Three Proposals for a Climate Solutions Center on Governors Island
The administration of Mayor Eric Adams unveiled on Wednesday a trio of proposals submitted by the finalists in a competition to build a Center for Climate Solutions on Governors Island, which will combine interdisciplinary research on climate change with education in a single physical hub. Universities from around the world were invited in 2020 to offer proposals for the first stage. A dozen plans were submitted, and narrowed last December to a shortlist deemed worthy of moving to the final round. This group of three was invited to respond to a Request for Proposals (RFP), issued last April.
The three contenders include teams led by Northeastern University (which proposes to create a Coastal Cities Impact Team), Stony Brook University (which wants to build a New York Climate Exchange), and the City University of New York, in partnership with the New School (who plan to create what they call the New York Coastal Climate Center).
Few details about these proposals were released on Wednesday, other than a statement that they “contain a range of research and educational programs, including programs and engagement opportunities for K-12 students; undergraduate and graduate-level programs; adult education and workforce training opportunities in the green and blue jobs sectors; incubators and accelerator spaces for nonprofits and entrepreneurs working in the climate space; and broad public programming, convening, and engagement opportunities for visitors to the Island.”
Along with this outline, renderings of each proposal were circulated, although stripped of specifics that would identify which plan came from which team, “due to the ongoing competitive procurement process,” according to a statement from the Mayor’s office.
Whichever plan is selected, the result is expected to include an academic or research anchor institution, a living laboratory to showcase solutions; a “platform for environmental justice organizations and nonprofits to research, host programs;” space for commercial tenants working on technological advances in the climate field, dormitories and faculty housing; and event venues.
“As one of our City’s great public places, Governors Island is poised to serve as a visible destination for New Yorkers to research, test, and engage with equitable urban solutions to the climate crisis,” said Clare Newman, president of the Trust for Governors Island.
The Adams administration predicts the Center for Climate Solutions will be home to 7,000 jobs on Governors Island, and generate nearly $1 billion in economic impact for New York City.
The RFP document notes that the Trust has been allocated $150 million from the City for physical improvements such as utility infrastructure, transportation, and building construction. In addition, the RFP indicates an expectation of year-round, 24-hour ferry service.
The plan for a Climate Solutions Center has been marked by controversy since it was first announced two years ago. Creating the new facility will entail developing up to 3.7 million square feet of new buildings, some reaching as tall as 225 feet, on an island of low-density historic structures that top out at barely half of that height. These will be located on a pair of building sites (comprising a combined total of 33 acres, or approximately one-fifth of Governors Island) that the City envisions developing for nonprofit, cultural, educational, or commercial uses, which were set aside for such purposes in a 2010 master plan.
The Climate Solutions initiative is predicated, in part, on the assumption that some form of massive real estate development is required to generate sufficient cash flow to pay for other, public-benefit activities on Governors Island. This model echoes the approach taken in the Hudson River Park, where property deals (such as air-rights transfers) are the primary source of revenue that has enabled the creation and upkeep of what has evolved into a treasured public amenity.
The Trust for Governors Island will host a community meeting to brief residents on the state of planning for the Center for Climate Solutions, on Monday, November 14, from 6pm to 9pm, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage (36 Battery Place). The session is free to attend, but planners request that anyone wishing to participate register in advance. For more information, please email: email@example.com .
To the editor,
As Acting Chair of BPCA—and a BPC resident going on 40 years—I want to update you on the Authority’s ongoing efforts to protect our community and Lower Manhattan from the impacts of climate change, specifically the real and increasing threat of more frequent and severe storms. The ten-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy this week reminds us that another catastrophic storm could strike at any moment.
The BPCA has the responsibility to “plan, create, coordinate, and sustain a balanced community” here on our 92-acre site. That also means adapting it to ensure it’s built to last. As we adapt, we must continue to consider thoughtfully the trade-offs that affect the timing, quality, cost, and effectiveness of our resiliency plans…
To read the rest of Martha Gallo’s Battery Park City Authority update, click here.
Ms. Gallo’s update includes contact information for a community construction liaison, plus details on “Opportunities to Shape the Future” and “Infrastructure Integration.”
To the editor,
Thanks to Martha Gallo for her excellent update of Battery Park City Authority work.
I like very much having a liaison and have recorded his contact information.
Thanks for daring to be first to tackle this gigantically complex and existential issue. This is important, not easy, and a great gift to many.
