Date of Award

Fall 12-20-2019

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


John Van Buren



This paper explores how New York City and especially Manhattan has integrated sustainability into its agenda as a coastal metropolitan nucleus. Secondly, it assesses the New York City’s resiliency strategies that utilize environmental policy and design to confront its vulnerability to changes in the environment on account of global climate change, which has primarily manifested in the Northeastern region in the form of sea level rise, storm surge, and frequent flooding. Chapter 1 uses quantitative climate data from a multitude of sources such as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation'sreport on the “Impacts of Climate Change in New York,” the Federal Advisory Committee’s “National Climate Assessment” and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fifth assessment report to evaluate the physical and meteorological impacts of climate change on the city and planet at large. Chapter 2 explores the environmental history of New York City both before and since industry transformed the world and set it out on a trajectory towards global climate change. Chapter 3 examines the sustainable and resilient design methods adopted to reinforce the city and prepare it for future disaster. Chapter 4 discusses the environmental policies and economics involved in the city’s mission of resiliency and its commitment to renewable energy and a carbon free economy. In addition, my internship at Our Climate is used as a case study about an ambitious and recently enacted state-wide climate bill. Finally, integrating what is already detailed in Chapters 1-4, Chapter 5 presents a comprehensive set of policy recommendations rooted in the general attitude that venturing towards a more sustainable and resilient future for New York City is a necessary and urgent goal.