The Trust for Gov­er­nors Island Announces 12 Expres­sions of Inter­est Received Rep­re­sent­ing Over 30 Aca­d­e­m­ic and Non-Prof­it Research Insti­tu­tions from Around the World for New Cli­mate Solu­tions Cen­ter on Gov­er­nors Island


The Trust for Gov­er­nors Island (the Trust) today announced that the city has received 12 expres­sions of inter­est in response to a glob­al com­pe­ti­tion to cre­ate a cli­mate-focused research and edu­ca­tion­al hub on Gov­er­nors Island. Over 30 aca­d­e­m­ic and non-prof­it research insti­tu­tions part­nered on the pro­pos­als received, with rep­re­sen­ta­tion from local, nation­al, and inter­na­tion­al insti­tu­tions. The com­pe­ti­tion, launched through the release of a Request for Expres­sions of Inter­est (RFEI) on June 28, 2021, invit­ed uni­ver­si­ties and research insti­tu­tions to estab­lish an anchor insti­tu­tion for a Cli­mate Solu­tions Cen­ter ded­i­cat­ed to help­ing cities pre­pare for cli­mate change and grow­ing green jobs in New York City. Pro­pos­als are being eval­u­at­ed by a selec­tion committee. 

New York City is proud to offer a gen­er­a­tional oppor­tu­ni­ty to trans­form Gov­er­nors Island into a world-class hub for the fight against cli­mate change, in the heart of our har­bor. It’s no sur­prise that the world’s lead­ing research and aca­d­e­m­ic insti­tu­tions are jump­ing at the oppor­tu­ni­ty,” said May­or Bill de Bla­sio. These appli­cants all bring unique qual­i­fi­ca­tions and spe­cial­ties to the table, and we look for­ward to find­ing the per­fect fit for this bold step to tack­le the cli­mate crisis.” 

The Cli­mate Solu­tions Cen­ter on Gov­er­nors Island is a once in a gen­er­a­tion oppor­tu­ni­ty to invest in our cli­mate and New York­ers’ futures,” said Vic­ki Been, Deputy May­or for Hous­ing and Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment.” We are thrilled so many world-class insti­tu­tions agree. We look for­ward to see­ing their great ideas and ulti­mate­ly choos­ing a final program.” 

Gov­er­nors Island’s rich his­to­ry rep­re­sents sto­ries of pur­pose and ambi­tion, and we’re proud to con­tin­ue that lega­cy by sup­port­ing New York City’s lead­er­ship in tack­ling the glob­al cli­mate cri­sis,” said Clare New­man, Pres­i­dent and CEO of the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island. With this his­toric oppor­tu­ni­ty, we set out ambi­tious goals to cre­ate a lead­ing insti­tu­tion that will train the next gen­er­a­tion of cli­mate lead­ers and cre­ate a new hub for solu­tion-based research and inno­va­tion. The pro­pos­als received rep­re­sent a belief that we need bold action and cross-sec­tor col­lab­o­ra­tion to real­ize a resilient and equi­table future for New York City, and cities around the world.”

Inno­v­a­tive insti­tu­tions from around the world want to be near the best and bright­est tal­ent, and Gov­er­nors Island sits at the cen­ter of it all, right in the heart of New York City,” said Ali­cia Glen, Chair of the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island’s Board of Direc­tors. We’re thrilled to have received enthu­si­as­tic respons­es to this unprece­dent­ed oppor­tu­ni­ty on Gov­er­nors Island, which will help expand and grow New York City’s cli­mate work­force while cre­at­ing a new hub to devel­op the solu­tions our cities need.”

Over 30 lead­ing uni­ver­si­ty and non-prof­it research insti­tu­tions were rep­re­sent­ed as lead insti­tu­tions or aca­d­e­m­ic con­sor­tium part­ners in 12 eli­gi­ble expres­sions of inter­est received, including: 

  • Ari­zona State Uni­ver­si­ty, Tempe, AZ
  • Bank Street Col­lege of Edu­ca­tion, New York, NY
  • Bard Col­lege, Annan­dale-On-Hud­son, NY
  • Barnard Col­lege, New York, NY
  • Boise State Uni­ver­si­ty, Boise, ID
  • Brookhaven Nation­al Lab­o­ra­to­ry, Upton, NY
  • Cary Insti­tute of Ecosys­tem Stud­ies, Mill­brook, NY
  • Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty, New York, NY
  • Coop­er Union, New York, NY
  • CUNY, New York, NY
  • Deltares, Delft, Netherlands
  • Duke Uni­ver­si­ty, Durham, NC
  • Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy, Boston, MA
  • New York Uni­ver­si­ty, New York, NY
  • North­east­ern Uni­ver­si­ty, Boston, MA
  • Oki­nawa Insti­tute of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­o­gy, Oki­nawa, Japan
  • Pace Uni­ver­si­ty, New York, NY
  • Pratt Insti­tute, New York, NY
  • Relay Grad­u­ate School of Edu­ca­tion, New York, NY
  • Renew­able Nations Insti­tute, Chelsea, VT
  • Rens­se­laer Poly­tech­nic Insti­tute, Troy, NY
  • Sin­ga­pore Uni­ver­si­ty of Tech­nol­o­gy and Design, Singapore
  • Smith­son­ian Envi­ron­men­tal Research Cen­ter, Edge­wa­ter, MD
  • Stevens Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy, Hobo­ken, NJ
  • Stony Brook Uni­ver­si­ty, Stony Brook, NY
  • Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Com­mons, New York, NY
  • The New School, New York, NY
  • Uni­ver­si­ty at Albany, Albany, NY
  • Uni­ver­si­ty of Ida­ho, Moscow, ID
  • Uni­ver­si­ty of North Texas, Den­ton, TX
  • Uni­ver­si­ty of Oxford, Oxford, England
  • Uni­ver­si­ty of Puer­to Rico at Mayagüez, Mayagüez, PR
  • Uni­ver­si­ty of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
  • Uni­ver­si­ty of Wash­ing­ton, Seat­tle, WA
  • Ver­mont Tech­ni­cal Col­lege, Ran­dolph, VT
  • Woods Hole Oceano­graph­ic Insti­tu­tion, Fal­mouth, MA
  • Yale Uni­ver­si­ty, New Haven, CT

