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News & Press Releases

January 21, 2024

News
South Battery Park City Resiliency Project Receives WEDG Verification In Lower Manhattan

The Waterfront Alliance has announced that the South Battery Park City Resiliency Project has become the 13th project nationally to achieve Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines (WEDG) verification. This distinction places the project, which is located at 20 Battery Place in Lower Manhattan, at the forefront of resilient, ecological, and accessible waterfront design.

The South Battery Park City Resiliency Project is designed to protect a significant segment of Lower Manhattan, including landmarks like the Museum of Jewish Heritage, Wagner Park, and Pier A Plaza. This area has been planned to counteract events related to sea level rise, such as coastal flooding and storm surges.

Developed in collaboration between the Battery Park City Authority and AECOM’s design team, the project introduces a range of resilience features integrated into the site. Wagner Park will undergo a transformation that that will conceal its seawall and resilience infrastructure. The park’s elevation will increase by 10 feet as a result of the project, offering protection against storms and providing expansive views of the New York Harbor. Additionally, the existing stone riprap along Pier A Inlet will be replaced with new terraced plantings to attract marine life, coupled with an overlook for educational purposes.

Throughout the design process, emphasis was placed on stakeholder engagement, leading to design alterations such as lawn scaling, safety enhancements, and a realigned bikeway. The project also prioritizes universal access, ensuring that all park users can navigate the site.

“In Battery Park City, with the urgency and care the moment demands, we’re adapting our waterfront to address climate change and simultaneously creating an even more beautiful and accessible park space for our residents and visitors,” said Battery Park City Authority president and CEO, Raju Mann. “We are honored to attain WEDG Verification from the Waterfront Alliance, an organization that has helped shape the New York City’s waterfront. The South Battery Park City Resiliency Project, including the redesigned and revitalized Wagner Park, will set the new standard for waterfront design excellence, flood protection, and functionality for the next generation of New Yorkers.”

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September 13, 2023

News
How Bonds Can Help Cities Manage Extreme Weather

U.S. cities and states are experiencing severe and increasing financial impacts as a result of climate change and extreme weather events. From 2010-2019, the U.S. experienced 131 climate-related disasters that generated losses of more than $1 billion each; this is a stark comparison to 33 such incidents in the 1980s.1

To both mitigate and respond to future events, U.S. municipalities are exploring ways to fortify infrastructure and provide energy-efficient affordable housing. Sustainability bonds, which fund projects with both environmental and social benefits, are one key way that cities and states are raising capital for these efforts. Here’s what institutional and retail investors should know about the market for sustainability bonds and some of the ways they are making a difference.

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September 12, 2023

News
South Battery Park City Resiliency Project Begins To Take Shape In Lower Manhattan

Construction is moving along on the South Battery Park City Resiliency Project (SBPCR), an integrated coastal flood risk management system at the southern tip of Battery Park City. Led by architect and engineer AECOM, the $221 million project involves the creation of an elevated landscaped waterfront esplanade spanning from the Museum of Jewish Heritage to Pier A Plaza, as well as the reconstruction of the Wagner Park Pavilion with a new design by Thomas Phifer and Partners. The SBPCR is one component of the 3.5-mile-long Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency (LMCR) master plan, which is engineered to reduce the risk of flood damage from storm events like Hurricane Sandy. Hugh L. Carey Battery Park City Authority is the owner and EW Howell Co. is the general contractor for the property, which is addressed on permits as 20 Battery Place.

Recent photographs show the site fully cleared, with dirt raising its elevation higher than the street level of Battery Place. Some steel plates and columns have also begun to be placed for the new two-story Wagner Park Pavilion’s foundations. The 19,204-square-foot structure will sit 11 to 12 feet higher than its predecessor and contain a community room, a restaurant and public restrooms at ground level, storage space for staff, and an ADA-compliant roof deck. The building is being engineered to achieve ILFI Net-Zero Carbon Certification with geothermal heating and cooling systems, LED lighting, high-performance glazing, a highly insulated envelope, low-flow fixtures, and recycled building materials.

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July 5, 2023

News
BPCA Has Designs on the Waterfront

Authority Reviews Updated Plans for Resiliency Measures

More than 200 Lower Manhattan residents turned out on June 26, when the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) hosted a public meeting about its North/West Battery Park City Resiliency Project. The session reviewed the most recent design developments for protective measures along the Esplanade (and extending into Tribeca) to address risks associated with storm surge and sea level rise. These plans are now approximately 30 percent complete.

With early budget estimates pegging construction costs at approximately $630 million, the ­Authority’s plans for resiliency divide the scope of the project into seven “reaches”—discrete stretches of waterfront and adjacent upland acreage.

Reach One falls entirely outside Battery Park City, enveloping part of Tribeca, along with the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) and the Hudson River Park south of North Moore Street. Here, the flood barrier system will be comprised of both passive and deployable structures that “tie‐back” to higher ground at Greenwich Street. In this area, the BPCA’s design team has settled on a flood wall that aligns with buildings on the southern edge of North Moore Street, before hooking to the left and hugging the facade of BMCC as far as Harrison Street. At the intersection of Harrison and West Streets, the flood barrier will cross into Hudson River Park and run between the bike and pedestrian paths toward Stuyvesant High School.

Reach Two encompasses the North Esplanade behind Stuyvesant High School. In this section, a passive flood protection structure will be concealed within a terraced garden landscape, with a new­ platform built three feet higher than the current elevation and extending further into the water in an undulating “wave” shape.

Reach Three aims to protect Rockefeller Park and its adjacent stretch of the Esplanade to Vesey Street. “We focused on what we think is the most efficient option, which is basically to work with the elevation that River Terrace currently has, and see if we can integrate the flood wall into that retaining wall, so that what we’re building is less changed,” explained Peter Glus of the design and engineering firm Arcadis, and leader of the BPCA’s design team.

In this zone, no new wall is needed between Chambers and Warren Streets, as flood protection is gained by the existing wall along the River Terrace sidewalk. Additions to the existing wall south of Warren Street will increase to a height of 4.75 feet at the Rockefeller Park playground. This design envisions minimal impacts on the Rockefeller Park lawns (although they will have to be closed temporarily to add new drainage equipment under the grass), but will add deployable gates at the ends of the streets intersecting with River Terrace. The basketball courts will be resurfaced and realigned. Concerns voiced by residents about earlier versions of the Reach Three plan have been addressed by a new design that keeps the existing lily pond intact at its current location. Behind the lily pond, the flood wall tapers to a height of three feet. The playground adjacent to the lily pond will be partially rebuilt.

Belvedere Plaza is encircled by Reach Four, between Vesey Street and the uptown side of North Cove Marina. In this catchment, another point of controversy has been addressed by a new design that calls for the ferry terminal to remain in its current location. “We heard a lot of feedback about the terminal,” Mr. Glus acknowledged, “about whether to move it south, whether to move it north. What the design team has tried to do is work with the ferry terminal in place without moving it, because we recognize that movement would exacerbate some of the issues that some of the community is experiencing.”

Reach Five envisions ways to harden North Cove Marina against catastrophic flooding with a four-foot flood barrier that will be integrated into new features, such as benches and planters. At the edge of Pump House Park (see rendering above), this wall will reach a height of seven feet. Within Kowsky Plaza, it will scale back to 6.5 feet, while hewing to the wall of Gateway Plaza.

