Governors Island proposes rezoning to create center for climate solutions

governors island overall vision

The nonprofit Trust for Governors Island has released a proposal to rezone disused parts of the island, long set aside for economic redevelopment, to develop a center for climate solutions.

The proposed center for climate solutions would leverage “Governors Island’s unique environment and waterfront location as a public living laboratory,” the statement says. It would “provide a central convening spot for researchers, advocates, innovators and students from around the globe focused on climate change solutions, while offering meaningful opportunities for public engagement, bringing hands-on education, programming and advocacy initiatives around climate and environmental issues directly to New Yorkers.

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The center is projected to create 8,000 direct new jobs and $1 billion in economic impact for New York City. The plans to issue solicitation for anchor institution and complimentary uses” following the rezoning.

The proposal could include:

  • An academic or research anchor institution to study the impacts of climate change to advance related fields, bringing climate science, policy, communications, climate justice initiatives and solution development under one roof;
  • A living laboratory and/or cultural uses that showcase solutions and invite conversations on the environment through public art and programming;
  • Platform for environmental justice organizations and environmental non-profits to research, host programs and convenings, and connect with New Yorkers;
  • Commercial innovation for technological research in the climate field · Dormitories to support an academic anchor and create a uniquely immersive community for learning and innovation;
  • Space for convenings that offer opportunities for New Yorkers and visitors alike to engage in conversations about climate change; and
  • Space for policy, advocacy and programming organizations to engage with the Island’s nearly 1 million annual visitors,

“Governors Island has a distinguished past in New York City, and an even brighter future,”  New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “We’re proud to continue the growth of Governors Island as a resource for New York City to fight climate change, create jobs, and showcase our city’s world-class research and scientific talent.”


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