Climate change growing pains are real but necessary: Today, New York must advance its major resiliency projects

You only have to glance at the latest daily headlines or refresh your social media feed to find evidence that the devastating impacts of climate change are here and getting worse. New Yorkers experienced this seven years ago with Hurricane Sandy, a “superstorm” that left 147 dead and 650,000 homes damaged or destroyed. And since then, we’ve watched with dismay as it happened to Puerto Rico with Hurricane Maria, Texas with Hurricane Harvey and Florida with Hurricane Irma.

In New York City, we know we need to fundamentally redesign the 520 miles of our waterfront to adapt to this new reality and prepare ourselves for what is to come. Right now, 400,000 New Yorkers live in the flood zone, and with the three to six feet of sea-level rise that is expected by the end of this century, that number will grow to 1.2 million.

But adaptation is hard. Really hard. And we’ve never had to adapt to climate change before, so there is no roadmap telling us how to do it right.

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