Climate Resiliency

The Department of City Planning (DCP) is working with communities throughout the floodplain to identify zoning and land use strategies to reduce flood risks and support the city’s vitality and resiliency through long-term adaptive planning. After an extensive outreach process that is summarized in the Community Outreach Summary. DCP is proposing to make permanent and improve upon existing zoning rules that were adopted on a temporary, emergency basis following Sandy. This would enable new and existing buildings to comply with requirements in Appendix G of the NYC’s Building Code as well as exceed them in order to be better prepared to withstand future storms. Additionally, DCP recommends expanding the applicability of zoning rules to include areas that will be subject to high-risk of flooding in the future. Doing so would allow buildings that are not currently required to meet Appendix G to also make resiliency improvements in advance of being mapped within the 1% annual chance floodplain. This would not only improve the ability of the city’s many coastal neighborhoods to withstand and recover quickly from future storms, but would also allow building owners to potentially save on flood insurance costs. More information about this effort can be found in the Zoning for Coastal Flood Resiliency document that describes DCP’s preliminary recommendations to a zoning text amendment that will enter the public review process later in 2019. 

We invite you to watch our short video and learn more about this work and how get involved.

Overview of Resiliency Efforts at DCP

After Hurricane Sandy, the Department of City Planning (DCP) created special zoning rules for the floodplain to allow for recovery and promote rebuilding. Since then, we have undertaken several neighborhood and citywide studies to understand specific resiliency issues relating to residential, commercial and industrial areas. In addition, DCP sought feedback from homeowners and practitioners on how to improve the existing temporary zoning regulations so they can better enable and encourage an even more resilient building stock. Most recently, DCP released preliminary recommendations for Zoning for Coastal Flood Resiliency to allow the city to incorporate long-term resiliency when designing or retrofitting existing buildings in the floodplain.

Click each milestone below for full reports and more information.

Climate Resiliency Timeline Zoning for Resiliency: Community Outreach Summary


This work is part of the City’s #OneNYC plan to make our neighborhoods, economy, and public services ready to withstand and to emerge stronger from the impacts of climate change.

The Resilient Neighborhoods initiative was launched in 2013 to work directly with floodplain communities to reexamine questions of land use, zoning, and development in light of a new understanding of coastal flood risks. In addition to changes to zoning and land use, the studies identify other opportunities for improving resiliency through infrastructure investment and other policies and programs. Each Resilient Neighborhoods study includes a robust public outreach process, with City Planning working with affected communities to identify issues, set objectives, and shape and review recommendations. For more information, visit the webpage for the individual study.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you want to learn more about what zoning has to do with flood risk, or have another question related to climate resiliency, check our FAQ page or our newsletter archive PDF Document PDF format.

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The PDF Document Planning a Resilient NYC poster is a graphic overview of City Planning’s climate resiliency strategies and proposals for zoning changes that can better enable buildings to meet building code requirements for the flood zone, while also meeting other long-term goals.

Retrofitting Buildings for Flood Risk

The Planning a Resilient NYC video explains special zoning regulations that apply to the floodplain. This video is part of an extensive public campaign to share information on flood risk and flood resistant construction requirements.

Retrofitting Buildings for Flood Risk

The NYC Flood Hazard Mapper, a web-based mapping tool that provides a comprehensive overview of the coastal flood hazards that threaten the city today, as well as how these flood hazards are likely to increase in the future with climate change.

demo

Info briefs are two-page, printable PDF Document PDFs that provide a quick overview on

Designing for Flood Risks

The Community District Profiles interactive web tool enables users to learn detailed information about the flood risk of their neighborhood, as well as a variety of other issues.

Urban Waterfront

The Designing for Flood Risk report identifies key urban design principles, and recommendations for how zoning can incorporate these principles, to guide new construction of buildings in flood zones that adheres to flood protection standards without detracting from the quality of the pedestrian experience and neighborhood character.

Designing for Flood Risks

The Urban Waterfront Adaptive Strategies report serves as a resource and reference guide for a wide range of udiences to help identify the range of adaptive strategies that can increase the resiliency of urban coastal areas and establish a framework by which communities can understand the costs and benefits, and evaluate the suitability, of each strategy

Urban Waterfront