Recognizing the Inevitability of Climate Change Impacts, Battery Park City Action Plan Aims to Make Neighborhood Carbon-Neutral by Mid-Century
On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast, and the Hudson River rose and flowed into Battery Park City, a shocking warning of the dangers of sea level rise for a waterfront community.
The Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) has released its Climate Action Plan, which aims to transition by 2040 to 100 percent of the community’s electric power coming from renewable energy sources, along with a 99 percent reduction in transportation emissions by 2050.
“Our Climate Action Plan outlines how Battery Park City can achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, an ambitious goal that will be supported by practical tactics,” said BPCA president B.J. Jones. “While sustainability has always been an integral part of our mission, this plan goes a step further, outlining everyday actions for us, residents, businesses, and the neighborhood at large. At a time when many communities around the world face a dire need to address the effects of climate change, we hope our Climate Action Plan serves as a model on how to achieve and maintain long-term sustainability.”
Other benchmarks that the BPCA plans to achieve by 2050 include the expectation that 99 percent of private vehicles in the community will be electric-powered, based on forecasts for the increase of electric vehicle adoption, pursuant to recent State legislation. A related milestone is the projection that 80 percent of local trips made using sustainable modes of transportation, also by 2050. The Action Plan envisions a 47 percent reduction in fossil fuel use, and a 79 percent cut in overall energy emissions. The BPCA also wants overall waste sent to landfills reduced by 75 percent (a goal that jumps top 90 percent for organic waste), with a 15 percent overall reduction in waste generated in Battery Park City by mid-century.
In the nearer term, the BPCA’s Climate Action Plan sets slightly less aggressive goals for implementation in the next eight years. By 2030, the Authority hopes to reach 70 percent of electricity derived from renewable sources, with 100 percent of the agency’s own fleet of vehicles electrified. Also by the close of this decade, the BPCA aims for a 50 percent reduction in the amount of waste sent to its local compactors, with 80 percent of organic waste diverted away from landfills, through initiatives like composting.
Several of these goals are beyond the capacity of the BPCA to implement in isolation, but are nonetheless reasonably achievable because of initiatives originating outside of the community. For example, Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law last September a measure requiring that all passenger cars sold in the State be electric by 2035, with a similar requirement for larger vehicles (such as trucks) following a decade later.
But the plan also relies on other kinds of support that that must come from outside the community. To cite the same example, the projected use of electric vehicles just in Battery Park City will require nearly seven million kilowatt hours in additional electric current each year. Creating this level of additional generating and transmission capacity for every community, State-wide, is likely to be a significant challenge.
Closer to home, however, the BPCA plans local interventions with measures such as converting more than one-third of street parking spaces to charging stations for electric vehicles, and redesigning all streets within the community to enhance pedestrian use by 2030.
In the meantime, according to the Authority’s Climate Action Plan for the neighborhood, local indicators continue to move in the wrong direction. An appendix to the plan notes that the community as a whole generated the equivalent of slightly more than 178,000 tons of carbon dioxide in 2019. This was 5.2 percent higher than the same figure for 2017.
Photograph by Alison Simko
Eyes to the Sky April 20-May 2, 2022
Venus & Jupiter meet, four-planet mornings, Earth Day and Dark Sky Week
Fanciful and mythic, timeless and of the moment, this celestial tableau depicts early morning harbinger of summer constellations with planets on the move in late April through early May, 2022. Notice the two unlabeled dots on the lower left of the diagram, above the horizon near the “E” and under the Great Square of Pegasus. The smaller point of light represents planet Jupiter, the larger is Venus. They are approaching each other. Find details below.
Illustration: Judy Isacoff/StarryNight 7
We begin with two weeks of spectacular morning stargazing: refer to the diagram, above. Then, let’s gather around the brilliant evening stars as drawn in the second star chart, below.
Radiant planet Venus appears in the east as if a great star rising in the darkness at daybreak, captivating as the rising Sun but with the advantage of our gazing without the caution to look away from its steady light. At about 5am on the 19th, Venus joins dimmer Mars and Saturn, tracing a diagonal close above the east-southeast horizon. Have binoculars handy to enhance the view of the dimmer planets. On the 20th, or thereabouts, planet Jupiter climbs above the eastern skyline, trailing Venus, at about 5:15am. (Times account for somewhat obstructed views.) These two brightest planets command our attention. Venus is visible naked eye until about 5:40am, as twilight brightens. Sunrise on the 20th is 6:10am.
Venus and Jupiter appear closer to one another each day. Look as often as possible to see the distance between them shrink. Be present especially on the mornings of April 29 through May 2. Their closest approach occurs April 30 and May 1, a spectacular planetary conjunction not to be seen again until the year 2039.
