Landmarks Announces Climate Resiliency Initiative

Landmarks Chair Sarah Carroll. Image Credit: LPC.

On May 28, 2024, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) announced the initiation of the Climate Resiliency Initiative. This initiative aims to preserve the city’s waterfront historic areas by improving the speed and effectiveness of Landmarks’ response to future extreme weather events caused by climate change that will affect New York City’s waterfront historic resources.

First, Landmarks will conduct a survey of properties located in the city’s flood zones, developing geospatial data collection tools to record, and monitor historic resources in these areas. The information gained from this initiative will be shared with state, local and federal partners. This initiative will allow for a faster city, state, and federal response in the event of future weather-related events.

Landmarks will also create an educational campaign targeted at owners of landmark properties. Landmark property owners will be given guidance on preservation-friendly mitigation measures, the potential impacts of storms in flood-prone areas, and support owners looking to undertake climate efficiency and resiliency work on their designated buildings.

The Climate Resiliency Initiative will enhance New York City’s mobilization capabilities for future climate-related weather events, including hurricane season which begins in June. Landmarks received a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hazard mitigation grant of $500,000 to fund the Climate Resiliency Initiative.

Landmarks Preservation Commission Chair Sarah Carroll said, “LPC’s climate resiliency initiative is an investment in the future of our historic resources to ensure they are better protected and more resilient as we look to a future.”

Mayor’s Office of Climate & Environmental Justice Executive Director Elijah Hutchinson said, “As we contend with the extreme weather impacts of climate change, building-level resiliency is essential for new and historic buildings alike. The LPC Climate Resiliency initiative will protect the treasured community resources that are core to New York City’s cultural history, and it will encourage other cities to follow our example.”

Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations Executive Director Rudy S. Giuliani said, “As hurricane season approaches, it is crucial for property owners to enhance their property’s resilience and have access to tools for rapid recovery post-disaster. [This initiative] will provide vital information to the City and property owners during ‘blue skies’ periods, enabling us to maximize assistance after a disaster. Our past experiences have shown that having more information can significantly expedite recovery efforts.”

Deputy Commissioner of Coastal Resilience Laurian Farrell, New York City Department of Environmental Protection said “Making our coastal communities more resilient to climate change-induced extreme weather means recognizing the cultural significance of these historic buildings to their respective neighborhoods while simultaneously seeking ways to provide flood protection along the city’s waterfront. This newly announced initiative will allow the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to identify and fortify vulnerable landmark properties within the city’s flood zones.”

By: Chelsea Ramjeawan (Chelsea is the CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2025.)



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