HR&A Senior Principal Jamie Torres Springer Discusses Coastal Resiliency in Boston and NYC


HR&A Senior Principal Jamie Torres Springer participated in two recent panel discussions exploring the future of cities given the need for climate adaptation. On May 5, 2015, Jamie spoke at a panel on “Financing Resiliency” in coordination with the Boston Living With Water International Design Competition, initiated by the City of Boston in collaboration with the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the Boston Society of Architects, and The Boston Harbor Association with support from the Barr Foundation and Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management. Jamie, along with representatives of MassDevelopment, Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts, and the city’s Clippership Wharf development, debated the means of and parties responsible for investing in Boston’s future resiliency to climate-related risks, particularly given the multitude of solutions generated from the competition. Jamie explained the need for coastal city resiliency funding to derive from a combination of “project financing” from new cash flow or avoided costs, and public capital investments made based on important public policy considerations, including protection of vulnerable populations and environmental quality. See the full panel here


Jamie also moderated a panel at the 2015 Waterfront Conference hosted by the New York City-based Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance (MWA) on May 7 aboard the Hornblower Infinity ship at Pier 40 in Hudson River Park. The program, themed “Shaping Your 21st Century Waterfront,” featured speakers and panelists from academia, design firms, nonprofits, and local and federal government and cut across a broad spectrum of topics relevant to the City’s relationship with the water for transit, industry, climate change, sustainability, and design. The conference examined climate change adaptation and resiliency through different lenses such as long-term recovery, greener shorelines, community engagement and capital planning, and new development. See the full presentation here.


The conference also included a presentation on the NYC Economic Development Corporation’s Coney Island Creek Tidal Barrier and Wetlands Feasibility Study, in which HR&A is currently involved. HR&A Principal, Jee Mee Kim, helped facilitate a strategy session among the participants during the presentation.


HR&A was pleased to sponsor the conference and grateful for the unique opportunity to participate in the MWA’s creative programming.


HR&A works with public, private, and nonprofit leaders to address physical, social, and economic resiliency with a focus on implementable solutions. HR&A Advisors has led resiliency planning in the Northeastern United States in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, including Jamie’s role in the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency, our work managing NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program efforts for New York State, and participation in the innovative HUD Rebuild by Design Competition. We are proud to be working with the Rockefeller Foundation on its 100 Resilient Cities initiative to develop resilience strategies around the world and to be program managing Rockefeller’s Capacity Building Initiative in support of the HUD National Disaster Resilience Competition. We have provided key economic framework guidance for resiliency efforts and a public-private approach to implementation that draws on project value for funding. In the months and years ahead, HR&A is committed to working with partners across all sectors to learn from our common experiences and to design and implement strategies that promote resiliency in urban places over the long-term.