Finalists unveiled for Governors Island Climate Solutions Center design contest

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New York Construction Report staff writer

Three university-led finalists were unveiled this week for NYC’s global competition to create a new, state-of-the-art educational and research institution on Governors Island.

The center will be dedicated to researching, developing, and demonstrating equitable urban climate solutions. Finalists announced in December 2021 were invited to respond to a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) as part of the Rebuild, Renew, Reinvent: A Blueprint for NYC’s Economic Recovery plan.

“These finalist proposals reflect our bold vision for a climate hub that will train and employ the next generation of climate experts, not only creating economic opportunity for New Yorkers but also positioning us at the cutting edge of critical research and at the front of the line to benefit from the big ideas that will emerge from here,” Adams said. “I look forward to advancing a project that will surely be a game-changer for this city and the entire world.”

Proposals received include several ambitious visions to advance interdisciplinary research focused on urban adaptation, urban environments, public policy, environmental justice, and public health while expanding educational and workforce development opportunities for New Yorkers.

Finalist proposals unveiled include a range of research and educational programs, including programs and engagement opportunities for K-12 students; undergraduate and graduate-level programs; adult education and workforce training opportunities in the green and blue jobs sectors; incubators and accelerator spaces for nonprofits and entrepreneurs working in the climate space; and broad public programming, convening, and engagement opportunities for visitors to the Island.

Responses to the RFP included proposals from the following university-led teams:

  • Coastal Cities Impact Team: led by Northeastern University
  • New York Climate Exchange, led by Stony Brook University
  • New York Coastal Climate Center, led by the City University of New York and the New School

A selection committee will evaluate proposals based on selection criteria outlined in the RFP and the winning university-led team is expected to be announced in 2023.

Community briefings on the three finalist proposals will be held on Nov. 14.

The vision for the Center for Climate Solutions includes:

  • A living laboratory and/or cultural uses that showcase solutions and invite conversations on the environment through public art and programming;
  • A platform for environmental justice organizations and nonprofits to research, host programs and convenings, and connect with New Yorkers;
  • Space for commercial innovation supporting technological advancement in the climate field;
  • Dormitories and/or faculty housing to support an academic anchor institution and create a uniquely immersive community for learning and innovation; and
  • Convening space that offers opportunities for New Yorkers and visitors to engage in conversations about climate change.

“As we mark the 10-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy this week, we are reminded of how urgently the global climate crisis demands solutions,” said New York City Department of City Planning Director and City Planning Commission Chair Dan Garodnick. “Bringing an advanced climate research center to Governors Island is the right move at the right time.”

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