Learning From Sandy

Lower Manhattan sits in the dark several days after being hit by Hurricane Sandy, leaving many questions for those who are tasked with reconstructing New York City and building future cities.
Friday, November 2, 2012 13:40 EDT | 14
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Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
11/6/2012 2:49:58 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Global Warnings...
I agree with you here! If we don't take care of our cities, the world will suffer. We're already seeing that the rate at which cities are heating up is also taking a toll on the entire planet. Bad feeds into bad, good feeds into good. We may be divided into cities, suburbs, exurbs, etc., but we're all part of the same world, and our choices dictate life for everyone.

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
11/6/2012 2:44:19 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: A self Contained Building
Resurgent phoenix, what you describe is an absolutely ideal situation for safe, healthy, and sustainable city living. Is it feasible in the near-term? I'm not so sure. Maybe I'm just jaded because I can't even get my building management to do something as simple as install a vent in my bathroom (even though not doing so is a violation of the NYC building code). The next wave of city building and planning will need to also see a new wave of leaders who care about the sustainability of buildings and the people who reside in them.

11/5/2012 4:54:43 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Global Warnings...
I think a main issue is using our time, energy & money to make cities that are better for our world as a whole. I know it is a struggle in our often very stressful busy lives to even take the time to think about the world. But we are seeing the affects of our damage more and more. With natural disasters coming to my city, NYC, more frequently then ever, i can't just close my eyes to climate change. I mean last year it was thunder snow and an earthquake and now this hurricane. How much longer can we ignore global warming? It is up to future cities to set the example so there will be a future!

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
11/5/2012 1:27:44 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Underground storage?
@Toby: Thanks for bringing that up because one of the issues being debated now is whether phone and electrical wires in NYC need to come down from the poles once and for all and be buried underground instead. I think it would be a great if we no longer faced a possible reality of wires coming down with fallen trees. Not only does this cause people to lose power, but it creates an incredibly dangerous environment for those on the ground. We shouldn't have to see fatalities from people stepping into puddles where live wires have fallen.

11/5/2012 5:05:17 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Underground storage?
Nicole, I would not have even though this was a realistic possibility in a city like NY as there is so much stuff already under every building and street. I recall all the times in the past when undergroud projects had to be halted or revised because of other structures already in place, be it piping, cables, tunnels or foundations etc.


11/4/2012 12:37:07 PM
User Rank Village Voice
One thing is getting self reliant
I think the it is important to think how the problem w.r.t. power can be made independent of generators or back-up systems.  We have to have systems that are self reliant like the use of Solar panels on the roofs or something which is independent...

  If there is no power leave the communication systems or other gadgets, we cannot run the purifiers that pure the drinking water...  It is great that NYC which has access to technology, can build up the infrastructure quickly but other remote places will find it difficult.

   I totally agree that we cannot have contingency plans for such calamities but the point is cities should start thinking on building self-reliant systems.

Resurgent phoenix
Resurgent phoenix  
11/3/2012 8:02:12 PM
User Rank City Slicker
Re: Generators, yeah!
I like the idea of subterranean parking garages

Resurgent phoenix
Resurgent phoenix  
11/3/2012 7:59:49 PM
User Rank City Slicker
A self Contained Building
With today's technology buildings can be self contained life units.  They could have solar and wind power generated on the roof.  A back up system generator on floor twenty.  Vertical farms within the residental building.  The ability to capture and purifiy rain water.   Waste recycle centers.  The most important aspect is the Human side.  Have buildings with people from all walks of life and ages.  Have a buddy system for older people and children.  Everyone should look out for the most vunerable members of society and ensure they have food, heat, water and waste removal in a time of disaster.  I really feel for those suffering  because of Sandy and pray for supernatural provision for them all.

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
11/3/2012 12:33:02 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Two bits of good news
NYC has worked fast to get back on its feet. As of this morning, most of Manhattan has power again, and subways are coming back to life.

There are still hundreds of thousands of people who don't have power outside of the city. And some subway stations within the city are still compromised -- like the L which is completely flooded.

Overall this has been a fast effort, at least within Manhattan, to get things running again, and I give immense credit to those who made it happen. Now, what do we do to prevent ourselves from being in this position again?

11/3/2012 7:33:45 AM
User Rank Blogger
underground storage
I hadn't even thought about ground water, which kind of ruins my argument!! Yes as you say a more robust drainage system is probably the way forward. I also have reservations about flood barriers as they can cause problems for places further up the coast. Where I live the coast is eroding back but flood barriers cause erosion further up the coast. It may be completely different for New York of course and it may be a viable solution, but as someone posted, fighting nature is tough. I dont know, its a difficult issue.

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