November 2017
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Special Initiative on Rebuilding and Resiliency (SIRR)


Long before Sandy’s impact, New York City faced serious social, economic, and environmental threats to its every day resilience. Sandy’s devastation exacerbated vulnerabilities and thrust tough questions about our future into the city spotlight. At the forefront of civic issues, MAS implemented a resilience agenda meant to engage residents and government officials in discussion around strengthening the city to future shocks and disasters. Similarly, Mayor Bloomberg aimed to answer these and other tough questions with the creation of his Special Initiative on Rebuilding and Resiliency (SIRR) taskforce. This taskforce explored what happened during Sandy, what could happen in the future, and explored ways to protect the city from the effects of climate change. The taskforce’s findings are summarized in a 437 page report, dense with information about climate analysis, community specific recommendations, and resilience initiatives that busy New Yorkers may not have time to read so closely.

The Municipal Art Society of New York is working on a series of summaries meant to distill the most critical information from each of the 20 chapters in the SIRR report. These summaries will inform New Yorkers about initiatives the city recommends for their homes, coastlines, and waterways and citywide initiatives that will use tax dollars and federal aid. The goal of these summaries is to help New Yorkers understanding how these initiatives affect communities and how they will be implemented so that they may more meaningfully participate in the development of resilience policies and initiatives, and inform how resources are deployed within their own communities.

The first SIRR Digest introduces the SIRR report by quickly highlighting Sandy’s fiscal impact, the cost of the damage versus the cost of the report implementation, and what chapters are pending. Look for future posts to find out information about initiatives regarding coastal protection, climate analysis, transportation improvements, community recovery, and more.