Resilient Industry

Supporting businesses in industrial areas to reduce vulnerability to flooding, thereby strengthening the City’s economy and protecting surrounding communities.

Overview

Business activity in industrial areas represents a vital and enduring component of New York City’s economy. However, many industrial areas are located along the City’s 520-mile shoreline or in low-lying areas particularly vulnerable to flooding. According to recently updated flood maps, more than 3,600 businesses and 87,000 employees are located in industrial areas within the FEMA flood zone. Hurricane Sandy highlighted this vulnerability, resulting in substantial losses to some businesses, harmful environmental impacts, and damage to surrounding communities.

DCP is undertaking the Resilient Industry study to assess the vulnerability of industrial areas to flooding and identify strategies to help businesses, employees, and nearby communities become more resilient to future storms and floods. Working in partnership with the NYC Office of Emergency Management and the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, DCP will examine best practices for flood mitigation and preparedness appropriate for a broad range of facilities within manufacturing districts.

The study will result in guidance materials for businesses to better address flood risk. The findings will also inform the New York City Hazard Mitigation Plan by identifying strategies to support the resilience of industrial areas. Resilient Industry is part of the City’s effort since Hurricane Sandy to promote long-term resiliency. The study complements two other City Planning projects aimed at enhancing flood resilience:

  • Resilient Neighborhoods is a place-based planning initiative to identify locally specific strategies, including zoning and land use changes, to support the vitality and resiliency of communities in the flood zone.
  • Resilient Retail is a planning initiative to strengthen retail corridors throughout the City’s floodplain with the goal of developing land use recommendations to help businesses and the neighborhoods they serve withstand and recovery quickly from future storms and flood events.

Resilient Industry will consider strategies to reduce vulnerability to flooding that are applicable across a broad spectrum of businesses active in industrial areas in New York City. The study is guided by a set of common goals:

  • Reduce flood hazards for businesses and residents in the City’s flood zone.
  • Identify appropriate emergency preparedness guidelines for businesses in industrial flood zones.
  • Promote cost-effective physical and operational strategies to protect businesses and the environment.
  • Identify financial and insurance challenges unique to businesses in industrial flood zones.

The Resilient Industry initiative is focused around three research components, designed to build upon and reinforce each other:

Industrial Vulnerability Assessment

The study will explore the vulnerability of businesses in industrial areas, including the distribution of industrial uses and facilities relative to specific flood hazards, as well as resiliency challenges unique to businesses in New York City. The study will also consider factors that affect the ability of businesses to mitigate and prepare for disasters.

Best Practices in Industrial Resilience

Resilient Industry intends to learn from innovative resiliency practices undertaken by industrial businesses in NYC and in other major cities nationally and internationally. Best practices will be explored for both physical and operational strategies that businesses can pursue to better withstand flooding or bounce back after interruptions.

Prototypical Site Analysis

Flooding challenges are shared across many businesses within industrial areas. However, the diversity of businesses requires tailored resiliency solutions. The study will identify prototypical industrial sites and assess the feasibility and benefits of implementing a range of flood resiliency best practices within each site.

DCP has engaged a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) consisting of more than 60 stakeholders to guide the study. Comprised of business owners, state and local government agency representatives, environmental and community justice advocates, and other key stakeholders, the TAC provides the technical expertise and practical experience necessary to fully understand the challenges and opportunities for greater resilience within industrial areas and throughout our waterfront communities.

View a PDF Document presentation for the TAC Kick-Off Meeting on June 15, 2015 summarizing the vulnerability assessment.

View the PDF Document agenda and a Video file video of the presentation made by several TAC members on January 27, 2016 about their work to enhance industrial resiliency.

View a PDF Document presentation for the TAC meeting on April 7, 2016 describing the approach for the prototypical site analysis.

View Frequently Asked Questions

For more information about the Resilient Industry initiative, please contact: ResilientIndustry@planning.nyc.gov