Helping Communities Build Back Better
New York Rising Community Reconstruction Plans
New York State Communities: Bayville • Stony Point • Clarkstown • Suffern • Ellenville • New Paltz • Saugerties • Olive • Rochester • Rosendale • Warwarsing • Woodstock • Rye • Yonkers • Minden • St. Johnsville • Fort Plain • Canajoharie • Fonda • Fort Johnson • Fultonville • Burton
New York State Housing Trust Fund (through Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery); Empire State Development Corporation (through New York State Department of State/Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery)
AKRF is leading a multi-consultant project team as part of the New York Rising Community Reconstruction (NYRCR) Program providing rebuilding and resiliency assistance to communities throughout New York State that were severely damaged by Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee, and Superstorm Sandy.
The risks to, and vulnerability of, communities were particularly exposed by these three large storm events, but municipalities suffer from extreme flood damage during more frequent high intensity, short duration storm events as well. When this occurs, communities—from local residents to their elected representatives at every level of government—are forced to change their focus from repair to resiliency and to prioritize improvements for pre-storm conditions. This change of purpose revealed significant opportunities to help communities build back better.
AKRF has worked closely with sixteen communities throughout the lower and upper Hudson Valley and nine communities in Montgomery County, NY, as well as the Village of Bayville in Nassau County, to consider flood risk and develop long-term resiliency strategies and actions. In each of the communities, AKRF met biweekly with Planning Committees comprising residents, business owners, and municipal representatives selected by the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery. The purpose of those meetings was to develop comprehensive and implementable plans that integrate the communities’ vision and priorities for the future; set the stage for stronger and more resilient communities in the face of increased risk of major storms; follow federal guidelines and national objectives for identifying projects; and incorporate global best practices in disaster response, economic development, and man-made and natural infrastructure resilience.
The NYRCR Plans include a comprehensive needs and opportunities analysis that was prepared through a combination of research, analysis, and NYRCR Planning Committee and community feedback. Once the needs and opportunities were fully identified, resiliency and reconstruction strategies, projects, programs, and actions were developed to minimize future risks to community assets from extreme weather events. The NYRCR Plans serve as the principle planning documents for communities to use for implementation funding.
Pictured (from left): Flooding at Palisades Mall and Dunkin’ Donuts in Clarkstown, NY (Rockland County), and in Fort Plain, NY (Montgomery County).
Key components of the NYRCR process include:
- Assessment of risks to key assets and systems
- Plans to restore and increase resilience of specific assets
- Projects with economic growth co-benefits; protection of vulnerable populations
- Regional coordination; detailed implementation approach
- Commitment to innovative design
- Commitment to inclusive public engagement, and local capacity-building