The ‘NYC Cloudburst Resiliency Planning Study’ was conducted to provide best-practice insights and apply an integrated planning framework successfully used in other big cities facing similar challenges, as well as advance insights and new planning paradigms through conceptual design of specific pilot projects in NYC.

The NYC Cloudburst Resiliency Planning Study was inspired by the successful Copenhagen Cloudburst Masterplans, which formalized a planning approach for integrating green infrastructure for extreme stormwater management into the urban planning practices. 

The purpose of the study was to analyze best-available data related to NYC rainfall and storm surges, recommend methodologies for incorporating findings into ongoing resiliency planning initiatives, and identify best practices for considering climate change in future neighborhood-specific planning studies. 

Analysing and identifying key data

The purpose of the study was to analyze best-available data related to NYC rainfall and storm surges, recommend methodologies for incorporating findings into ongoing resiliency planning initiatives, and identify best practices for considering climate change in future neighborhood-specific planning studies. 

One of the pilot projects from the cloudburst masterplan is the site of South Jamaica Houses.

An US front runner

The South Jamaica Houses is currently undergoing detailed design, and will not only be a front runner in NYC and the US in general in terms of green infrastructure for stormwater management, but will also test new ways of engaging community in the making. The pilot project will likely go into implementation early 2019. 

This project will not only be a front runner in terms of BGI for stormwater management, but will also test new ways of engaging community in the making. It will hence generate important knowledge and insight for the City of New York as well as other cities and landscape architecture professionals all over the world.

Cost-effectiveness means not only the amount of savings in terms of avoided property damage but also the extent to which the new green areas will improve residents’ health and quality of life”

- Alan Cohn, Climate Program Director at the NYCDEP

Studies based on 3 guiding questions

The study we carried out in collaboration with New York City was design around to main pillars: Integrated Planning (IP) and Blue-Green Infrastructure (BGI). In order to create a baseline and understand the potential of integrated planning of Blue-Breen Infrastructure in NYC, we used these 3 questions to guide the study:

  1. Is it possible to achieve greater urban value and co-benefits for capital investments by using Blue-Green Infrastructure for stormwater management?

  2. Is it possible to reduce risks using Blue-Green Infrastructure for a similar budget as traditional stormwater infrastructure?

  3. Is it possible to increase cooperation across city agencies and stakeholders and maximise output of invested money through Integrated Planning?

The project was completed by Consultants from Ramboll Management Consulting and technical experts and engenieers from the Ramboll group including services like Social & Economic Impacts and Climate adaption & Landscape Architecture.

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Phone: + 45 5161 2810

E-mail: consulting@ramboll.com