By month’s end, darkness falls about 9:45pm. Study the star chart for setting winter stars and constellations squeezed in on the bottom right corner, in the southwest to west. Note the Big Dipper at the top of the sky and follow its handle to “arc to Arcturus and speed to Spica.” Golden Arcturus is the second brightest star in Earth’s skies. Blue Spica accompanies kite-shaped Corvus the Crow.
April’s Awareness and Activism for the Heavens and Earth
Open the following resources for ways to be a part of assuring a healthy Earth Day every day and protecting Dark Skies for the vitality of all living beings.
The Lower West Side of Manhattan has another stunning public space: On Monday morning, the Hudson River Park Trust debuted the rooftop park at Pier 57, located near 15th and West Streets. The new park offers almost two acres of lawns, gardens and open space, all more than 30 feet above the surface of the Hudson River, affording spectacular views in all directions.
A New Home for a Culture ‘Not Really Allowed to Call This Place Home’
Lower Manhattan’s roster of world-class cultural institutions is poised to grow by one. The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), located on a mid-block parcel between Lafayette and Centre Streets (just north of Canal Street) is undertaking a $100 million-plus expansion that will grow its space more than five-fold, to 68,000 square feet. The centerpiece of thise buildout is a design by acclaimed architect Maya Lin, best known for her groundbreaking 1982 plan for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, in Washington, D.C. Ms. Lin says her design for the new MOCA building drew inspiration from “the 4,000-year history of the Chinese puzzle, the tangram,” an ancient geometric dissection game that contains thousands of possible combinations and solutions.
Phalanx of Local Leaders Arrested Protesting Start of Demolition at Lower Manhattan Jail Complex
Ten Lower Manhattan community leaders, including two candidates for public office, were arrested Wednesday morning as they protested the start of demolition at the Manhattan Detention Complex, in a preliminary move by the administration of Mayor Eric Adams to replace that facility with the world’s tallest jail.
America’s First Synagogue Celebrates Anniversary at Site Where, Centuries Before Liberty’s Lamp, Lower Manhattan Offered Refuge to Persecuted Jews
On April 8, 1730, the seventh day of that year’s Passover, the fledgling Jewish community of New York City consecrated the Mill Street Synagogue, located on what is now South William Street. They called their new temple “Shearith Israel,” which translates literally as, “remnant of Israel.” It was the first Jewish house of worship in North America.
CB1 Opposes Deal to Hand Developer 4,000-Plus Square Feet of Public Space
Community Board 1 (CB1) is reiterating its opposition to a plan that will allow a real estate developer to privatize more than 4,000 square feet of public space, in exchange for a promise to enliven an adjacent plaza. At issue are the arcades—columned porticos that adorn the ground-floor facade of 200 Water Street—which the building owner hopes to enclose, thus creating additional retail space, which can be monetized. The same owner plans to create three new market-rate rental apartments at the second floor level, and to use several hundred square feet of outdoor space on the plaza in front of 200 Water Street, for a cafe.
Officially called the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, travel south with us to this stately, historic capital city. Learn about the first colonies in Argentina, along with the formation of the first Jewish community in Buenos Aires. We will walk through the Jewish Quarter, which still has a strong Jewish presence. Mezuzot are affixed to most textile storefronts, along with Kosher butcher shops, small synagogues, yeshivas, and Jewish schools, of course. Along our route, we will visit Paso Synagogue and the Jewish Synagogue of Libertad St., a Romanesque and Byzantine-style building and the oldest Jewish institution in Argentina. Join the Museum of Jewish Heritage and Our Travel Circle for a tour of the beautiful city of Buenos Aires, which has the largest Jewish population in Latin America. $36.
Meet at the Chamber Street Planters for a demonstration and talk led by Alveole on our beehive in Rockefeller Park. Learn about the importance of urban beekeeping and its benefit to sustainability efforts in BPC and throughout the city.
Germany entered World War I on August 1, 1914 when the country declared war on Russia. 11 million German soldiers were mobilized, 100,000 of whom were Jewish. A number of these Jewish soldiers were honored for their service with the Iron Cross. In addition, many German Jews supported the war effort at home along with their neighbors. This service and dedication were soon disregarded, but World War I efforts are an essential part of the German Jewish story. Showcasing artifacts from the Museum’s collection, we will explore these efforts and experiences. Free; suggested $10 donation.
Dream of the Red Chamber (紅樓夢), one of China’s four great classic novels, tells the story of the rise and decline a wealthy imperial Chinese family, and by extension, the rise and decline of the Qing dynasty itself. The novel was adapted as an English-language Opera composed by Bright Sheng with libretto by Sheng and David Henry Hwang, which premiered at the San Francisco Opera in 2016. Tonight, online, join composer Bright Sheng and Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang to explore the world of their Dream of the Red Chamber which returns to the San Francisco Opera House this June. Sheng and Hwang, in conversation with Ann Chih Lin, Director of the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan, will share what it takes to adapt this rich and complex world to a different medium, and why this story still resonates with readers and viewers alike more than two centuries after it was first written.
