New York City’s Roadmap To 80×50

New York, NY, USA

Following the Paris Agreement, a number of cities across the globe have made steps to follow the principles it lays out. Climate change is a major risk on an international scale, and the need to reduce global warming is becoming more and more pressing. The 80×50 initiative reflects the need to create a blueprint for reducing emissions caused by energy supply, buildings, transportation and solid waste in cities.

Gaining its name from the drive to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80% by 2050, Buro Happold worked alongside the Mayor’s Office for Sustainability to draw up steps forward for New York City’s 80×50 plan.


Buro Happold was commissioned to lead a multi-disciplinary team to provide an understanding of New York’s current emission sources, drivers and trends. A key challenge for us was to evaluate high-level strategies to achieve an interim target of 40% GHG reduction by 2030 – an initiative known as 40×30 – in advance of the eventual 80×50 goal


Our team conducted ground-breaking, integrated GHG modeling across four sectors—buildings, energy, transportation, and waste—for a number of future scenarios. This included utilizing both industry-accepted models and developing bespoke ones to test the impact that existing and potential policies and technologies could have on NYC’s built environment. We devised a New York City-specific buildings energy model and a community energy map to identify the most promising solutions and likely impacts on its varied building stock and neighborhoods. We also led a stakeholder engagement process that included over 100 stakeholder groups who provided input throughout the project.

new york climate change reduction plans 80X50
The plan to reduce New York’s carbon emissions considered all aspects of the city, from its buildings to its energy use. Image: iStockphoto


The resulting New York City Roadmap to 80×50 plan articulates a low carbon vision for the City, a set of strategies that frame the City’s approach to reducing GHG emissions, and near-term actions to achieving 40×30. The actions also set the foundation for deeper future emissions reductions by facilitating the adoption of new and emerging technologies and transforming institutions, regulatory frameworks, and markets.

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