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In September 2020, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Trust for Governors Island announced a bold step to address the climate crisis and cement New York City’s leadership in equitable climate action: to create a Center for Climate Solutions on Governors Island in the heart of New York Harbor. Dedicated to preparing New York City and cities around the world for climate change, the Center for Climate Solutions will concentrate interdisciplinary research and innovation, testing and development, and education and public engagement in a single physical hub.

Envisioning A Center for Climate Solutions

New York City has long been on the cutting edge of efforts to address the climate crisis and develop innovative solutions that improve the sustainability and resiliency of communities while prioritizing climate justice. Starting in New York and creating solutions for cities around the world, The Center for Climate Solutions on Governors Island will advance this work 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.

The City of New York and the Trust for Governors Island have 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.

​Commercial innovation

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.

​Convening spaces

that offer opportunities for New Yorkers and visitors to engage in conversations about climate change.

Above images are inspirational examples.


Rendering by Urban Design Concepts by WXY architecture + urban design; Illustrative Visualization by bloomimages

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.

Join Us in Making This Vision a Reality

The Trust for Governors Island is excited to build a global network of educational institutions, non-profits, entrepreneurs, businesses, and policymakers to bring the Center for Climate Solutions to life.

With your help and expertise, we can bring together a multidisciplinary community of researchers, educators, advocates, innovators, and policymakers to address one of the defining challenges of our time and do so in a way that centers public engagement and equity. We welcome your participation in this exciting project.

Through this Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI), we invite universities, research institutions, and non-profit organizations 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.

Interested in being a listed as a potential partner for RFEI respondents? Let us know here

Request for Expressions of Interest: Anchor Educational & Research Institution

The Trust and the City New York have launched a global competition seeking an anchor university and research institution as part of the Center for Climate Solutions. Click here to download the Request for Expressions of Interest.