New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced plans for a $10 billion coastal resilience project, designed to protect Lower Manhattan from flooding. In an editorial piece in New York Magazine, Mayor de Blasio outlined the ambitious plans to alter the waterfront of the Financial District, constructing a major infrastructural element up to 500 feet into the East River. Part of the Lower Manhattan Climate Resilience Study, and designed in collaboration with climate scientists and local offices, the Mayor describes the scheme as “one of the most complex environmental and engineering challenges [New York] has ever undertaken and will, literally, alter the shape of the island of Manhattan.” The multi-billion dollar project is designed to protect Manhattan through the year 2100. The study found that by 2050, 37% of properties in Lower Manhattan will be at risk from storm surge, rising to 50% in 2100, when 20% of streets will be exposed to daily flooding. Under the subsequent project, dozens of adaption measures will be carried out to build resilience in Lower Manhattan, fighting sea level rise, groundwater table rise, tidal inundation, storm surge, extreme rain, and heat waves.
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