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NYC Creates Climate Change Roadmap for Builders: Plan for Rising Seas [interesting read in light of Harvey]

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Nicholas Kusnetz  read full Inside Climate News article here

May 3, 2017 [interesting read in light of Superstorm Harvey]

…The nation’s largest city has a message for the architects and engineers planning the New York of tomorrow: Fortify new buildings against the ravages of climate change or risk rebuilding as global warming worsens.

New guidelines issued last week by the office of New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio are some of the most comprehensive for how builders should protect infrastructure against rising seas, more powerful storms and climbing temperatures. They draw on science published in 2015 by a city panel of experts that estimates rainfall, sea level rise and other climatic shifts expected for the city in the decades ahead….

….By mid-century, if a 100-year storm strikes, it is expected drop more than 12 inches of rain over a 24-hour period, compared to just under 9 inches today. Architects would be wise, the guidelines say, to include a green roof or permeable pavement to help relieve stress on drainage systems.

….Klaus Jacob, a scientist who studies climate adaptation at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said the guidelines are innovative but only a small step toward where the city needs to be.

The real problem we have is that we still put a lot of investment in low-lying areas, and this is a matter of zoning and land use policy,” he said.

Many parts of the city’s extensive waterfront continue to attract new luxury residential projects, for example, even though they’ll face increased flooding in years to come, Jacob said. But rather than overhauling the city’s zoning with an eye to rising seas, the city has been addressing climate adaptation piecemeal, even if the pieces such as these guidelines are commendable, he said.

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