Kendra Krueger’s testimony
ESRC Hearing, City Hall, October 3rd 2019
Founder, 4LoveandScience Education and Research Collective www.4loveandscience.com
B.S./M.S. Electrical Engineering
Expertise: Energy systems, regenerative design, contemplative education
The plan is severely lacking in innovative nature-based solutions and green infrastructure. Again, with the institutional resources we have in our city this could be the perfect opportunity to build coalitions with some of our world class research institutions.
The following is a list of coastal resiliency elements, technologies and research. These are suggestions that should be considered in a more robust and creative East River Park Plan. It also includes solutions not just for the new park but also for flood mitigation more inland as well as implementation of green infrastructure that could assist with air quality and quality of life during construction.
Table of Contents:
- Natural and Nature-Based Infrastructure
- Regenerative Landscaping Elements
- Carbon Sequestration Strategies
- Inland Flood Mitigation
- Green Infrastructure for Air Quality
- Art Installations and Public Engagement
- Climate and Resiliency Education
- Other Coastal Resiliency Plans and Case Studies
- Local and National Researchers and Institutions
Natural and Nature-Based Infrastructure
“…natural infrastructure can include wetlands, forests, beaches, dunes, mangroves, coral reefs, oyster reefs. Natural infrastructure approaches or solutions associated with those systems include conservation, protection, or restoration of those habitats.
Nature-based infrastructure is typically used when we’re talking about a more engineered landscape or system. And so it would include things like rain gardens, green roofs, bioswales, and permeable pavement. Those are all examples of stormwater management techniques that incorporate natural processes.” – Kim Penn NOAA Office of Coastal Management
“The use of combined approaches to coastal adaptation in lieu of a single strategy, such as sea-wall construction, allows for better preparation for a highly uncertain and dynamic coastal environment. Although general principles such as mainstreaming and no- or low-regret options exist to guide coastal adaptation and provide the framework in which combined approaches operate, few have examined the interactions, synergistic effects and benefits of combined approaches to adaptation. This Perspective provides three examples of ecological engineering — marshes, mangroves and oyster reefs — and illustrates how the combination of ecology and engineering works.” – Coastal adaptation with ecological engineering, So-Min Cheong et al, Nature Climate Change
- Oyster Reefs
- Berms and Basins
- Salt Marshes
Regenerative Landscaping Elements
“Green building strategies, performance goals, and associated assessment methods currently emphasize the ways and extent that buildings should mitigate global and local resource depletion and environmental degradation. By contrast, the emerging notion of ‘regenerative’ design and development emphasizes a co-evolutionary, partnered relationship between humans and the natural environment, rather than a managerial one that builds, rather than diminishes, social and natural capitals.” – R. Cole Transitioning from green to regenerative design, Journal of Building Research and Information
- Carbon Sequestration Strategies
Urban trees can affect climate change through the direct removal, or sequestration, of carbon dioxide, the dominant greenhouse gas, from the atmosphere. Trees act as a sink for carbon dioxide by fixing carbon during photosynthesis and storing carbon as biomass. Forest Service scientists quantified carbon storage and sequestration by urban trees in the United States to assess the magnitude and role of urban forests in relation to climate change. Total tree carbon storage in U.S. urban areas (2005) is estimated at 643 million metric tons ($50.5 billion value) with annual carbon sequestration estimated at 25.6 million tons ($2.0 billion value). A better understanding and accounting of urban ecosystems can be used to develop management plans and national policies that can significantly improve environmental quality and human health across the nation
- ‘Rewilding’ for animal habitats
Inland Flood Mitigation
“ Because cities are characterized by impervious surfaces, such as roads, parking lots and rooftops, a high proportion of rainfall swiftly becomes surface runoff, with a five-fold increase over an undeveloped watershed (Freitag et al. 2009). In urban settings various methods can be used to retain stormwater and prevent floods from overwhelming storm drain systems and causing urban flooding. These methods can range from those deployed at the scale of individual buildings, including porous pavement, “green” (vegetated) roofs, rain gardens and rain barrels, to features that can attenuate runoff for larger areas, including grassy swales, wetlands and detention basins (Freitag et al. 2009). Fortuitously, most methods for slowing runoff also help make cities greener, healthier, and cooler in the summer with improved aesthetics and recreational value. Parks, greenways, daylighted creeks, and urban gardens all contribute to a more vibrant city that also happens to slow and retain stormwater (Figure 3). “ – Nature Conservancy
- Curb Cuts (see Astor Place)
- Rain Gardens
- Resilient Root systems to beat erosion
- “Slow it, Sink it, Spread it” techniques for water runoff and absorption
Green Infrastructure for combating air pollution (during and after construction of the park)
- Green Walls on NYCHA
- Green Roofs on local and NYCHA Housing
Art and Public Engagement
Climate and Resiliency Education
Community Opportunities during Construction
- Ferry Rides to Governer’s Island and East River State Park (Williamsburg)
- Air purifiers, air conditioners, vacuum cleaner programs for residency in proximity
Similar Coastal Resiliency Plans and Case Studies
- Local Researchers and Organizations
- Catherine Seavitt Nordenson,ASLA, AIA, CUNY City College School of Architecture
- Authors Catherine Seavitt Nordenson, Guy Nordenson, and Julia Chapman have been at the forefront of research on new approaches to effective coastal resilience planning for over a decade. In Structures of Coastal Resilience, they reimagine how coastal planning might better serve communities grappling with a future of uncertain environmental change. They encourage more creative design techniques at the beginning of the planning process, and offer examples of innovative work incorporating flexible natural systems into traditional infrastructure. They also draw lessons for coastal planning from approaches more commonly applied to fire and seismic engineering. This is essential, they argue, because storms, sea level rise, and other conditions of coastal change will incorporate higher degrees of uncertainty—which have traditionally been part of planning for wildfires and earthquakes, but not floods or storms.
