Christian Nyerup Nielsen

Director, Climate Adaptation & Landscape

T: +45 5161 6277

Henrik Stener Pedersen

T: +45 51618124

Trine Stausgaard Munk

Project Manager

T: +45 5161 2827

Project Data

New York City, USA

CLIENT
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP)

COMPLETION
2017

Services we provided

Climate Adaptation & Landscape Architecture 
Flood Risk Management
Landscape architecture
Social & Economic Impacts

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) wants to address the higher frequency of heavy rainfalls through integration of traditional underground drainage infrastructure with above-ground, nature-based solutions into ongoing urban infrastructure planning. 

The ‘NYC Cloudburst Resiliency Planning Study’ was conducted to provide best-practice insights and apply an integrated planning framework successfully used in other big cities facing similar challenges, as well as advance insights and new planning paradigms through conceptual design of specific pilot projects in NYC.

The NYC Cloudburst Resiliency Planning Study was inspired by the successful Copenhagen Cloudburst Masterplans, which formalized a planning approach for integrating green infrastructure for extreme stormwater management into the urban planning practices. 

The purpose of the study was to analyze best-available data related to NYC rainfall and storm surges, recommend methodologies for incorporating findings into ongoing resiliency planning initiatives, and identify best practices for considering climate change in future neighborhood-specific planning studies. 

One of the pilot projects from the cloudburst masterplan is the site of South Jamaica Houses. The South Jamaica Houses is currently undergoing detailed design, and will not only be a front runner in NYC and the US in general in terms of green infrastructure for stormwater management, but will also test new ways of engaging community in the making. The pilot project will likely go into implementation early 2019. 

This project will not only be a front runner in terms of BGI for stormwater management, but will also test new ways of engaging community in the making. It will hence generate important knowledge and insight for the City of New York as well as other cities and landscape architecture professionals all over the world.

Sustainability facts

  • The annual frequency of extreme rain in New York has doubled since mid-1990 
  • Rainfall during these events has increased by 71% compared to 1958 
  • Integrating underground drainage infrastructure and over- ground nature-based solutions can address climate risks and improve residents’ quality of life