RISE : NYC – Resiliency Innovations for a Stronger Economy

In 2012, Superstorm Sandy hit New York and New Jersey with sustained winds of approximately 80 miles per hour and storm surges reaching over 13 feet. It wreaked havoc on the region, causing dozens of deaths as well as power failures, destruction of homes and businesses, and the prolonged shut-down of New York City’s subway system.

To mitigate damage caused by future storms, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) launched a competition to identify the most promising new technologies and innovative practices to improve the resiliency of small businesses. NYCEDC selected BuroHappold to provide strategic planning and project management services for the competition called RISE : NYC, including the design of the competition, the development of marketing and public outreach strategy, and the administration of communication and evaluation processes.

Challenge

Funded by the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program administered through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), any competition winner needed to be ready to deploy their technology in a way to make a real impact on the resiliency of small businesses in New York City.

Solution

Buro Happold initiated an extensive stakeholder outreach campaign first to understand the needs and requirements of NYC small businesses to improve their resiliency and then, to solicit competition entries from a range of both domestic and international technical consultants. Once entries had been solicited, Buro Happold led a series of stakeholder engagement events to bring together New York City’s small business community and the technical consulting teams engaged in the competition.

Value

Our Project Management experts contributed thought leadership and technical expertise to ensure the competition considered international best practices in competition management as well as building and infrastructure resiliency. The competition launched in January 2014 and concluded with the selection of 11 winning technologies in the summer of 2015. The winning technologies include building systems solutions that improve the resiliency of critical building components during a storm, energy systems that provide clean resilient power to small businesses, and telecommunication networks that help businesses to stay connected. The first technology was installed in June 2017 by Rockaway-based NYC Daylighting.

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