Regional Plan Association mourns the loss of life and devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. As we begin to recover, we share a responsibility to learn from this tragedy and develop a new approach to managing the impact of storms in the tri-state region. This can occur only through concerted political leadership at the federal, state and local levels.
We are very encouraged by statements this week by Governors Cuomo, Christie and Malloy and Mayor Bloomberg recognizing the need to re-examine our policies, plans and infrastructure in light of the threats of severe storms and rising sea levels. States and localities throughout the region have made some progress in recent years in planning for volatile weather. But more needs to be done.
There are many steps that the region should consider to help reduce damage from the inevitable storms in our future, from physically protecting urban shorelines to rethinking our transit and power networks so that localized outages don't cripple an entire city or region. In all likelihood, we will need to adopt both "hard" infrastructure changes and "soft" solutions that rely on better land-use decisions and tap ecological systems to limit damage.
Read the full RPA statement on recommendations for preparing for storms [PDF]