MITSG logo
MIT logo


Building A Stronger, More Resilient New York

Daniel Zarrilli, Director, NYC Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency; Acting Director, NYC Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning & Sustainability
Tuesday, June 17 @ 3:20pm


Hurricane Sandy highlighted New York City’s vulnerability to a changing climate, killing 44 New Yorkers and causing $19 billion in damages and lost economic activity across the city. As a result, the City established a task force to develop a plan to rebuild neighborhoods hard hit by Sandy and to strengthen the city's infrastructure against long-term climate risks.

The City used the best available science, as provided by the New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC), to understand its climate risks. The NPCC projects that, by mid-century, the city could face increased precipitation and temperature, sea levels could rise nearly 2 1/2 feet, the number of days above 90 degrees could triple, and there could be an increase in the most intense hurricanes occurring in the North Atlantic Basin. Further analysis showed that these changes could make a Sandy-like event in 2050 cost nearly $90 billion. Clearly, the City must act to reduce these vulnerabilities.

Based on these projections, the City released its recommendations in June 2013 in a report entitled A Stronger, More Resilient New York. This plan contains a detailed roadmap including 257 initiatives for strengthening New York City’s coastline, improving its buildings, protecting its infrastructure, and making its neighborhoods safer and more vibrant.

In March 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the establishment of the Office of Recovery and Resiliency (ORR) to strengthen and accelerate these efforts. ORR is tasked with enhancing policy and planning coordination, incorporating resiliency into how New York City operates, and implementing the long-term climate resiliency strategies laid out in A Stronger, More Resilient New York. Additional priorities include securing supplementary federal funding, collaborating with complementary State and Federal programs, and expanding economic opportunities for New Yorkers in the recovery and resiliency process.

In April 2014, the City released its first annual resiliency progress report, showing substantial progress. While this early progress shows the city's commitment to the work of climate adaptation, much remains to be done over the next several years to prepare New York for the future.


Presentation Slides
2059 kb uploaded September 30, 2014 5:17pm