In Reach Six, upgrades to the South Esplanade between Liberty Street and Third Place consist of a passive structure following the existing masonry privacy wall near the residential buildings. This wall will top out at 7.5 feet, and will be supplemented with deployable structures at Albany Street, Rector Place, and West Thames Street, anchored to walls on either side of each street that narrow pedestrian access to the Esplanade.

And Reach Seven covers South Cove, where a wall six feet high will be installed along the southern edge of the Regatta condominium, scaling back to 4.5 feet as it traces the western edges of the Riverwatch and South Cove buildings. Deployable barriers will be installed where the Esplanade meets Third, Second, and First Places.

The BPCA and its design team expect to refine these plans further, reaching a threshold of 60 percent design completion by the spring of 2024, with final designs circulated late next year or early in 2025. Construction is expected to begin in 2025 and continue through 2028.

After the June 26 meeting, BPCA executive Gwen Dawson said the session “provided essential community feedback. We invite everyone to keep the conversation going by using our online tool to review the design materials and submit your thoughts over the coming weeks. We also look forward to scheduling a range of additional public sessions this fall.”

The public is invited to contribute reactions and questions about the design process for the North/West Battery Park City Resiliency Project online at dotstorming.com/b/6495d64c2fb42805abf9ece3. Comments will be accepted through the end of September.

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June 2, 2023

Press Release
Battery Park City Authority Gets Expanded Capacity to Fund Major Lower Manhattan Resiliency Projects

" The state budget approved last month gave the Battery Park City Authority the ability to raise an additional $1 billion in funding for resiliency projects ... "

Click the link below for additional information.

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April 20, 2023

News
BPC Sustainability Plan: 2023 Earth Week Update

The Battery Park City Authority has continued to implement the BPC Sustainability Plan and elevate sustainability in the neighborhood since the plan’s launch in 2020. Developed in consultation with a broad range of residential, local, and governmental stakeholders, the BPC Sustainability Plan provides the framework for developing and implementing a carbon neutral Battery Park City by the middle of the century through achievement of progressive sustainability targets through 2030, and lays the groundwork for continued sustainability action thereafter.

As BPCA celebrates Earth Day 2023 with a weeklong lineup of free public programming, we also mark our progress across the Plan’s four topic areas: Energy, Water, Materials & Waste, and Site.

ENERGY

– **Climate Action Plan: **Released in April 2022, Battery Park City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) focuses on the climate mitigation potential of BPC sustainability actions, quantifying and mapping greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions between now and 2050. CAP provides a high-level roadmap for Battery Park City to successfully achieve a carbon neutral neighborhood, where GHG emissions are net-zero over the course of a year with deep reductions and carbon offsets, as needed. GHG emissions reduction strategies in the energy, transportation, and waste sectors were modeled through 2050.

– Measure It To Manage It: The City of New York is targeting an 80% reduction in GHG emissions by 2050. In Battery Park City our goal is even more ambitious – carbon neutrality by the middle of the century. The Authority tracks and monitors its progress against this goal, and its 2020 and 2021 GHG inventory – for both its own operations and Battery Park City overall – can be found here.

– **Energy Audits: **The Authority set energy reduction goals for its own spaces in the BPC Sustainability Plan. In pursuit of those goals, BPCA completed ASHRAE Level II energy audits of its 75 Battery Place facility and 200 Liberty Street office space in 2022. The purpose of these audits was to determine potential energy conservation measures (ECMs) that can be implemented to reduce annual energy consumption and energy costs. The audits also included a lifecycle cost analysis to inform future decision making about the total cost and savings of the ECMs.

– **Replacing Gas-Powered Equipment: **As tools and equipment near the end of their useful life, BPCA’s Parks Operations team has transitioned to electric equipment options when possible. In 2022, a selection of gas powered equipment was replaced by electric snow blowers, an electric weed trimmer, electric leaf blowers, and an electric powered water pump. Moving forward, electric and/or zero-emissions equipment will always be assessed and reviewed for future equipment needs.

– **Energy & Sustainability Resources: **BPCA enhanced its role as a valuable facilitator of sustainability information in 2022. A “Sustainability Resources” section was added to the monthly BPC newsletter in 2022, which since launch has included information on service providers, educational, and financing opportunities items like New York State Energy Research and Development Authority grant opportunities, webinar sessions on LL97 and energy benchmarking hosted by the City, and rebate programs from Con Ed. In addition, the Authority collects and curates energy efficiency, building operations, energy retrofit, and technical and financial support opportunities, and shares this information with building management firms across Battery Park City.

Read more about the BPCA’s past work in this topic area: Energy.

WATER

– BPC Ball Fields Resiliency: Resiliency measures at the BPC Ball Fields and Community Center were completed in 2022. The project entailed construction of an approximately 800-linear foot flood protection system along the fields’ perimeter to protecting the 80,000 square foot playing surface – used by some 50,000 local youth annually – and adjacent community center from the risks associated with storm surge and sea level rise. See more about this work here.

– Permeable Paver Pilot: In line with the actions and goals laid out in the BPC Sustainability Plan, the Authority’s permeable paver pilot project aims to make the neighborhood’s stormwater infrastructure and management more resilient. The project will replace existing impermeable pavement with permeable ones in selected areas in BPC. Permeable pavers allow stormwater to infiltrate into the park’s soil profile and help mitigate run-off. The pilot will assess the permeable pavement’s efficacy in reducing stormwater runoff, mitigate water accumulation, and decrease existing pooling of water after storms have passed. The initiative will also assess the ease of procurement and installation, purchase price, and ongoing maintenance costs of each of the permeable paver options. As of April 2023, installation at two of the four pilot locations is complete – one at the top of South Cove (look for the light colored pavers by the cul-de-sac at South End Avenue), and on the South Esplanade, near The Upper Room.

– **Snow/Ice Removal: **Parks Operations uses Magic Salt Ice Melt for sidewalks and pathways in BPC in the winter months. Magic Salt is a blend of salt and leftover mash from alcohol distilleries and is more environmentally friendly than traditional salt, having a low corrosion value and releasing fewer chlorides into the landscape and stormwater. Learn more about the Authority’s leading snow and ice removal practices here.

Read more about the BPCA’s past work in this topic area: Water.

MATERIALS & WASTE

– **Recycling Expansion: **In 2022, the Authority executed on a key waste diversion action from the BPC Sustainability Plan – “Expanding recycling and composting activities through additional infrastructure, education, and training.” More than 100 blue recycling cans were added to Battery Park City’s park space in 2022, expanding recycling into the open space for the first time. This new recycling infrastructure, combined with recycling education for BPCA staff and the neighborhood, sets the stage for Battery Park City to significantly reduce its landfill numbers.

– **Zero-Waste Open Space and Operations Certification Year: **Building on the momentum of BPCA’s Zero Waste Gold certification for our 75 Battery Place facility, the Authority set a new goal of zero waste open spaces and operations in 2021. While 2021 served as the baseline year, Fiscal Year 2022 served as the certification year for this goal. Throughout 2022, multiple waste audits were performed of park and street trash. In addition to the waste audits, daily weighing and the review of historical waste data has informed the baseline and future measures for achieving zero waste park space. Moving forward, the results of these audits and insights from BPCA’s Zero Waste Advisory Committee will inform the strategy for educating Authority staff and the broader BPC community so that all can play a role in achieving this goal.

