NYS 2100 Commission Recommendations to Improve the Strength and Resilience of the Empire State's Infrastructure

On November 15, 2012, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo convened the NYS 2100 Commission in response to the recent severe weather events such as Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee, asking the Commission to examine and evaluate key vulnerabilities in the State’s critical infrastructure systems, and to recommend actions that should be taken to strengthen and improve the resilience of those systems.

The Commission reviewed these vulnerabilities, and developed specific recommendations that can be implemented to increase New York’s resilience in five main areas: transportation, energy, land use, insurance, and infrastructure finance. These recommendations are grouped into broad headings, with details on specific actions in each sector-specific chapter, along with numerous case examples of effective implementation of similar measures. Additionally, the report suggests nine major cross-cutting recommendations that are relevant to multiple sectors and systems which are based on actions that affect multiple aspects of the State’s overall resilience. Many of these recommendations build on one another to achieve a regional network of built and natural infrastructure, local and state institutions, and information and communication systems.

The report opens with the "Challenges Facing the Empire State" which points directly at climate change for the recent hurricanes, and other serious anticipated impacts to the State, its residents, and infrastructure.  The study predicts more frequent floods, storms, heat waves and droughts, among other concerns, and calls for a decentralized power-generating system, with networks that could stand alone in case of widespread breakdown - an example of viable actions for resiliency in responding to extreme weather events. The Commission’s report highlights the important role natural defenses or 'green' infrastructure must play in reducing risk and losses from future storms, and suggests that the state should consider storm barriers with movable gates, and endorse a variety of 'soft infrastructure' investments such as building sand dunes, wetlands and oyster reefs.

The report emphasizes the importance of taking proactive action immediately, positioning New York State as a model for resilience across the United States and around the world.

Publication Date: January 11, 2013

Related Organizations:

  • New York State (NYS) 2100 Commission

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  • Plans (other)

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