- ASHLEY DAWSON
Position: Professor, College of Staten Island. English
Campus Affiliation: College of Staten Island|Graduate Center
- Ashley Dawson currently works in the fields of environmental humanities and postcolonial ecocriticism. He is the author of two recent books relating to these fields: Extreme Cities (Verso, 2017) and Extinction (O/R, 2016). Extreme Cities argues that cities are ground zero for climate change, contributing the lion’s share of carbon to the atmosphere, while also lying on the frontlines of rising sea levels. Today, the majority of the world’s megacities are located in coastal zones, yet few of them are adequately prepared for the floods that will increasingly menace their shores. Instead, most continue to develop luxury waterfront condos for the elite and industrial facilities for corporations. These not only intensify carbon emissions, but also place coastal residents at greater risk when water levels rise. Extreme Cities offers an alarming portrait of the future of our cities, describing the efforts of Staten Island, New York, and Shishmareff, Alaska residents to relocate; Holland’s models for defending against the seas; and the development of New York City before and after Hurricane Sandy. Our best hope lies not with fortified sea walls, the book argues, but rather with urban movements already fighting to remake our cities in a more just and equitable way.
- CUNY Institute for Urban Systems
- CIUS seeks to help cities adapt to their changing infrastructure needs through research, education, policy advisement, and advancement of the state of professional practice. CIUS aims to bring together leading scholars and practitioners to help catalyze innovation at public agencies in the planning and management of urban infrastructure systems. CIUS promotes interdisciplinary and inter-campus collaboration across the entire CUNY system on infrastructure education and research to address environmental, economic, and technological challenges. It also aims to serve public agencies by leveraging CUNY’s unique array of research and technology transfer capabilities.
- Research at CIUS examines current investment in infrastructure and how it is affected by emerging technologies, institutional change and innovative financing. It focuses on five main areas: regional dynamics; energy and green buildings; transportation systems; economics and finance; and natural systems
- Urban Climate Change Research Network
- The Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN) is a consortium of over 800 individuals dedicated to the analysis of climate change mitigation and adaptation from an urban perspective. UCCRN members are scholars and experts from universities and research organizations. They span a broad range of expertise including climate scientists; urban heat island and air quality experts; climate change impact scientists; social scientists, including political scientists, planners, and economists; and urban designers and planners.
- The Center for Urban Environmental Reform (CUER) is a Social Justice Initiative of the City University of New York School of Law. CUER was founded on the belief that environmental justice is a critical aspect of social justice and that communities are entitled to participate fully and meaningfully in environmental decisions that affect them. CUER will be a clearinghouse and focal point for the data, experts, and training needed to ensure a level playing field. The goal is to expand participation in public decision-making and to increase transparency and overall access to information in order to enhance both the legitimacy of environmental decision-making processes and the fairness of decisions reached.
- NOAA https://coast.noaa.gov/states/new-york.html
- The impacts of climate change are being seen and felt by coastal communities across the world as increased intensity and frequency of storms and hurricanes, coupled with sea level rise, are changing the land and seascape dramatically, forcing cities, organizations, and nations to reconsider how and where to invest its coastal resources. These storms and floods affect hundreds of millions of people, important infrastructure, and tourism, with significant losses to local and national economies and livelihoods.
- The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has over 60 years of experience in conservation and restoration of coastal habitats and ecosystems, and is dedicated to protecting nature for people today and for future generations.
- Since 2007, TNC has led the development of Coastal Resilience, an approach and online decision support tool to help address the devastating effects of climate change and natural disasters.