– **Resource Reduction & Salvage: **Parks Operations continues to identify creative opportunities to salvage and reuse materials in its daily operations; these opportunities can often then inform the Authority’s future purchasing decisions. For example, the set design for the Giuletta e Romeo opera last summer reused more than 40 park bench slats. Plexiglas salvaged from BPCA’s 200 Liberty Street offices has been used for windshields of electric carts. As part of the South Battery Park City Resiliency Project, our Horticulture division facilitated plant salvage opportunity for other State and City parks. BPCA regularly reaches out to vendors to create or utilize opportunities for “take-back” programs, repurposes items often sent to landfill, and works with vendors that can help recycle items that are considered “hard to recycle.” Taken together, these are the strategies that BPCA will use to reduce the amount sent to the landfill and change the mindset about waste in Battery Park City.

– **BPCA Procurement Guidelines: **The purchasing and procurement of materials by BPCA is a key place to include sustainability in decision-making and reduce waste. Sustainability guidance was added to the Procurement Guidelines in 2021, and it has become a regular practice to annually review the language included in the Authority’s Procurement Guidelines to ensure best practices are included for greener procurement.

– **Organics Collection & Composting: **BPCA continues its robust composting program, composting more than 75,247 lbs. in 2022. As just one example, composting was provided at BPCA’s Swedish Midsummer Festival in June 2022, one of the largest annual events. Over 92 lbs. of food waste was composted and diverted from the landfill as a result.

– **Dog waste composting expansion: **Battery Park City’s dog waste compost program, first launched in September 2019, the Authority has collected more than 5,700 lbs. of dog waste – creating nearly 7,000 lbs. of compost – with the first two fully-tested and cured dog waste compost applied along the West Street / Route 9A median in January 2022. Later that year, BPCA installed a new drop-off location on the BPC Esplanade, just south of Esplanade Plaza, to make participating in this program easier than ever. The Authority is now collecting between 15-25 lbs. of dog waste daily from our three dog runs and new collection bins along the BPC Esplanade.

Read more about the BPCA’s past work in this topic area: Materials & Waste.

SITE

– **Biodiversity & Habitats: **Expanding and enhancing existing ecological habitats is a goal outlined in both our Resilience Action Plan (the Authority’s first-ever strategic plan) and the BPC Sustainability Plan. By increasing biodiversity where appropriate across Battery Park City, the Authority will improve habitat resilience to different climatic conditions, improve their ecological health, and provide and support broader ecosystem services. BPCA uses the iNaturalist platform for documenting biodiversity in the neighborhood along with citizen scientists from across the city. With iNaturalist and stand-alone wildlife inventories, the Authority can better monitor and track birds, insects/pollinators, and other wildlife in BPC. A Kestrel box was installed in Rockefeller Park this summer, providing a place to build a nest and/or rest during migration, and recent creation of 10 “bee hotels” tucked away across our parks allows these buzzing buddies to safely nest and lay eggs.

– **New York State Birding Trail: **With more than 100 species of bird identified as living in or passing through Battery Park City, the neighborhood is a biodiversity haven across its 36 acres of parks and public space. Last October, Battery Park City was officially welcomed as part of the New York State Birding Trail, which highlights world-class birding opportunities across the state. The trail provides information on places anyone can go to find birds amid beautiful settings.

– Tree Power Program: During the autumn 2022 planting season, BPCA participated in the New York Power Authority’s Tree Power Program for the second consecutive year. The Authority planted 18 trees, which will store 491 lbs. of CO2 equivalents annually. All the trees selected are native to New York State, and provide particular value to birds, butterflies and moths, beneficial insects, and other wildlife.

Read more about the BPCA’s past work in this topic area: Site.

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July 26, 2022

News
Behind a Billion-Dollar Bid to Save Lower Manhattan

The Battery Park City Resiliency Project promises to protect some of the most valuable real estate in the US. Can it be a model for urban flood protection?

New York City was hit with an estimated $19 billion in damages and lost economic activity after Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012. The historic storm displaced thousands of residents from flooded homes, inundated subway tunnels, and left much of Manhattan in darkness. But when B.J. Jones talks about that disaster, he often focuses on a less dramatic storm impact — the storm surge that left the baseball and soccer fields at Battery Park underwater.

Jones, the president and chief executive officer of the Battery Park City Authority, brings up the ballfields to show that, amid the high-rises, there’s a real neighborhood here in this low-lying area at the southern tip of Manhattan, with roughly 16,000 full-time residents and its own Little League. A decade after Sandy, Jones is the head of the state-chartered corporation overseeing the Battery Park City Resiliency Project, a massive effort to reshape the coastline to prevent future catastrophic flooding.

“If we don’t change it, Mother Nature will,” Jones said.

Like so many such projects in New York City and around the nation and the globe, the resilience projects around Battery City are billed as critical in an era of climate change. They’re also expensive: The first phase of this effort, the South Battery Park City Resiliency Project — which will run from the Museum of Jewish Heritage through Wagner Park, Pier A Plaza and the Battery to a topographic high point near Bowling Green Plaza — is expected to break ground in September, with an estimated price tag of at least $221 million; a second phase estimated to cost at least $630 million that will stretch along the neighborhood’s northern and western boundaries is predicted to finish in 2026.

With global design firm AECOM working as lead architect and engineer, the project amounts to a wholesale reconstruction of the already artificial Battery Park City — 92 acres created from soil and rock dug during the construction of the World Trade Center. An unnatural creation, this land didn’t even exist 50 years ago, yet it’s dense with infrastructure and underground tunnels managed by various city departments, each of which must be involved in every aspect of design and construction for the costly project. Advocates insist this investment is necessary to shield Lower Manhattan, a crucial node in the global economy and site of some of the most valuable real estate in the US. The overall objective: protection against so-called 100-year flood events, which are expected to be more frequent and intense.

The project is a rare exception, in many ways. The Battery Park City Authority can leverage bond funding and coordinate the endeavor in ways other local government entities can’t. It’s an example of an empowered local government entity in a wealthy neighborhood tackling rising water with immense financial resources.

“It’s a good model for climate change resilience, in that they have this more collective organization that can represent the neighborhood,” said Thad Pawlowski, a professor and managing director at Columbia University’s Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes. “Frankly, most climate change adaptations are just cleaning up messes from disasters and waiting to tap into disaster recovery programs. In this case, the Battery Park City Authority is stepping up to do this. They recognize the urgency.”

Few waterfront areas have the resources of the Battery Park City Authority at their disposal, but there are broadly applicable lessons available to municipal and local groups embarking on climate change infrastructure, Pawlowski believes. The federal infrastructure law passed last year included $47 billion for spending, in part, to shore up coastal communities in the path of rising waters.

“A rising tide lifts all boats,” Pawlowski said. “Spending billions here shouldn’t take away from high-priority projects elsewhere; it’s not zero-sum. If anything, people should look at this project and ask, ‘Where’s the government, where’s our tax dollars, where’s the public investment we need in my neighborhood? Wow, a billion dollars was spent on Lower Manhattan. We need a billion dollars here, too. We need a Green New Deal.’”

Battery Park City’s transformation is part of an even larger climate mobilization: the multibillion-dollar Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency plan, an effort that traces its evolution to a series of post-Hurricane Sandy efforts to protect the city from future flooding. The 2013 Rebuild by Design competition asked cities to focus on resilience and reworking coastal areas to right past design wrongs; Bjarke Ingels Group’s BIG U design, the winning Manhattan project, proposed a horseshoe-shaped series of landscape projects that would layer social infrastructure atop flood prevention.

It also starts in the shadow of the adaptation project around Manhattan’s East River Park, which broke ground last year. That process became fraught as the city and various community and advocacy groups sparred over the planning process. The city’s decision in 2018, under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, to ignore a previous plan developed via thousands of hours of public meetings — and essentially abandon the BIG U concept and go in a different direction that in effect buried a cherished public park — incensed many.

