As NYC prepares to spend billions of dollars to combat the risk of flooding from future superstorms, the AdaptNY project will provide stakeholders and the public a voice in the climate change adaptation planning process.
The growing risk of devastating floods in the nation’s most populous city — spurred on by rising seas and more frequent extreme weather events like Superstorm Sandy — has prompted New York City to speed its plans for extensive adaptation to the climate change that is the source of the elevated threat.
Those plans, which vary from hard barriers like sea gates to soft barriers like wetlands, will likely cost tens of billions of dollars, take decades to enact, and have enormous impacts on communities due to zoning and land use changes, as well as on the city as a whole due to the costs of financing the projects.
AdaptNY is a digital journalism project of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, designed to insure that New York’s stakeholders, from experts to ordinary citizens, have a true and informed voice in this massive, once-in-a-lifetime urban planning policy process.
The core initiative will focus on a public debate and reworking of a draft climate change policy document issued by a city-wide climate adaptation task force in June 2013. Our approach will be to use an innovative, socially networked crowdsourced annotation tool developed by innovative technology developers at DocumentCloud, a Knight Foundation-funded endeavor and project of Investigative Reporters and Editors.
This digital-centered approach will be supported by a face-to-face workshopping of the issues in the city’s climate document involving key stakeholders and hosted by the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and other news media partners. These workshops are funded by grants provided by PSC-CUNY Research Award Program.
This project will build on the lessons of my previous Knight News Challenge grant in 2007 that focused on citizen journalism and climate change in Boulder, Colorado. It will be supplemented by the resources and expertise found at the City University of New York and elsewhere.
Over time, the project will also improve engagement over the issue of climate change adaptation in NYC though a wide range of existing tools and techniques, from expansive curation to data journalism, mapping, and other original interactive and multimedia storytelling techniques.
To share ideas and suggestions for AdaptNY, contact me at adam.glenn(at)journalism.cuny.edu.