Seeking Concord on the Promenade
CB1 Discusses Possible Uses of Park Space Along West Street
At its October 18 meeting, the Battery Park City Committee of Community Board 1 discussed preliminary plans to add active recreation facilities to the granite promenade that parallels the West Street and the Hudson River Greenway, between Battery Place and Third Place. This initiative is contemplated by the Battery Park City Authority as a tradeoff to countervail the deficit of open space that will be created for several years, when nearby Wagner Park is closed for reconstruction of resiliency measures. Read more…
The Right to Light
Community Groups Revive Lawsuit Against Towers Using New State Constitutional Provision
A years-long saga of legal battles aiming to thwart the planned development of a cluster of super-tall residential towers proposed for the Two Bridges neighborhood of East River waterfront in Lower Manhattan has taken a new twist, with a lawsuit that relies upon a provision of the New York State Constitution that was approved by voters last November, and formally enacted in January of this year. Read more…
An Attractive Tract
Marte Pushes for New Park and Public Space Alongside the Brooklyn Bridge
City Council member Christopher Marte is throwing his support behind a plan to create a new, dozen-acre linear park in Lower Manhattan on the north and south sides of the Brooklyn Bridge. All of the land in question is already publicly owned, with much of it legally mapped as park space. But the vast majority of this expanse has been closed to public access for more than a decade, mostly to allow for its use as an equipment storage area for various City agencies, and partly in response to security concerns in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Read more…
Ready for Halloween: The Fraley family, seen here shortly after they competed in the Monster Family event at the Church Street School for Music and Art Spooktacular on October 22.
In this lecture, Keith Beutler will discuss how surviving reported locks of George Washington’s hair in the holdings of more than 100 public archives and historical museums, including Fraunces Tavern Museum, offer clues about influential, but often forgotten performances of patriotic memory in the early United States. $5.
Gibney opens its 2022-23 presenting season at Gibney Center with the New York premiere of Sidra Bell Dance New York’s IN | REP: Introspection (An Evening of Works). Marking the 20th anniversary of the company, the 65-minute program connects excerpts from works choreographed by Bell since its 2001 founding. The program has been described as “hypnotically seductive” and “brilliant and impressive.” $35-$155. Through Oct. 29.
Downtown’s evolution into a mixed residential neighborhood has been a story as much about the conversion of older office buildings into apartments as about new construction. This walking tour hosted by the Skyscraper Museum will cover blocks from City Hall Park, a perfect vantage to admire the new stand-out residential towers, and wind south through the Financial District to Wall Street, where Art Deco office buildings have been converted to hundreds of small rental apartments with lavish amenity spaces. Free.
Lower Manhattan Greenmarkets
Greenwich Street & Chambers Street
Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8am-3pm (compost program: Saturdays, 8am-1pm)
Bowling Green Greenmarket
Broadway & Whitehall St
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8am-5pm (compost program: 8am-11am)
World Trade Center Oculus Greenmarket
Tuesdays, 8am-5pm (ending this month)
The Outdoor Fulton Stall Market
91 South Street, between Fulton & John Streets
Indoor market: Monday through Saturday,11:30am-5pm
CSA pick-up: Thursday, 4pm-6pm; Friday, 11:30-5pm
Outdoor market: Saturdays, 11:30am-5pm
Today in History
This is New York City’s original City Hall subway station, part of the City’s first underground subway line that opened on October 27, 1904.
1275 – Founding of the city of Amsterdam.
1838 – Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs issues the Extermination Order, which orders all Mormons to leave the state or be exterminated.
1904 – The first underground New York City subway line opens, almost 36 years after the opening of the first elevated line in New York City, The fare was $0.05 and on the first day the trains carried over 150,000 passengers.
1936 – Mrs. Wallis Simpson files for divorce which would eventually allow her to marry King Edward VIII , thus forcing his abdication from the throne.
1973 – A 1.4 kg chondrite-type meteorite strikes in Cañon City, Colorado.
1982 – China announces its population has topped 1 billion people
1988 – Ronald Reagan suspends construction of the new U.S. Embassy in Moscow because of Soviet listening devices in the building structure.
2017 – The Catalan parliament declares independence from Spain
1782 – Niccolò Paganini, violinist and composer (d. 1840)
1811 – Isaac Singer, actor, founder of the Singer Corporation (d. 1875)
1858 – Theodore Roosevelt, colonel, 26th President of the United States, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1919)
1908 – Lee Krasner, painter (d. 1984)
1914 – Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet and playwright (d. 1953)
1917 – Oliver Tambo, South African lawyer, anti-apartheid politician and co-founder of the African National Congress (d. 1993)
1923 – Roy Lichtenstein, painter and sculptor (d. 1997)
1932 – Sylvia Plath, poet, novelist, and short story writer (d. 1963)
1939 – John Cleese, English actor, comedian, screenwriter and producer
1940 – John Gotti, American mob boss (d. 2002)
1997 – Lonzo Ball, basketball player
1505 – Ivan the Great of Russia (b. 1440)
1927 – Squizzy Taylor, Australian gangster (b. 1888)
2013 – Lou Reed, singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, actor (b. 1942)