“It was just a failure in the public process,” Pawlowski said of the East River initiative. “There’s a lot of public conversation to have about how we adapt to climate change, because it’s not like there’s just a one-size-fits-all solution. It challenges our idea of what a public process is, because we need communities to be deeply involved in this work and to have a stake in it, or it just won’t happen.”

Betty Kay, a Battery Park City resident and community board member who has been involved in the planning and discussions around the project since 2016, said their resiliency project was more transparent and responsive. There has been extensive documentation and collaboration along the way, and videos of every meeting can be found online. While many residents and newcomers were surprised by the degree of change, including the razing of beloved green space, it has moved relatively fast for such a complex undertaking.

That doesn’t mean there hasn’t been some community pushback: Daniel Akkerman, president of the Battery Alliance, told The City that he wanted more direct outreach and felt surprised by plans for the park. Others have complained about parks being temporarily closed and beloved trees removed, as well as construction noise and disruption that, for older residents, recalls the rebuilding after Sept. 11. Using the hashtag #Pausethesaws, members of the Battery Park City Neighborhood Association have called for rethinking the current plans and adding more neighborhood representation in decision-making. In letters sent to New York Governor Kathy Hochul, Jones and other leaders, they raise questions about the scale, scope and science behind the project, as well as what they see as misleading claims about the flooding risks faced by the neighborhood. Columnist Steve Cuozzo recently echoed those complaints in the New York Post, writing that the end results would be a “grotesquely warped” Wagner Park. 

But Kay says the Battery Park process did better outreach, and gained more community support, than its counterpart on the East River. The public campaign was focused on boltering those who supported resiliency, convincing those on the fence, she said, and being fair with the naysayers, who weren’t expected to ever back up the effort. In particular, she felt that the series of public tours with architects and engineers to explain the larger vision helped address concerns. Tour leaders held up poles showing the projected height of floodwater at different sites, helping to dramatize the need for specific flood infrastructure, and showcasing a hands-on methodology for other cities and neighborhoods.

“The in-person tours really mattered,” Kay said. “You could show that there isn’t a lot of land to work with, and when someone had an objection or asked a question, they would be faced with the question, ‘Well, how would you reimagine it? How would you like to maintain it?’”

While the project covers just a small cross section of Manhattan, Battery Park City’s varying topography means even among this relatively small stretch of waterfront, different approaches to resilience and mitigation will be used. Wagner Park will be elevated 10 feet and include a buried flood wall, which requires the demolition and replacement of an existing pavilion. Other sections will have elevated berms and pop-up walls.

Pier A Plaza, meanwhile, will be envisioned as a bi-level landscaped park, with tiered seating that acts as a water barrier during low-level flooding, and flip-up gates on the upper level to be deployed for more severe weather events. The entire project is built with flooding in mind; the wood used for seating can stand being submerged for days at a time, new trees will be resistant to saltwater, and formerly brick structures will be rebuilt with structural concrete to resist erosion.

This underscores one of the prime selling points of the current plan: the effort to create public amenities that double as flood protection, adding and enhancing shared space instead of merely erecting large bulkheads — social infrastructure as climate resilience. Gwen Dawson, Battery Park City Authority vice president of real property, described the approach as using a “scalpel, not a sledgehammer.”

“Climate change will redefine our waterfront in terms of ownership, access, and natural versus hard edges,” said Pawlowski, who believes much of the city’s coast may ultimately be turned back to marshland and beach. “It’s a real civic asset today, and people love to walk along the promenade, and I think it will continue to be a great place for people to enjoy New York City’s waterfront and understand how it's changing.”

Part of the reason Battery Park City can move forward like this is how it’s footing the bill. The public authority is leveraging its ability to issue its own bonds, using revenues from ground leases and property tax payments (known as “payment in lieu of taxes,” or PILOT) from Battery Park City. (Residents will see no increases in ground rent or PILOT, per the Authority.) It’s a good mechanism, according to Pawlowski, and speaks to the reality of resilience: Climate change adaptation is going to cost a lot of money, so it’s up to public agencies and government to structure such payments in ways that create jobs and become drivers for the economy.

That fundamental logic should hold even for local governments that lack the kind of economic means found in Lower Manhattan.

“There’s a lot of money that has to be found,” said Kay, about the dire need for increased resilience spending across the city. “No one knows where it’s coming from, and there’s a 20- to 25-year time frame to get it done.”

The urgency can’t be overstated. The rising sea level — a foot in the harbor already, potentially three to six feet by midcentury— means every tropical storm and nor’easter could have that much more impact. The reality of this changed landscape can be seen elsewhere in New York City: Residents of Staten Island and Jamaica Bay are raising homes — or taking post-storm buyouts to leave.

Pawlowski hopes this Battery Park City plan and development helps elevate the idea of what can be done for the public within resilience projects and proposals. Ideally, he sees this raising the standard, and helping other neighborhoods — such as Red Hook in Brooklyn or Hunt’s Point in the Bronx, which don’t have Battery Park City’s resources and face some of the highest risks from climate change — demand and receive more.

There’s a sense that there’s no time to waste, and the community seems to accept that. Kay recalls one resident who wanted to have a farewell party for the old Wagner Park before renovations and reconstruction begin.

“When you start putting concrete in the ground, you’re really admitting what’s happening,” she said. “You’re gearing up for war and about to fight, and that’s very scary.”

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April 1, 2022

News
Battery Park City Authority Releases Climate Action Plan

The Battery Park City Authority released its industry-leading Climate Action Plan, a detailed roadmap of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction strategies in the energy, transportation, and waste sectors. The Battery Park City Climate Action Plan, developed by BPCA through its consultant Buro Happold, an international sustainability consultancy, was crafted by calculating current GHG emissions for the neighborhood, as well as projections of how those emissions would change year-by-year through 2050. It comes on the heels of the newest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change outlining the dire need for swift action to avert the worst effects of climate change.

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September 17, 2020

News
Battery Park City Authority Announces Lineup of Public Events in Recognition of Climate Week NYC 2020

Climate Week NYC runs from September 21-27, 2020

Following the launch of its comprehensive, ten-year Sustainability Plan, the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) today announced its lineup of free virtual and in-person programs and events in celebration of Climate Week NYC. Including remote panel discussions, a virtual film screening, and self-guided educational and arts programming in its world-class parks, the event lineup highlights BPCA’s green legacy and leading-edge sustainability efforts on the path to achieving a carbon neutral Battery Park City by 2050. For more information and a full schedule of events, visit: www.climateweeknyc.org/events-program.

“We mark Climate Week NYC with an increased urgency and – with our BPC Sustainability Plan – a comprehensive strategy to achieve greener space, less energy and water use, multimodal shared streets, and better air quality throughout Battery Park City, ” said BPCA President and Chief Executive Officer B.J. Jones. “We invite you to take part in this year’s range of free events in celebration of our commitment to a more sustainable future.”

“What we see unfolding on the West Coast and Gulf Coast is a clear signal – if we need another one – that the time to act is now,” said BPCA Board Member and Resiliency Working Group Chair Catherine McVay Hughes. “In concert with our community, and informed by the best science and engineering, BPCA is investing in the future of our homes and lives.”

BPCA’s Climate Week NYC events include:

Nature in the Park

Tuesday, September 22, 3:30-4:30pm @ Rockefeller Park Children’s Garden

Celebrate the nature found in our beloved Battery Park City Parks. Pick up a self-guided worksheet to tour the gardens investigating plants and trees, as well as the pollinating insects and birds that visit the parks of BPC. Participants are expected to bring their own pencils and clipboards.

