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Informing Decisions in a Changing Climate
agencies, such as the MTA. Responsibilities that must be taken outside city jurisdiction are also identified. Additionally, the plan sets future milestones by the years 2009 and 2015, such as “plant 15,000 street trees per year,” and project budget allocations are made. Required New York City investments in both capital and operating budgets are identified, as well as other funding sources. However, funding the PlaNYC initiatives has proved challenging, since a significant portion of the New York City budget comes from the state, and state support is necessary for major new initiatives such as congestion pricing to control motor vehicle travel in parts of the city.
Climate Change Agenda
In April 2008 the mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability issued a “report card” indicating the status of the many PlaNYC initiatives (see http://www.nyc.gov/html/planyc2030/downloads/pdf/progress_2008_climate_change.pdf [accessed December 2008]). In regard to climate change mitigation, the report card identified significant progress in transit-oriented rezoning, fuel-efficient taxis, tree planting, reflective roofing requirements in new building codes, and rules allowing fuel-efficient microturbine generators that directly reduce the city’s carbon footprint. Transport of solid waste out of the city was switched from truck to barge and rail in Staten Island and the Bronx, and similar arrangements are being negotiated for the other boroughs.
On the legislative side, the city council passed in November 2007 codified PlaNYC’s goal of reducing citywide greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The law further requires the City to reduce carbon emissions by municipal operations at an even faster rate—reaching a 30 percent reduction by 2017. Plans for implementing further reductions include avoided sprawl, clean power, efficient buildings, and sustainable transportation.
In regard to adaptation, three initiatives have been launched: They are an intergovernmental task force to protect vital city infrastructure; the development of site-specific protection strategies with and for vulnerable neighborhoods; and a citywide strategic planning process for climate change adaptation. The intergovernmental task force will work with a technical advisory committee of regional climate experts to develop coordinated climate protection levels for the metropolitan region. At the neighborhood level, two communities have been engaged—Sunset Park in Brooklyn and Broad Channel in Queens. Feedback from these communities will inform a larger program of engagement with 40 particularly vulnerable neighborhoods throughout the city. The goal of the citywide strategic planning process is to update the Federal Emergency Management Administration 100-year floodplain maps.