Recommendations to Improve the Strength and Resilience of the Empire State's Infrastructure
On November 15, 2012, Governor Andrew Cuomo convened the NYS 2100 Commission in response to the recent, and unprecedented, severe weather events experienced by New York State and the surrounding region: most recently, Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee. The Governor asked the Commission to examine and evaluate key vulnerabilities in the State’s critical infrastructure systems, and to recommend actions that should be taken to strengthen and improve the resilience of those systems. If done right, we have a tremendous opportunity not only to mitigate future damage and subsequent economic losses, but to invigorate New York’s economy with a robust green technology sector and to enhance quality-of-life for all New Yorkers.
The Commission reviewed the vulnerabilities faced by the State’s infrastructure systems, and developed specific recommendations that can be implemented to increase New York’s resilience in five main areas: transportation, energy, land use, insurance, and infrastructure finance. These recommendations are aimed to:
- Identify immediate actions that should be taken to mitigate or strengthen existing infrastructure systems – some of which suffered damage in the recent storms – to improve normal functioning and to withstand extreme weather more effectively in the future;
- Identify infrastructure projects that would, if realized over a longer term, help to bring not only greater climate resilience but also other significant economic and quality of life benefits to New York State’s communities;
- Assess long-term options for the use of “hard” barriers and natural systems to protect coastal communities;
- Create opportunities to integrate resilience planning, protection and development approaches into New York’s economic development decisions and strategies; and
- Shape reforms in the area of investment, insurance and risk management related to natural disasters and other emergencies.