All programming is conducted in accordance with New York Forward guidance:

  • Program is first come, first served for up to 20 children with accompanying adults
  • Masks and contact information required upon arrival
  • Activity is self-guided
  • Participants must maintain six (6) feet of physical distance between households

Elements of Nature Drawing

Wednesday, September 23, 11AM-12:30PM @ Wagner Park

Located at Battery Park City’s southern end, Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Park, with its amazing gardens and views of the Hudson River and New York Bay, is the perfect setting to practice your art. Participants are expected to bring their own drawing and painting supplies, including drawing boards and containers of water if they are planning to paint. BPCA will supply drawing paper and watercolor paper only.

All programming is conducted in accordance with New York Forward guidance:

  • Program is first come, first served for up to 20 participants
  • Masks and contact information required upon arrival
  • Art-making is self-guided
  • Participants must maintain six (6) feet of physical distance for the duration of the program

Zero Waste in an Urban Environment

Wednesday, September 23, 12-1PM

On Earth Day 2019, BPCA launched its Zero Waste Initiative, a waste-reduction program that includes education, regular reporting and review of vendor practices, and pledges from more than 100 Authority staff members to reduce, reuse, and recycle. The Authority has now attained Gold-level TRUE certification (an assessor-based program that rates how well facilities minimize waste) at its 75 Battery Place facility in lower Manhattan by decreasing office waste going to landfill by 90% over the past year.

Hosted by the U.S. Green Building Council, BPCA Horticulturist and Zero Waste Advisory Committee Lead Jasmine Johnson will participate in a virtual panel discussion about BPCA’s experiences on its journey to zero waste as an organization in the urban environment. Register here.

Battery Park City: Building the “15-Minute City”

Thursday, September 24, 10-10:30AM

Join BPCA for a virtual presentation on its commitment to sustainability, as we discuss efforts to serve as a model for a “15-minute City” – a community which is vibrant, inclusive, and resilient. These efforts have become particularly critical in today’s environment where many are looking to reduce unnecessary travel, yet stay engaged with their local community.

In late 2019, BPCA launched its Resilience Action Plan to serve as a blueprint for achieving “urban resiliency,” ensuring Battery Park City remains a dynamic and safe community, and further establishing it as a global leader in sustainable development. Building on these efforts, the Authority launched the BPC Sustainability Plan earlier this month, setting Battery Park City on a path of carbon neutrality by the middle of the century. Speakers include representatives from BPCA and Buro Happold Engineering, followed by a Q&A session. Register here.

Thursday Afternoon Family Fun

Thursday. September 24, 3-4PM @ Rockefeller Park

Fall is a special time in BPC: Along with the changes in trees and gardens, Monarch Butterflies and many species of unique birds are migrating through. Celebrate this time with art and nature activities. Participants are expected to bring their own general supplies, such as crayons, markers, colored pencils, watercolor paints (bring your own container of water), glue, and scissors. Pick up a “kit bag” with instructions for the project of the day.

All programming is conducted in accordance with New York Forward guidance:

  • Program is first come, first served for up to 20 children with accompanying adults
  • Masks and contact information required upon arrival
  • Activity is self-guided
  • Participants must maintain six (6) feet of physical distance between households

Drawing in the Park

Saturday, September 26, 10-11:30AM @ South Cove

Practice your art in scenic South Cove! Participants are expected to bring their own drawing and painting supplies, including drawing boards and containers of water if they are planning to paint. BPCA will supply drawing paper and watercolor paper only.

All programming is conducted in accordance with New York Forward guidance:

  • Program is first come, first served for up to 20 participants
  • Masks and contact information required upon arrival
  • Activity is self-guided
  • Participants must maintain six (6) feet of physical distance for the duration of the program

Microplastics Madness: Virtual Screening & Panel Discussion

Saturday, September 26, 3-5PM

Back by popular demand! This gripping, New York-based documentary shines a light on the root causes of harmful plastic pollution explored by a group of New York City fifth graders who prove to be budding environmental advocates amid the inaction inherent in today’s climate crisis. In proud partnership with Cafeteria Culture, BPCA will host an uninterrupted screening of Microplastics Madness film on September 26 (3:00-4:15PM), followed by a Q&A panel discussion (4:15-5:00PM) led by the film’s co-directors and producers Debby Lee Cohen and Atsuko Quirk.

Nearly 100 guests attended BPCA’s virtual screening of the film during Earth Week 2020. Join us for our second screening as we wrap up Climate Week NYC! Register here.

Go Car Free for Climate

Climate Week: September 21-27

In recognition of Climate Week NYC, BPCA is also participating in New York State’s Go Car Free for Climate campaign. The goal of the campaign is to reduce climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging New Yorkers to pledge to forego driving their vehicles at least one day during Climate Week and instead walking, riding a bike, or using mass transit. Car Free for Climate supports New York's ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030, and 85 percent by 2050, from 1990 levels.

To participate, New Yorkers can click here to take the pledge, and then follow through with that commitment to be car free. Participants are also encouraged to let friends and neighbors know about going Car Free for Climate by posting about their experience on social media using the hashtag #NYSCarFree.

As a sustainability leader, BPCA has also made the following recent strides in green governance and programming:

  • On September 3, 2020, the Authority launched the Battery Park City Sustainability Plan, a comprehensive pathway to achieve progressive sustainability targets over the next decade. Developed in consultation with a broad range of residential, local, and governmental stakeholders, the Plan provides the framework for developing and implementing a carbon neutral Battery Park City by 2050, in keeping with the mandate set forth in the New York State’s 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • In April 2020, the Authority launched the BPC Wildlife Census, through which Battery Park City’s residents, partners, and friends could help create better habitat for native insects and migratory birds that call Battery Park City home. To date, BPCA has tallied 56 diverse species through this survey. Complete the BPC Wildlife Census here.
  • During Climate Week 2019, BPCA launched its Dog Waste Composting Program at each of the neighborhood’s three dog runs. Composting rather than disposing of this waste in its raw form helps minimize the amount of methane gas released, while also reducing the number of plastic bags typically used to pick up pet waste. As part of this program, more than 1,500 pounds of dog waste has been collected and is being composted to date.
  • In July 2019, BPCA issued $76.3 million in Sustainability Bonds Phase 1 of its Capital Plan, which includes development of a comprehensive resiliency infrastructure – entailing perimeter storm barriers, flood protection systems, waterproofing, and landscaping to protect its residents and assets from climate change.  The Authority’s Sustainability Bond Framework aligns with the Green Bond Principles, Social Bond Principles, and Sustainability Bond Guidelines (promulgated by the International Capital Markets Association), as well as United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) and 13 (Climate Action). BPCA was selected as the Northeast Deal of the Year by Bond Buyer for its total $673 million offering, of which these Sustainability Bonds were a part.
  • On Earth Day 2019, in partnership with Gateway Plaza – Battery Park City’s largest residential complex – BPCA launched the neighborhood’s first building-specific composting program, diverting nearly 20,000 lbs. of food waste to date.
  • BPCA’s Investment Guidelines emphasize the consideration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in the Authority’s investment strategy. BPCA encourages its investment managers to include ESG factors in their analytical processes and prohibits investment in companies that are heavily-reliant on fossil fuels.

Read more about BPCA’s sustainability initiatives here.