On Saturdays and Sundays, visit the exhibitions and the ships of the South Street Seaport Museum for free. At 12 Fulton Street, see “South Street and the Rise of New York” and “Millions: Migrants and Millionaires aboard the Great Liners, 1900-1914,” and at Pier 16, explore the tall ship Wavertree and lightship Ambrose. Free.
Experience Bird’s Eye View, an augmented reality artwork by technology innovator and artist Shuli Sadé. The piece is inspired by relocation and movement along the lower Hudson River through fascinating studies of bird migration and human immigration. The event will feature live music from Maestro Pedro Cortes Flamenco Duo. Technology guides will be on-site to assist visitors in using their smartphones to view the new artwork.
Local Rates of Infection with BA.2 Version of COVID Among Highest in City
In a sharp reversal of previous trends, four Lower Manhattan neighborhoods are ranking among the top five anywhere in the City for rates of infection with the new BA.2 subvariant of the Omicron mutation of COVID-19.
Available for PT/FT. Wonderful person, who is a great worker.
Worked in BPC.
$2.00 per notarized signature.
Lower Manhattan Greenmarkets
Greenwich Street & Chambers Street
Every Wednesday & Saturday, 8am-3pm
Food Scrap Collection: Saturdays, 8am-1pm
Open Saturdays and Wednesdays year round
Bowling Green Greenmarket
Green Greenmarket at Bowling Green
Broadway & Whitehall St
Open Tuesday and Thursdays, year-round
Market Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Compost Program: 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
The Bowling Green Greenmarket brings fresh offerings from local farms to Lower Manhattan’s historic Bowling Green plaza. Twice a week year-round stop by to load up on the season’s freshest fruit, crisp vegetables, beautiful plants, and freshly baked loaves of bread, quiches, and pot pies.
Fulton Street cobblestones between South and Front Sts. across from McNally Jackson Bookstore.
Locally grown produce from Rogowski Farm, Breezy Hill Orchard, and other farmers and small-batch specialty food products, sold directly by their producers. Producers vary from week to week.
SNAP/EBT/P-EBT, Debit/Credit, and Farmers Market Nutrition Program checks accepted at all farmers markets.
Today in History
The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion happened on this day in 2010, about 40 miles off the Louisiana coast. The disaster resulted in the deaths of 11 workers and caused the largest marine oil spill in the world and the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history.
1534 – Jacques Cartier begins his first voyage to what is today the east coast of Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador.
1657 – Freedom of religion is granted to the Jews of New Amsterdam (later New York City).
1775 – In the American Revolutionary War, the Siege of Boston begins, following the battles at Lexington and Concord.
1810 – Governor of Caracas, Venezuela, declares independence from Spain.
1861 – In the American Civil War, Robert E. Lee resigns his commission in the United States Army in order to command the forces of the state of Virginia.
1862 – Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard complete the experiment that disproves the theory of spontaneous generation, which held that living creatures could arise from nonliving matter (e.g., fleas from dust or maggots from dead flesh).
1902 – Pierre and Marie Curie refine radium chloride.
1918 – Manfred von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron, shoots down his 79th and 80th victims, his final victories before his death the following day.
1972 – Apollo 16, commanded by John Young, lands on the moon. This is the tenth crewed mission in the Apollo space program, and the fifth to land on the Moon.
1999 – Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold kill 13 people and injure 24 others before committing suicide at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado.
2008 – Danica Patrick wins the Indy Japan 300 becoming the first female driver in history to win an Indy car race.
2010 – The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explodes in the Gulf of Mexico, killing eleven workers and beginning an oil spill that would last six months.
2020 – Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin found guilty in death of George Floyd
1748 – Georg Michael Telemann, German composer and theologian (d. 1831)
1889 – Adolf Hitler, Austrian-German soldier and politician, Chancellor of Germany (d. 1945)
1893 – Harold Lloyd, American actor, comedian, and producer (d. 1971)
1893 – Joan Miro, Spanish painter and sculptor (d. 1983)
1908 – Lionel Hampton, African-American vibraphone player, pianist, bandleader, and actor (d. 2002)
1923 – Tito Puente, American drummer and producer (d. 2000)
1927 – Phil Hill, American race car driver (d. 2008)
1937 – George Takei, actor and activist
1945 – Alistair Cooke, Baron Lexden, English historian and author
1164 – Antipope Victor IV
1314 – Pope Clement V (b. 1264)
1769 – Chief Pontiac, American tribal leader (b. 1720)
1831 – John Abernethy, English surgeon and anatomist (b. 1764)
1992 – Benny Hill [Alfred Hawthorn Hill], British comedian (b. 1924)
1996 – Christopher Robin Milne, bookseller (b. 1920)
2014 – Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, American boxer whose murder conviction was overturned after 19 years imprisonment (b. 1937)