Henk Ovink: A Dutch Resiliency Perspective

On Earth Day, 4.22.14, AIANY and the AIANY Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee (DfRR) hosted Henk Ovink, former Acting Director-General of Spatial Planning and Water Affairs for the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and current senior advisor to U.S. Housing and Urban Design Secretary Shaun Donovan, Hon. AIANY. In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Ovink emerged as a central figure in shaping the future of the entire region affected by the storm by leading the HUD Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Taskforce. As a nation, the Netherlands has formally addressed issues of flood prevention and protection for more than 900 years. Through Water Boards, a system of regional water authorities introduced in the 13th century, formerly separated communities have worked together to address regionalized environmental issues associated with water management. Today, nearly 300 Water Boards actively continue their ancestors’ work by crafting collaborative strategies for water management and extreme weather adaptation throughout the Netherlands. While “resilient” design strategies have become increasingly significant in the wake of Sandy, Ovink has leveraged his experience to introduce a new era of holistic and collaborative responses to extreme water events intensified by climate change. Continue reading “Henk Ovink: A Dutch Resiliency Perspective”

A Sustainable and Resilient Plan for de Blasio’s Next 100 Days + Iowa Passes Good Samaritan Bill

On Thursday, 04.10.14, the New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) held a demonstration on the steps of City Hall calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio, on his 100th day in office, to focus on sustainability and resiliency efforts in his next 100 days. The press conference announced three suggested steps that, if implemented, will better prepare New York City for future climate change and weather-related events. NYLCV President Marcia Bystryn gave the opening remarks and outlined the three milestones that emphasize long-term planning in a post-Sandy New York City:

  • The de Blasio Administration has set 05.01.14 as the deadline to announce its plan to add and preserve 200,000 affordable housing units. These units should be built sustainably and resiliently. They should also include access to transit and parks.
  • The official start of the next hurricane season is 06.01.14. The mayor should initiate a comprehensive plan to ensure that New York is prepared for the next storm and the changing climate.
  • The deadline for a finalized city budget is 06.30.14. Sustainability and resiliency planning must be included in the capital plan, in addition to vital infrastructure repairs. Continue reading “A Sustainable and Resilient Plan for de Blasio’s Next 100 Days + Iowa Passes Good Samaritan Bill”

At ABNY, per aspera

Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke of New York State’s economic resilience at the 3.14.14 lunch of the Association for a Better New York (ABNY) held at Cipriani 42nd Street. After a brief introduction by ABNY President William Rudin, the Governor stated that when he took office, “The economy of New York State was in disarray. And we were paying the price: People and businesses were leaving the state.” He noted that “spending out-paced income in New York State for 50 years. You can’t spend more than you make.” Criticizing spending vs. revenue generation by former Governors Nelson Rockefeller and George Pataki, he held back from a critique of the economic policies of former Governor Mario Cuomo, saying, “I’m still close with his wife.” Continue reading “At ABNY, per aspera”