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In September 2020, the City of New York and the Trust for Governors Island announced a bold ambition: to create a Center for Climate Solutions on Governors Island to advance the fields of climate research, innovation, and policy making. Anchored by a major academic or research institution, a Center for Climate Solutions will bring together a multidisciplinary community of researchers, educators, advocates, entrepreneurs, and policymakers, creating a cross-sector hub devoted to addressing the global climate crisis.

A unique oasis that feels a world apart from the surrounding city, Governors Island is one of New York’s most beloved public places. Located at the center of New York Harbor between Manhattan and Brooklyn, Governors Island is the ideal physical platform for climate research, education, and innovation. With its unique waterfront and ecological resources, award-winning public park, and millions of annual visitors, Governors Island can serve as an inspiring example of sustainable and resilient urban development and offer unparalleled opportunities for public engagement in climate action.

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Why New York City?

New York City has over 520 miles of coastline and has been at the forefront of urban climate action. Anchored in the principles of the NYC Green New Deal, the City aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Over the past decade, government and business partners have invested in reducing GHG emissions in our buildings and transportation systems, sourcing clean energy for our operations, developing a more robust circular economy, and ensuring the resiliency of our waterfront communities. With over $14 billion of committed and planned investments, the City will accelerate these efforts over the coming years and collaborate with the broader climate community to achieve these goals.

Why Now?

Planning for this vision occurs as New York City – and the world – confront both medium and long-term recovery from COVID-19. The pandemic has only underscored the critical urgency of working on a coordinated, global scale to address the world’s most urgent issues and has exposed the inequitable impact of public health and environmental crises. The need to collectively and immediately find solutions to heal our planet, promote an equitable economic recovery, and ensure the long-term resilience of climate-affected communities in New York City and across the globe is more important than ever.

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Envisioning A Center for Climate Solutions

Governors Island is poised to be a central hub focused on developing, testing, scaling and advocating for the solutions that communities will need as the world navigates the impacts of climate change Anchored by an educational or non-profit research institution, the Center is projected to create 8,000 new green jobs and over $1 billion in economic impact for New York City.

A Center for Climate Solutions on Governors Island could include:

An anchor academic or research institution

to study the impacts of climate change and bring science, policy, communications, and research under one roof.

​A living laboratory

that enables entrepreneurs and non-profits to test, iterate, and showcase climate solutions in a real-world urban environment and invites the public to actively engage in climate action.

​A platform for environmental justice

and a place where the global community can host programs, public art, and convenings that promote climate equity.

​Commercial innovation

that takes an idea from research to scale, supporting small businesses that will transform how we live, work, and play 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.

Next Steps

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

The Trust plans to issue a solicitation (RFP or RFEI) sometime in summer, 2021 to attract an anchor educational or non-profit research institution. Please stay tuned for more information about this forthcoming opportunity.