Dig Deep For a Greener New York City: Policy Forum on Green Infrastructure

Articles | October 12, 2014

A major challenge to New York City’s water quality is combined sewer overflows (CSOs), which discharge a mixture of untreated sewage and storm water runoff into our waterways. The city has piloted green infrastructure projects as a more cost-effective way of managing CSOs than traditional gray infrastructure. Green infrastructure also has ancillary quality-of-life benefits and the potential to mitigate flooding — a growing challenge in the face of sea level rise and more frequent storm events.

That’s why NYLCVEF and NYU Wagner Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems convened a panel on October 9th to examine the success of New York City’s green infrastructure pilot projects to date and explore the potential and challenges for the future.

Stakeholders gather to discuss the challenges and future of green infrastructure projects.

The first panel focused on the issue of whether New York City’s green infrastructure program achieving its aims,  its impacts on CSO volume in NYC and the challenges and opportunities for the program to be expanded citywide as a way of managing CSOs and stormwater.

Panelists included Angela Licata from NYC Department of Environmental Protection, Maureen Krudner from Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2, Mary Alice Lee from Trust for Public Land, Sean Dixon from Riverkeeper and Jaime Stein from  S.W.I.M Coalition. The panel was moderated by David Giambusso, Energy & Environment Reporter, Capital New York.

The second panel focused on green infrastructure being expanded as a flood management and climate resiliency tool and the advantages and challenges for incorporating green infrastructure technologies for flood control and coastal resiliency.

Panelists included Council Member Mark Treyger ,Chair of the Committee on Recovery and Resiliency, Betsy Mallow the Deputy Director of Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, Daniel A. Zarrilli, PE, Director of  NYC Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, Kizzy Charles-Guzman from The Nature Conservancy, Stephen Couch from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Amanda Ludlow from Roux Associates. The panel was moderated by Dana Rubenstein, Senior Writer, Capital New York.

For more background on green infrastructure, see this white paper authored by Jim Rice, PhD., City University of New York.

This was the first of a three-part policy forum series called Dig Deep for a Greener New York. The series aimed to shed light on timely opportunities around parks funding, green infrastructure and composting. NYLCVEF policy forums bring together a wide range of stakeholders and challenge preconceived notions. NYLCVEF will produce a set of concrete recommendations after each forum to guide policy makers on their next steps.

Dig Deep for a Greener New York was sponsored in partnership with and Roux Associates

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