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Solecki, William; Hildegaard, Link and Garschagen, Matthias ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9492-4463 (2016): Risk Management and Adaptation Transitions in New York City. In: Journal of Extreme Events, Vol. 3, No. 3, 1650020 [PDF, 715kB]


Local risk managers in New York City were keenly aware that the city’s residents, businesses, and infrastructure were vulnerable to significant flooding events before Hurricane Sandy hit in October 2016. The storm and its aftermath have influenced the structure of the city’s approach to risk management and urban development in many ways. The objective of this manuscript is to characterize the current risk management regime in New York City, how it is changing, and how it might shift with the further onset of climate change. More specifically, the paper addresses three basic questions: 1. How does current risk management policy in New York City intersect with climate change adaptation and urban development?; 2. Is there sentiment that transition to a new risk management paradigm is needed?; and 3. If transition is necessary, how will it be enabled or blocked by the current actors, organizations and policy-making networks for adaptation and risk management in the city? In the analysis we focus on examining the relative importance of a suite of possible factors and drivers. Two sources of data are reviewed and integrated. These include results from a workshop with local risk managers, and as well as face-to-face extended interviews with risk manager stakeholders and practitioners. The results indicate that there is significant need for a transition to wider and more comprehensive transformative adaptation policy but the means and opportunities to do is limited.

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