Run by The Climate Group, an international non-profit focused on accelerating climate action, Climate Week NYC serves as showcase for climate action worldwide. Businesses, governments, academic institutions, arts organizations, individuals and non-profit organizations are invited to participate in the week-long events program, including panel discussions, concerts, exhibitions, seminars and more. For more information visit: www.climateweeknyc.org.

About BPCA: Established in 1968, The Hugh L. Carey Battery Park City Authority is a New York State Public Benefit Corporation charged with developing and maintaining a well-balanced community on the Lower West Side of Manhattan. Battery Park City’s 92- acre site has achieved worldwide acclaim as a model for community renewal in planning, creating, and maintaining a balance of commercial, residential, retail and park space. For more info visit: bpca.ny.gov.

Contact: Nick Sbordone

     (646) 531-2276

Read Article

September 3, 2020

Press Release
Battery Park City Authority Launches Ten-Year Sustainability Plan

Comprehensive Study to Guide Authority’s Efforts in Achieving a Carbon Neutral Battery Park City by 2050 – with more green space, less energy and water use, multi-modal shared streets, and better air quality

Continues and Expands Upon Neighborhood’s Environmental Legacy

The Battery Park City Authority today launched the Battery Park City Sustainability Plan, a comprehensive pathway of strategies, goals, and specific actions to achieve progressive sustainability targets over the next decade, and laying the groundwork for continued sustainability action after 2030. Among the largest neighborhood-scale sustainability plans in the United States, the BPC Sustainability Plan was developed in partnership with international sustainability consultancy Buro Happold, and responds to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s charge to make New York State carbon neutral by 2050.

“We can’t take Battery Park City’s green legacy for granted. Even in the midst of present challenges, it’s imperative that we strengthen our commitment to greater environmental responsibility – the future depends on it,” said BPCA President and CEO B.J. Jones. “To that end, we’ve developed this neighborhood plan with energy, waste, water, and site management strategies to help advance our efforts and illustrate to others how Governor Cuomo’s ambitious vision for carbon neutrality can be achieved. This was a true team effort and my thanks goes to the Buro Happold team, our Board members, my colleagues, agency partners, and the Battery Park City community.”

The BPC Sustainability Plan is intended as a guiding document for both BPCA and the greater Battery Park City community, and follows a comprehensive stakeholder outreach and engagement initiative, which gave shape to a collective Sustainability Vision for Battery Park City:

We envision a Battery Park City that will serve as an innovative model for urban climate action, where all of us who live, work, and spend time here mobilize to create a sustainable future.

Nearly 500 people participated in the development of this Sustainability Plan, with public roundtables, pop-ups at public events and in BPCA’s offices, and an online survey. This approach solicited ideas from the public and from BPCA staff for inclusion in this Plan – more than one-third of the Plan Sub-Actions came directly from these engagements – as well as helped BPCA identify where there is opportunity to increase awareness, seek collaborations, and facilitate programs to promote sustainability.

The BPC Sustainability Plan is also informed by robust interagency coordination. The Battery Park City Carbon Neutral Working Group, comprised of content experts in the sustainable energy field, includes representatives from the New York Power Authority, New York State Energy Research & Development Authority, Con Ed, Department of Environmental Conservation, and New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability.

“Battery Park City is one of New York City’s newest and most future-forward communities, so it makes total sense that the Battery Park City Authority is out in front when it comes to sustainability,” said Gil C. Quiniones, New York Power Authority President and CEO. “Governor Cuomo has a bold plan for greenhouse gas emission reduction, carbon-free electricity, and use of renewable energy for the next decades. In order for us to meet these nation-leading climate targets, we must start at home, here in New York City in one of the most vibrant, dynamic neighborhoods along our coastline. NYPA is advising BPCA on energy efficiency, building electrification, low-carbon energy systems, renewable energy supply and storage options, and greenhouse gas emissions monitoring and reporting. We look forward to working with BPCA on its sustainability efforts that are sure to set the bar for other communities to follow.”

“As New York continues to lead national conversations on our changing climate, and forward thinking models to ensure our most vulnerable populations are included in solutions to address the need for resiliency, preserving natural resources, and delivering clean, renewable energy to all, NYSERDA has proudly partnered with Battery Park City as they embark on this sustainability plan,” said Doreen M. Harris, Acting President and CEO, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. “They are leading by example in their support of Governor Cuomo’s plan for economy wide carbon neutrality, helping us reduce our carbon footprint, and joining in our efforts to deliver meaningful and innovative clean energy and cost saving programs that result in healthier, greener communities and we congratulate them on this milestone.”

“Confronting the climate challenge before us requires everyone to identify, advocate for, and implement the best solutions for each of our neighborhoods and communities,” said Mark Chambers, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability for the City of New York. “We thank BPCA for their continued leadership and collaboration in advancing this urgent work.”

As a result of these engagements, the BPC Sustainability Plan puts forth a holistic vision of environmental sustainability, including health and wellness, environmental quality, and education, achievable through pursuit of three primary goals:

Resource Management & Reduction – Reduce the demand for energy and water, promote the creative reuse of resources, strengthen Battery Park City's resilience, enhance its ecosystems, and minimize waste to reduce its environmental footprint.

Innovation & Inspiration – Leverage Battery Park City initiatives as scalable models for sustainability to reduce the neighborhood's carbon footprint and inspire urban developments across the world to accelerate environmental action.

Education & Collaboration – Bolster engagement and education throughout Battery Park City on sustainability-related issues and actions while ensuring the benefits of those actions are shared, including improved environmental quality, reduced utility and operational costs, and higher quality of life.

The BPC Sustainability Plan is one of three documents produced by BPCA as part of its sustainability platform. It is centered around four “Topic Areas” (Energy, Water, Materials & Waste, and Site), which are further broken down into broad aspirations and discrete methods for achievement – strategies, targets, milestones, actions, and sub-actions – that chart a course toward making Battery Park City a sustainability model.

18 Strategies – are the primary methods for achieving Battery Park City’s sustainability vision and goals, and include:

in Energy—

o   Deep energy retrofits

o   Building electrification

o   Low-carbon district energy systems

o   Renewable energy supply and storage

o   Greenhouse gas emissions monitoring and reporting

in Water—

o   Water conservation

o   Water recycling systems

o   Resiliency and stormwater management

in Materials & Waste—

o   Sustainable consumption

o   Sustainable building materials

o   Waste diversion

o   Organics collection and composting

o   Construction and demolition activities

in Site—

o   Biodiversity and habitats

o   Quality of life

o   Environmental monitoring and data sharing

o   Active transportation

o   Electric vehicle infrastructure

25 Targets – are the objectives set to achieve each strategy by 2030. These targets are either Battery Park City Targets (those that will be achieved neighborhood-wide), or BPCA-specific Targets (those that will be achieved in BPCA-owned and leased spaces – both indoor and outdoor);

64 Supporting Milestones – are placed along a timeline over the next ten years, which BPCA will track to illustrate progress toward meeting the 2030 targets;

46 Actions – provide more detailed initiatives that will be implemented underneath each strategy for the purposes of achieving the targets. Actions will be either BPCA-led Actions (those to be primarily implemented and managed by BPCA) or BPC-wide Actions (those that will be implemented across Battery Park City and require collaboration with all buildings and major stakeholders); and

142 Sub-Actions – are the implementation steps to support each action. These sub-actions will be elaborated on in the Sustainability Implementation Plan.

