Envisioning a Center for Climate Solutions
Dedicated to preparing New York City and cities around the world for climate change, the Center for Climate Solutions will create a singular physical hub committed to researching and demonstrating urban climate solutions, and advancing education, training, and workforce development opportunities for New Yorkers in climate and environmental fields. The Center for Climate Solutions on Governors Island was announced as a key part of Mayor Eric Adams’ “Rebuild, Renew, Reinvent: A Blueprint for NYC’s Economic Recovery.”
The Center for Climate Solutions is a groundbreaking initiative designed to further New York City as a global leader in efforts to respond to the climate crisis. On Governors Island, the project will support the research, development and demonstration of equitable climate solutions for New York City — that can be scaled and applied globally — by:
- Expanding opportunities for the research and development of solutions for resilient and healthy urban neighborhoods to ready New York City, and cities around the world, for climate change.
- Attracting and growing high quality green jobs for New Yorkers with a diverse range of backgrounds through a range of educational and training opportunities.
- Creating space for New Yorkers to learn from, engage with, and play a central role in climate advocacy and action.
In 2021, the City of New York and the Trust for Governors Island launched a global competition to invite universities, and research institutions to share their vision for how they would program, build, and operate a premier facility to develop solutions that ready communities for climate change and create cross-sectoral educational programs to support the growth of high-quality green jobs in New York City. The Center for Climate Solutions is projected to create 7,000+ direct new jobs and approximately $1B in economic impact for New York City, and is envisioned to include at full completion:
An anchor academic or research institution
to study the impacts of climate change and bring science, policy, communications, and research under one roof.
A public living laboratory
that enables entrepreneurs and non-profits to test, iterate, and showcase climate solutions in a real-world urban environment and invites New Yorkers to actively engage in climate advocacy and action through programming and the arts.
Space for environmental justice organizations and non-profits
for research, hosting programs and convenings, and connecting with New Yorkers.
that takes an idea from research to scale, supporting small businesses that will transform how we live in a more sustainable manner.
Dormitories and faculty housing
to support an academic anchor institution and create a uniquely immersive community for learning and innovation.
that offer opportunities for New Yorkers and visitors to engage in conversations about climate change.
Above images are inspirational examples.
Why Governors Island?
New York City has long attracted the best and brightest minds, institutions and companies, and Governors Island sits at the center of it all. With a unique waterfront campus environment, award-winning park engineered for climate change, a growing community of educational, non-profit, and commercial tenants, and a diverse and engaged audience, Governors Island is poised to serve as a hub for climate education, training, and research.
- Proximity. Just minutes by ferry from Manhattan and Brooklyn, Governors Island offers immediate access to New York City’s diverse talent pool, leading institutions, business community, and global networks.
- The feeling of being a world apart. Despite its physical proximity, the Island feels like a world away from the noise and sensory overload of the city, making it an ideal venue for education, research, collaboration, and convening.
- A Living Laboratory. Governors Island is itself an experiment in creating resilient coastal landscapes with a new 43-acre park designed to address projected sea-level rise and dozens of educational and cultural partners engaging in these issues, including the Billion Oyster Project, the Climate Museum, GrowNYC and more.
- Flexibility. Governors Island is home to 1M+ square feet of historic buildings ready for adaptive reuse and 33 acres of development area that can accommodate new academic, commercial, convening, and cultural facilities
- A Built-In Talent Pipeline. Already home to the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School, a public high school delivering career technical education in maritime and environmental sciences, Governors Island has partnerships with local public schools, non-profits, institutions, and workforce development organizations dedicated to building the next generation of talent for growing climate related fields.
- A Truly Public Platform. With nearly 1M visitors during a typical year and a robust calendar of free programs spanning arts, culture, and science, Governors Island is one of New York City’s great public places with a diverse and engaged audience.
Request for Proposals: Anchor Educational & Research Institution
In April 2022, the Trust for Governors Island released a Request for Proposals (RFP) as part of the next phase in the competition to establish a global Center for Climate Solutions on Governors Island. 4 finalist teams will compete to create a new academic and research institution on the Island to support the research, development, and demonstration of equitable climate solutions for New York City. Responses were due in August 2022. In October 2022, Mayor Adams and the Trust for Governors Island announced three finalist proposals, and a winner is expected to be announced in early 2023.
The Trust for Governors Island, in partnership with Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, Senator Brian Kavanagh, New York City Council Member Christopher Marte, Manhattan Community Board 1, and Congressman Jerry Nadler, held two community briefings (October 26 and November 14, 2022) on proposals submitted to this RFP.
Climate Center Advisory Committee
This group of experts from climate science, policy, environmental justice, philanthropy, and business will advise on the city’s efforts to create a Center for Climate Solutions on Governors Island and will provide input on prospective academic and research partners’ proposals to a selection committee made up of City and Trust officials. Members include:
- Eddie Bautista, Executive Director, NYC-EJA
- Dana Bourland, Senior Vice President, Environment and Strategic Initiatives, The JPB Foundation
- Christian Braneon, Climate Scientist, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
- Marco Carrión, Executive Director, El Puente
- Mark Chambers, Senior Director for Building Emissions and Community Resilience, White House Council on Environmental Quality, Executive Office of President Joseph R. Biden, Former Director of Sustainability, City of New York
- Dr. Luz Claudio, Professor of Environmental Medicine and Chief of the Division of International Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
- Cheryl Cohen Effron, Senior Advisor, Tishman Speyer
- Adam Freed, Principal, Sustainability, Bloomberg Associates
- Arturo Garcia Costas, Program Officer, The New York Community Trust
- Chante Harris, Director, Climate Investment and Partnerships, Venture for ClimateTech, Second Muse
- Kyle Kimball, Vice President, Government Relations, ConEdison
- Michael Northrop, Program Director, Sustainable Development, Rockefeller Brothers Fund
- Michael Oppenheimer, Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs, Princeton University
- Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs, Kingdom of the Netherlands
- Julie Tighe, President, New York League of Conservation Voters
Interested in learning more and staying up to date on this initiative?