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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Governors Island to become $700 million climate complex

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In the 20 years since the federal government handed over control of Governor’s Island to New York City, city officials have found new ways to use the 172 acres of land with stunning views of Lower Manhattan.

He finally got the answer. On Monday, Mayor Eric Adams plans to announce a $700 million campus dedicated to finding solutions to address the climate crisis.

The city selected a consortium led by Stony Brook University to convert the island’s last large-scale developable land into a 400,000-square-foot hub called the “New York Climate Exchange”. The campus, which will focus on climate solutions research and green jobs education, is scheduled to open in 2028.

The Climate Hub will serve as a “living laboratory” with a flexible design, consisting of a glazed sloping building covered in vegetation to evoke the rolling hills of Governors Island. It will include two newly constructed classroom and research buildings on 3 acres of land that is currently undeveloped and will also make use of some of the island’s historic buildings. Existing public facilities will remain intact.

“This will be the first model to advance research that will really accelerate the deployment of climate solutions for what I think is the greatest threat of our time: the climate crisis,” said Maria Torres-Springer, Deputy Mayor of New York City. They said. and workforce development, said in an interview.

The idea of building a climate observatory on Governors Island has been around for years. Once an outpost for the Dutch West India Company and a Civil War prison for Confederates, the island has become a marvel of city public spaces with hammocks, vegetable gardens, vegetarian food trucks and the city’s longest slide.

Not everyone was in favor of the project. Last December, a judge rejected the coalition’s legal challenge, arguing that the new building would disrupt the peace on the island. An appeal is possible, but officials said they are confident the city will prevail.

The car-free island is accessible only by ferry, and leaders have acknowledged that transportation is the “elephant in the room” for the project. As part of the new initiative, the Trust will provide ferry service every 15 minutes to Governors Island, with a hybrid electric ferry expected to begin service next summer. The campus also includes student and faculty quarters and rooms in the University Hotel.

The project opened in 2017 and was chosen by former mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. But city officials refer to the Governors Island campus as “Cornell on steroids.”

City officials said the campus would create more than 2,200 jobs and eventually serve 600 college students, 6,000 interns and 250 faculty and researchers.

Last week, Mr Adams unveiled a comprehensive environmental plan for the city, which includes a range of policies, including allowing the city to buy residents without access to land in particularly flood-prone areas.

Their plan aims to reduce emissions associated with urban food procurement by 33% by 2030. Install citywide composting by the end of 2024 Install solar panels and green roofs on all viable city-owned properties by 2035. Develop a “Maximum Summer Indoor Temperature Policy” to protect New Yorkers from extreme heat by 2030.

The city’s first environmental blueprint, published by Mr. Bloomberg in 2007, the country’s first congestion pricing plan, is still in progress, and includes plans for the city to plant one million trees.

In 2003, the federal government handed over control of Governors Island to New York City, on the condition that it not be used for commercial housing development. The new climate center was called for by the city council to be remodeled in 2021, and three finalists were chosen last year as part of a global competition to lead the project.

Construction is expected to begin in 2025. The winning consortium includes IBM, Georgia Institute of Technology, Pace University, Pratt Institute and Boston Consulting Group, as well as Stony Brook University, part of the State University of New York system.

City officials said about $150 million of the funding would come from already allocated city capital funds. Another $100 million will come from the Simmons Foundation, founded by billionaire James H. Simmons, and another $50 million will go to the Bloomberg Charity, founded by longtime island advocate Mr. Bloomberg. Philanthropists will donate. City officials said the consortium would raise an additional $400 million to cover operating costs and not cost New Yorkers any additional money.

Stony Brook University President Maury McInnis said the university had the “vision, expertise and commitment” to bring the project to life.

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