Accompanying the BPC Sustainability Plan is a set of two enabling documents:

The Sustainability Implementation Plan outlines the policies, programs, partnerships, tools, and funding mechanisms that are available, or can be created, to assist in transforming the BPC Sustainability Plan into a reality

The new BPC Green Guidelines provides detailed technical guidance to BPCA and to Battery Park City building owners, managers, and tenants, including the steps necessary to achieve a more sustainable Battery Park City

New York State has set ambitious targets to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% by 2030, and 80% by 2050, from 1990 levels. The State’s latest sustainability effort, the Green New Deal, accelerates the state’s action by aiming to achieve 70% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040. By aiming for net zero carbon by 2050, Battery Park City is aligning itself with global leaders and committing to prioritize climate action. Now, informed by this Sustainability Plan, BPCA will act to reduce GHG emissions and tackle sustainability issues while collaborating and sharing lessons learned with the wider New York City community and other communities around the world.

"The announcement of this ambitious green initiative for Battery Park City reflects the importance of addressing sustainability at a district-wide scale,” says Buro Happold principal Robert Okpala. “We’re excited to work with the Battery Park City Authority to deliver this far-reaching and influential plan to deliver integrated sustainable solutions to the residents and a wide range of stakeholders in Battery Park City. We believe it will inspire other neighborhoods across the United States and the world to accelerate their action against climate change."

"World leaders will soon meet to set new global targets to protect nature under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity,” said Angie Fyfe, Executive Director ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability USA. “Congratulations to Battery Park City, a near neighbor to the UN headquarters, for awakening us to the richness of the area's biodiversity and its contribution to our wellbeing.  The Battery Park City Sustainability Plans and Green Guidelines remind us that if we care for nature, it will care for us." 

Said Dr. Vatsal Bhatt, U.S. Green Building Council, Vice President for Communities: “I am very excited to see that Buro Happold has tackled energy issues comprehensively for moving Battery Park City closer to energy resilience and net zero emissions by 2050; with energy modeling, deep energy retrofits for buildings, transitioning buildings to all-electric systems, expanding the district energy system supporting higher efficiency and better economy of scale, transitioning to an electricity supply to all renewable sources, tackling embodied carbon and continuous monitoring and reporting.”

“I applaud the Battery Park City Authority for putting forth an ambitious sustainability plan that will help transform Lower Manhattan’s environmental impact for the next decade”, said Congressman Jerry Nadler. "The BPCA plan confronts the urgency of the climate crisis head-on and affirms New York’s commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and mitigating the threat of climate change which affects us all".

“Our city must take proactive steps to reduce its carbon footprint and combat climate change,” said Council Member Margaret Chin. “Here in Lower Manhattan, Battery Park City has been a visionary leader in environmental sustainability for the rest of the city, and I commend its efforts to continue that track record in the years to come.”

Battery Park City has a long history of environmental leadership. Since its inception, the parks and open spaces in Battery Park City were designed with environmental quality as a priority. Starting in 2000, BPCA released environmental guidelines for residential buildings, leading to the development of buildings that were well ahead of city, and even global, standards at the time. Two years later, similar guidance was provided for commercial buildings, with the original residential guidelines updated thereafter. Decades of proactive leadership have resulted in Battery Park City being one of the most sustainable communities in New York City.

Building upon its environmental legacy, the Authority has made the following recent strides in green governance:

  • In July 2019, BPCA issued $76.3 million in Sustainability Bonds Phase 1 of its Capital Plan, which includes development of a comprehensive resiliency infrastructure – entailing perimeter storm barriers, flood protection systems, waterproofing, and landscaping to protect its residents and assets from climate change.  The Authority’s Sustainability Bond Framework aligns with the Green Bond Principles, Social Bond Principles, and Sustainability Bond Guidelines (promulgated by the International Capital Markets Association), as well as United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) and 13 (Climate Action). BPCA was selected as the Northeast Deal of the Year by Bond Buyer for its total $673 million offering, of which these Sustainability Bonds were a part.
  • On Earth Day 2019, BPCA launched its Zero Waste Initiative, a waste-reduction program that includes education, regular reporting and review of vendor practices, and pledges from more than 100 Authority staff members to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Focusing initially on BPCA’s practices at its 75 Battery Place facility, the Authority has now attained Gold-level TRUE certification (an assessor-based program that rates how well facilities minimize waste), by decreasing office waste going to landfill by 90% over the past 12 months, and will expand Zero Waste to BPCA’s other facilities – and eventually to Battery Park City’s open spaces and the greater community. To that end several Authority staff have earned certification as TRUE Zero Waste advisors, lending BPCA on-site expertise to implement the neighborhood’s Zero Waste program.
  • Also on Earth Day 2019, in partnership with Gateway Plaza – Battery Park City’s largest residential complex – BPCA launched the neighborhood’s first building-specific composting program, diverting nearly 20,000 lbs. of food waste to date.
  • BPCA’s Investment Guidelines emphasize the consideration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in the Authority’s investment strategy. BPCA encourages its investment managers to include ESG factors in their analytical processes and prohibits investment in companies that are heavily-reliant on fossil fuels.

About BPCA: Established in 1968, The Hugh L. Carey Battery Park City Authority is a New York State Public Benefit Corporation charged with developing and maintaining a well-balanced community on the Lower West Side of Manhattan. Battery Park City’s 92- acre site has achieved worldwide acclaim as a model for community renewal in planning, creating, and maintaining a balance of commercial, residential, retail and park space. For more info visit: bpca.ny.gov.      

Contact: Nick Sbordone

     (646) 531-2276

Read Press Release

September 23, 2019

Press Release
NYC Climate Week 2019

BATTERY PARK CITY AUTHORITY ANNOUNCES LINEUP OF PUBLIC EVENTS IN CELEBRATION OF NYC CLIMATE WEEK 2019

Programs Underscore Authority’s Recent Sustainability Efforts

__                                                     Climate Week NYC runs from September 23-29__

In keeping with Battery Park City’s legacy of environmental leadership, and on the heels of climate change activist Greta Thunberg’s arrival in Battery Park City’s North Cove Marina, the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) today announced its lineup of programs and events in celebration of Climate Week NYC 2019. Run by The Climate Group, an international non-profit focused on accelerating climate action, Climate Week NYC serves as showcase for climate action worldwide. Businesses, governments, academic institutions, arts organizations, individuals and non-profit organizations are invited to participate in the week-long events program, including panel discussions, concerts, exhibitions, seminars and more. For more information and a full schedule of events, visit: www.climateweeknyc.org/events-program.

“A half-century ago the Battery Park City Authority was created with a mission of renewal, transforming the dilapidated lower west side waterfront into a haven of green space and sustainable development,” said BPCA President and Chief Executive Officer B.J. Jones. “From our environmental guidelines for new commercial and residential construction, to organic maintenance of our open spaces, to sustainable practices spanning our operations, we continue that legacy today. We celebrate Climate Week NYC with a range of events and initiatives to educate, inspire, and further our environmental responsibility efforts.”

“We saw first-hand the devastating impact of Superstorm Sandy on Lower Manhattan in 2012,” said BPCA Board Member and Resiliency Working Group Chair Catherine McVay Hughes. “The BPCA’s actions to make our community a more sustainable and resilient place to live, work, and play is more important than ever.”

