Yesterday, the City Council of New York City passed important legislation that will promote the resiliency of urban buildings in the face of future hurricanes and extreme weather. The laws enacted were based on five of the recommendations laid out by the Building Resiliency Task Force, a volunteer group created by the Urban Green Council in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. These sweeping new reforms use a mixture of education, sustainable infrastructure, and research to better defend the city against future storms.
During Superstorm Sandy, nearly 20,000 NY buildings were damaged by flooding and high winds. The Urban Green Council (UGC) assembled the Building Resiliency Task Force to come up with 33 proposals that addressed resiliency and cost for a wide range of buildings, from commercial to multifamily residences. “As our building stock is renovated in the years to come,” says Russell Unger, Executive Director of UGC and Chair of the NYC Building Resiliency Task Force, “we’ll become better and better prepared.”
The five proposals passed into law this week include: the prevention of sewage back flow (BRTF #8); better clarification of construction requirements in flood zones (BRTF #10); funded research on wind risks and hurricane forecasting (BRTF #12); installation of stormwater runoff infrastructure such as pervious pavement (BRTF #13); and installation of backup battery-powered toilets and sinks. More legislation based on the Task Force’s recommendations is expected to pass this fall.
Images via Urban Green Council