A NYS Resilient Infrastructure Fund could be an inclusive program that will use funding to incentivize regional planning to design and build infrastructure with multiple benefits to address physical and social vulnerabilities. This initiative will create and fund a roadmap of unique interventions-- from the systems scale to the individual scale-- statewide that can be implemented through this program. This program builds on the successes of Rebuild by Design and the National Disaster Resilience Competition models, and will incorporate the great work that has already been done in the State of New York while becoming a model for other states.
Like Rebuild by Design and the National Disaster Resilience Competition, there will be two-stages: (1) research, risk assessment and planning aka Collaborative Research; and (2) design and implementation aka Collaborative Design. Communities will be supported through this process by technical experts if requested by the locality.
COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH: Ensure a community understand their specific risks, as well as the interdependencies of infrastructural, ecological and social systems that will be further affected by flooding. Communities will be encouraged to take a systems approach, for example, by addressing all the issues that arise from a full watershed, by protecting a highway from flooding through a crucial corridor, or by creating a buy-out program that identifies places for new investment. In addition to technical assistance, communities will have access to advisors in sectors such as climate science, hydrology, finance, design, community outreach, history, geography, geology, data processing, mapping etc. Universities located around the State can play this crucial role.
COLLABORATIVE DESIGN: Applicants and co-applicants will demonstrate project feasibility and effectiveness, and create a cost benefit analysis that includes valuation of ecosystem services, GHG emissions reduction, improved social and economic equity, safety, monetize some of the long-term value that resilience creates such as future loss avoidance (insurance) and future cost avoidance (public and mental health). Applicants will also demonstrate strong stakeholder support for the initiative and identify any local and federal funds which could be leveraged. The end result will be a comprehensive vision with specific fundable projects, policies or initiatives.