As cities begin to rebuild infrastructure ravaged by hurricanes, now is the time to adopt climate-resilient energy systems. Innovative collaborations between public and private stakeholders can help.
The federal response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico was far too slow and small to deal with the massive scale of the disaster, but the future potential for Puerto Rico could be achieved by constructing a more resilient, storm-resistant built environment.
Alan Burchell is the founder and principal of Urbanstrong, which he started shortly after graduating from Columbia’s Master of Science in Sustainability Management program in 2014. When choosing courses, Alan encourages MSSM students to fill up their tool belts. In his experience, “Knowledge is great, but tools get you hired.” Alan recommends to take classes that will teach you a transferable skill.
Sustainability Management alum Krista Eichenbaum (’16) moved from Toronto to attend the MSSM program to better address resiliency challenges in cities. She is currently Project Analyst and Manager at a women-owned engineering consulting firm, specializing in civil engineering, urban planning, and sustainability.
The Earth Institute hosted a panel focused on how New York City, and other cities like it, can take steps to become stronger and more resilient in the face of climate change.
It is not that people have gotten amnesia and don’t remember the damage of Hurricane Sandy. Some homes are still being rebuilt and some people are still displaced. Moreover, the people who lead the shore towns in Long Island and New Jersey are speaking the language of climate resiliency.
A new report gives a worrisome picture of climate-related problems the New York region will likely face this century. Temperatures are projected to rise, extreme precipitation and heat waves will be more frequent, and sea level could rise as much as 6 feet.