BPCA’s Climate Week NYC events include:

Go Fish! Battery Park City’s Celebration of Life in the Hudson Estuary

Saturday, September 21 from 10AM-1PM in Wagner Park

  • Join experienced anglers for catch-and-release fishing and learn about life in the Hudson River. The day also features an art project inspired by imagining if endangered species could speak up for themselves. Event includes a live performance by Grammy Award-winning Lucy Kalantari & The Jazz Cats! and a Volunteers for Wildlife presentation of Raptors! – get an up-close look at these fascinating birds of prey. The presentation will be followed by a family-friendly nature walk through the gardens of Wagner Park.
  • At the event, BPCA staff will be joined by representatives from the Mayor’s Office of Resiliency and New York City Economic Development Corporation to provide information and answer questions about the Authority’s resiliency initiatives and the Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency (LMCR) Project.

BPCA Composting Tours @ Parks Operations Headquarters (75 Battery Place)

Monday, September 23 at 9:00AM & Tuesday, September 24 at 11:00AM

  • BPCA has a longstanding and growing composting program. Last year the Authority composted more than 20,000 lbs. of food and waste, and is on-pace to compost over 35,000 lbs. in 2019. Join us for a tour of BPCA’s composting program and see how this waste stream is diverted from the landfill. Please register by email info@bpca.ny.gov or by calling (212) 267-9700.

Young Sprouts Gardening

Tuesday, September 24 from 3:15-3:45PM, Rockefeller Park Children’s Garden

  • An introduction to organic gardening for children 3-5 years old with accompanying adults. A garden-themed story time will be followed by activities like watering, searching for butterflies and bees, and planting. A great way to introduce your preschooler to the joys of gardening and the broader natural environment as a part of Climate Week.

Elements of Nature Drawing

Wednesday, September 25 from 11AM-1:00PM, Wagner Park

  • Get inspired by the beautiful expanse of the Hudson River and New York Harbor. Embolden your artwork amidst the flower-filled and seasonally evolving palette of Wagner Park’s verdant gardens. An artist/educator will provide ideas and instruction. Materials provided. For adults ages 18 and up.

Wednesdays in Teardrop

Wednesday, September 25 from 3:30-5:00PM, Teardrop Park

  • Sustainable and recycled materials are used to create a take-home art project with the environment in mind. Afterward, games themed around the environment will be played. Designed for school-age children.

** BPC Ball Fields Resiliency Project: Public Meeting**

Thursday, September 26, 6:00PM, 6 River Terrace

  • Superstorm Sandy resulted in more than fifty lives lost, millions of traumatized residents and billions of dollars in property damage in New York City. While Battery Park City fared better than many other affected areas, it nevertheless sustained millions of dollars of damage. BPCA is currently at work on a comprehensive resiliency plan, consisting of four interrelated projects to protect the neighborhood from the threats of storm surge and sea level rise – including an initiative to protect the BPC Ball Fields used by 50,000 local youth annually. (Read more)

Drawing in the Park

Saturday, September 28 from 10AM-12:00PM in Wagner Park

  • Paint in watercolor or use pastels, chalk, and charcoal to capture the magical vistas of the Hudson River and the unique landscape of Wagner Park. An artist/educator will help participants of all levels with instruction and critique. Materials provided. For adults ages 18 and up.

Also as part of Climate Week NYC, BPCA will launch a dog waste composting initiative at its three dog runs – more information coming soon – and participate in trainings, tours, and panels in furtherance of its sustainability efforts. These include recycling training for staff, a visit to the Sims Materials Recovery Facility in Sunset Park, and a tour of BPCA’s Parks Operations headquarters for New York State agencies. Authority staff will also participate in these Climate Week NYC events on Friday, September 27:

  • BPCA President & CEO B.J. Jones speaks on a panel regarding Battery Park City Coastal Resiliency: Systemically Reducing Risk in Lower Manhattan as part of Climate Week NYC 2019’s Built Environment Symposium.
  • BPCA Assistant Director of Parks Operations Ryan Torres presents a case study about Successful Sustainability Projects at New York State’s GreenNY Forum at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center

As a sustainability leader, over the past year the Authority has made the following strides in green governance:

  • In July, BPCA issued $76.3 million in Sustainability Bonds Phase 1 of its Capital Plan, which includes development of a comprehensive resiliency infrastructure – entailing perimeter storm barriers, flood protection systems, waterproofing, and landscaping to protect its residents and assets from climate change. The proceeds will also finance projects that enhance public access to open space, accessibility and walkability, and preserve the socio-cultural attributes of Battery Park City. The Authority’s Sustainability Bond Framework aligns with the Green Bond Principles, Social Bond Principles and Sustainability Bond Guidelines (promulgated by the International Capital Markets Association), as well as United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) and 13 (Climate Action).

  • In May, the BPCA Board approved a resolution supporting creation of a Sustainability Plan and New Green Guidelines, which will, among other things, facilitate the Authority’s commitment to “achieve a carbon neutral Battery Park City by the middle of the century, along with greenhouse gas reduction and clean energy improvement targets, a strategy for achieving those targets, and a framework for ensuring BPCA lessees and business partners meet BPCA’s enumerated goals.” Last month BPCA issued an RFP for creation of this plan, which will guide the Authority’s sustainability efforts and initiatives for the next decade. BPCA’s Sustainability Plan will be presented on Earth Day 2020.

  • On Earth Day 2019, BPCA launched its Zero Waste Initiative, a waste-reduction program that includes education, regular reporting and review of vendor practices, and pledges from more than 100 Authority staff members to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Focusing initially on BPCA’s practices at its Parks Operations Headquarters, the goal is to attain TRUE certification (an assessor-based program that rates how well facilities minimize waste), decrease office waste going to landfill by 90% over the next 12 months, and learn from this experience to expand Zero Waste to the Authority’s other spaces – and eventually to the community.

  • Also on Earth Day, in partnership with Gateway Plaza – Battery Park City’s largest residential complex – BPCA launched the neighborhood’s first building-specific composting program, diverting more than 4,000 lbs. of waste to date

  • BPCA’s Investment Guidelines emphasize the consideration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in the Authority’s investment strategy. BPCA encourages its investment managers to include ESG factors in their analytical processes and prohibits investment in companies that are heavily-reliant on fossil fuels.

  • Last October, BPCA released its first-ever, scientific study of the use of Battery Park City’s 36 acres of parks and public spaces, an effort aimed at helping BPCA meet the challenges of maintaining the high level of satisfaction that its park users enjoy. The study’s findings confirmed that Battery Park City parks are extremely successful in providing an attractive and safe environment for a varied array of user populations.

Read more about BPCA’s sustainability initiatives here.

About BPCA: Established in 1968, The Hugh L. Carey Battery Park City Authority is a New York State Public Benefit Corporation charged with developing and maintaining a well-balanced community on the Lower West Side of Manhattan. Battery Park City’s 92- acre site has achieved worldwide acclaim as a model for community renewal in planning, creating, and maintaining a balance of commercial, residential, retail and park space. For more info visit: bpca.ny.gov.                            

Contact:                              Nick Sbordone  (212) 417-3194

Read Press Release
News
Battery Park City Authority Releases First-Ever Comprehensive Parks User Count And Study - October 4th, 2018

The Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) today released its first-ever, scientific study of the use of Battery Park City’s 36 acres of parks and public spaces, an effort aimed at helping BPCA meet the challenges of maintaining the high level of satisfaction that its park users enjoy. The BPCA Parks User Count & Study, conducted by Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) researchers and students between July 2017 and June 2018, included statistical counts, surveys by a random sampling of parks users, and focus groups resulting in a bevy of data from a range of users – local residents, visitors from other New York communities, local office employees, and tourists (domestic and international); from those who were experiencing their first visit to others who have been enjoying the parks for 35 years. The Study’s findings confirm that Battery Park City parks are extremely successful in providing an attractive and safe environment for a varied array of user populations.

Read Article