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July 8, 2013 5:28 PM   Subscribe

"For 400 years, New York has embraced, spurned, ignored, harnessed, and feared the water that made its greatness possible. Now our relationship must get even more complex."

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Mayor of Atlantis - "What Bloomberg’s plan gets right, where the ideas come from—and how much further they could go." In slideshow format, and deslided.
Bloomberg's Brilliant, Radical $20 Billion Waterfront Defense Plan

NYCEDC: Waterfront Vision And Enhancement Strategy
On Brooklyn Waterfront, Mayor Bloomberg Plans Resiliency
posted by the man of twists and turns (19 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

I'm reminded of a quote from an old guidebook, something along the lines of NYC is one of the few great river cities where you can go your whole life without ever seeing the river.
posted by The Whelk at 5:36 PM on July 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

The Verge: Mayor Bloomberg unveils $20B plan to build new NYC defenses against climate change - "Construction begins now, but will fall to his successor to finish." Many links in there to aspects of the plan, called A Stonger, More Resilient New York. The report is available.

New York City Could Look Like New Orleans, Due to Flood Protection
Yesterday New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg revealed a $19.5 billion plan to protect his home town against future sea level rise and other effects of climate change such as heat waves. The big focus, however, is preventing death and damage from another Hurricane Sandy. The report, “A Stronger, More Resilient New York,” prescribes 250 projects ranging from big stone walls to little flood gates intended to hold back storm surges and fend off rising seas. Some of the steps agree with recommendations made by scientists in a feature article I wrote in the current (June) issue of Scientific American, and some steps contradict what those scientists said. But in total, the plan really calls for surrounding New York City with high levees, sand dunes and wetlands—much like the “natural” defenses that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been building around New Orleans.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:55 PM on July 8, 2013

Previously (last week), filling the Hudson or East River. I love this stuff!
posted by morganw at 5:57 PM on July 8, 2013

New New Amsterdam.

Also: "Construction begins now, but will fall to his successor to finish." Does not make me optimistic.
posted by 2bucksplus at 6:06 PM on July 8, 2013

The NYer article makes it sound as though NY was somehow tempting fate by being close to the sea for hundreds of years, completely ignoring the fact that climate change seems to be changing weather patterns. Presumably people doing urban planning assumed the problem would be solved and it wasn't something that people were going to allow to actually happen.
posted by delmoi at 6:07 PM on July 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Climate change is a Chicagoan plot!
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 7:13 PM on July 8, 2013 [3 favorites]

" New York has too long and tangled a relationship with the waterfront to retreat upland or cower behind seawalls" ???
posted by Riton at 7:22 PM on July 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

As a homeowner in a low-lying neighborhood of Oakland, I find this too terrifying to read.
posted by slidell at 7:45 PM on July 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Can't New Yorkers all just stand together and defeat the water?
posted by srboisvert at 8:51 PM on July 8, 2013 [3 favorites]

Never forwet.
posted by ericost at 9:26 PM on July 8, 2013

Last night i heard this interview with James Fagen, author of The Attacking Ocean: The Past, Present, and Future of Rising Sea Levels. Talking about just this subject.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:35 PM on July 8, 2013

Starting my last year of a marine sciences graduate degree focusing on storm surge modeling, this is exciting news! I would love for my first job out of school to be in the city.
posted by oceanjesse at 9:48 PM on July 8, 2013

srboisvert: "Can't New Yorkers all just stand together and defeat the water?"

Yes, with science.
posted by Blasdelb at 12:45 AM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

Every time some climate change denial yahoo spouts off about how this is just another plan to get us to spend more money I don't have, people (and here I'm talking about the media talking heads who apparently love to give these guys credibility) should point out the money we're already spending to address disasters that have already happened and problems that already exist.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:17 AM on July 9, 2013

I'm impressed with how forward thinking this plan is. It's easy for Bloomberg, of course, given he won't be around to see it completed, but in general this is a much more flexible and adaptable plan calling for a more resilient approach than just walling off the water. It's great that at least this approach has been put out there for discussion.
posted by dhartung at 4:54 AM on July 9, 2013

I wish Justin Davidson, the author of the article, had included analyses about how disaster-related displacement is impacting vulnerable communities and how Bloomberg's plan is problematic for those reasons as well. The piece "Race, Class, and Disaster Gentrification" was an eye-opener for how post-Sandy reconstruction is reinforcing class inequalities.
posted by spamandkimchi at 4:47 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

spamandkimchi: how much of this distress existed pre-Sandy?, previously.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:41 PM on July 9, 2013

New York City Could Look Like New Orleans, Due to Flood Protection

And we all know how well things have been working out for New Orleans.
posted by BlueHorse at 6:52 PM on July 9, 2013

It'll be interesting if, like N.O., underspending in poor areas will create the chink in the armor that causes the system to fail (at least they're planning to take care of Newtown Creek).
posted by Eideteker at 8:22 PM on July 9, 2013

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