In late October 2012, Hurricane Sandy roared into New York Harbor with unprecedented force, causing record-breaking water levels over much of the city.
After the storm had passed and the water had receded, a new reality emerged: New Yorkers must think differently about our relationship with a changing climate. Sandy also laid bare many pre-existing challenges in our communities and vividly highlighted our physical and social vulnerabilities to coastal storms and rising seas.
As the city took stock of the damage, it was clear that we couldn't just plan to "recover" from Sandy. We needed a new approach to engaging with our 520 miles of waterfront, and we needed to look beyond Sandy to build our physical, economic, and social resiliency against a range of risks, enhancing the city's capacity to withstand and emerge stronger from the impacts of climate change in all of our neighborhoods.
In response, the City proposed a $20 billion resiliency program to address not only the risks of 'another Sandy', but to broaden our approach to the risks of climate change and other threats.
Through the collaborative efforts of government, philanthropy, the private sector, and communities all across the region, we came together to chart a course for a stronger, more resilient New York - one that embraces its waterfront while planning for new risks through a multilayered strategy of coastal protection, upgrades to buildings, protections for infrastructure, and investments to make neighborhoods safer and more vibrant - tailored to local risks and solutions.