After Sandy: Advancing Strategies for Long-Term Resilience and Adaptability

This report represents the consensus of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) panel on planning for the long-term resilience and preparedness of the New York - New Jersey region. This report outlines an approach to assessing a region’s preparedness and risk in the face of a disaster, and offers tools and recommendations that could be used to help prepare and strengthen the region. By developing this framework based on Hurricane Sandy as a case study, and targeting multiple audiences, this report is intended to address the New York - New Jersey region in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and also can be employed by other regions at risk.

The ULI panel made 23 specific recommendations, which are summarized upfront, and then explained in more detail in the sections following. The recommendations and their interdependent roles are described under four sector themes including: Land Use and Development Infrastructure, Technology and Capacity Finance, Investment, and Insurance Leadership and Governance. 

Some progressive example recommendations from across all categories are to:

  • Reconstitute the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force as an ongoing resilience task force and use it as a model for other regions. 
  • Use defined land typologies in a cost/benefit analysis to identify less vulnerable “value zones” for long-term planning and public spending.
  • Design protective infrastructure to do more than protect.
  • Create infrastructure recovery plans for quick partial service restoration.
  • Provide small communities with financial support to replace lost local tax dollars.
  • Create programs to provide knowledge sharing and professional training. 


To begin the process for building these recommendations, the Urban Land Institute held a disaster assistance Advisory Services panel to consider how best to develop the long-term resilience and preparedness needed by the region if it is to continue to prosper in this new future successfully. The 25 members of the ULI team for this project were carefully chosen for their expertise and for their representation of various geographic areas. Thus, they represented a broad range of expertise in the infrastructure, design, real estate development, finance and investment, and public policy professions and included climate change and sustainability experts, from both local ULI New York and New Jersey membership as well as national and international leadership.

Publication Date: July 2013

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