Session Overview
POSTER 4: TUKUP - Public policies and practicies
Tuesday, 21/Jul/2015:
3:00pm - 4:00pm


Implementing Climate Resiliency through Local Disaster Recovery Planning

Judd Schechtman1, Joyce Klein Rosenthal2

1New York University, New York, United States of America; 2Harvard University, Boston, United States of America

New York State's Community Reconstruction Zone program is an unprecedented attempt to fund local, community driven recovery plans. The program is the first broad state-funded and comprehensive locally-implemented post-disaster planning scheme known to date.

Research supports the notion that an unprecedented opportunity exists in the wake of a storm to overcome some of the obstacles to implementing innovative hazard and climate adaptive policies (Titus, 1984). Yet the challenges to adopting effective local adaptations, such as requiring stricter building codes, increasing setbacks from coastal wetlands or dunes, or prohibiting reconstruction are extremely complex.

In this study, we build knowledge about implementation of projects presented in the CR plans including tracking and enhancing implementation effectiveness. Although some funding is provided by the federal recovery funds, implementing resiliency projects takes more than money – it takes engagement, commitment and fortitude by residents and decision-makers over the long-term to see projects to fruition. We look at case studies of successful implementation of residence projects in a number of communities on the Rockaways, a barrier island in New York City, and in the towns of Freeport and Massapequa on Long Island.

New York’s community reconstruction process has the potential to lead the way toward sustainable resilient neighborhoods, towns and cities in an era of climate change. Implementation should focus on those projects that generated the most co-benefits at the lowest costs, emphasize regional goals, and rely more on local follow-through. While implementing many of these projects in the coming years will be a formidable challenge, there is great reason to be hopeful that with the energy and thought put into planning for the future will make a significant difference in the sustainability and resilience of our coastal and riverine towns and cities.