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.”

Envi­sion­ing A Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solutions

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.

​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.

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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.

Finalist Teams Set to Compete to Anchor Climate Solutions Center on Governors Island

In April 2022, the Trust for Governors Island released a Request for Proposals 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, stay tuned for updates and public engagement opportunities and click here for more info.