningside Campus
Representatives from the program will be available to answer questions. The final deadline for applications to the Sustainability Management program for Fall 2011 is May 1. We look forward to seeing you at the information session
For more than a decade, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority has treated the Atlantic as its very own graveyard, tossing thousands of old subway cars off a barge to rust away on the ocean floor. An environmental crime? Hardly. The program creates habitats for marine life from Georgia to Jersey and gives New York’s aging subway cars a vibrant (and free!) retirement home.
Now, New York photographer Stephen Mallon has captured the MTA’s artificial reef program in a gobstopping collection of stills that look like what you’d get if you combined an Ed Burtynsky series with the freeze frames of The Matrix and the train porn of The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (without the agro hostage situation). We’ve got lots of details on the program and a selection of Mallon’s photographs above.
A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature.
I'm a climate change consultant specializing in climate adaptation, environmental law, and urban planning based in the U.S. In addition to traveling and hiking, I research, publish, and lecture on how cities can adapt to climate change.
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