The respons­es con­tained pro­pos­als that would anchor Gov­er­nors Island’s growth as a lead­ing des­ti­na­tion for edu­ca­tion, research and inno­va­tion ded­i­cat­ed to address­ing the glob­al cli­mate cri­sis. A range of ideas were rep­re­sent­ed in the pro­pos­als received, includ­ing both tra­di­tion­al and non-tra­di­tion­al edu­ca­tion­al cur­ricu­lums rang­ing from K‑16 to col­lege, grad­u­ate and con­tin­u­ing edu­ca­tion, con­ven­ing spaces, field sta­tions for nat­ur­al inter­ven­tions relat­ed to cli­mate adap­ta­tion, dry and wet lab­o­ra­to­ry space, cul­tur­al space ded­i­cat­ed to pub­lic edu­ca­tion and aware­ness, incu­ba­tors and accel­er­a­tors for emerg­ing busi­ness, and part­ner­ships with envi­ron­men­tal jus­tice orga­ni­za­tions, Gov­er­nors Island ten­ants, cul­tur­al insti­tu­tions, work­force devel­op­ment orga­ni­za­tions, and pri­vate sec­tor partners. 

High­light­ed core cross-sec­toral part­ner­ships rep­re­sent­ed in the 12 pro­pos­als received include col­lab­o­ra­tions with orga­ni­za­tions span­ning the envi­ron­men­tal jus­tice, cul­tur­al, research and busi­ness sec­tors, and include the Amer­i­can Muse­um of Nat­ur­al His­to­ry, Aspen Glob­al Cli­mate Change Insti­tute, the Muse­um of the City of New York, the Nature Con­ser­van­cy, WeACT for Envi­ron­men­tal Jus­tice, Glob­al Cen­ter on Adap­ta­tion, Rot­ter­dam Cli­mate Cen­ter, UNESCO, the UN Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Solu­tions Net­work, Microsoft, TED, and the MIT Cli­mate and Sus­tain­abil­i­ty Con­sor­tium, among oth­ers. Sub­mit­ted part­ner­ships also include cur­rent Gov­er­nors Island ten­ants such as the Bil­lion Oys­ter Project, the Cli­mate Muse­um and the New York Urban Assem­bly Har­bor School. 

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 on Gov­er­nors Island. The Cen­ter will sup­port New York City’s lead­er­ship in equi­table cli­mate action by expand-ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for the research and devel­op­ment of solu­tions to ready cities for cli­mate change; attract and grow high qual­i­ty green jobs for New York­ers with a diverse range of back­grounds through edu­ca­tion­al and train­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties; and cre­ate space for New York­ers to learn from, engage with, and play a cen­tral role in cli­mate advo­ca­cy and action. The project is pro­ject­ed to cre­ate over 7,000 direct new jobs and near­ly $1B in eco­nom­ic impact for New York City. 

In June 2021, the City and the Trust released an RFEI seek­ing an anchor edu­ca­tion­al and research insti­tu­tion for the Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions to lease land with­in 33 acres of devel­op­ment sites, and/​or up to one mil­lion square feet of adap­tive reuse oppor­tu­ni­ty avail­able with­in his­toric build­ings on Gov­er­nors Island. The Trust and the City of New York have part­nered to make avail­able up to $150 mil­lion of cap­i­tal fund­ing that may be allo­cat­ed to sup­port this project. 

Pro­pos­als are being eval­u­at­ed by a selec­tion com­mit­tee includ­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island team, the Mayor’s Office of Cli­mate and Sus­tain­abil­i­ty, the Mayor’s Office of Resilien­cy and NYCEDC over the com­ing weeks. The selec­tion com­mit­tee will eval­u­ate how respon­dents artic­u­late a vision that address­es the City’s and the Trust’s goals as out­lined in the RFEI, as well as how pro­pos­als make a pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion to Gov­er­nors Island’s phys­i­cal cam­pus and exist­ing com­mu­ni­ty of part­ners and vis­i­tors while cre­at­ing broad­er oppor­tu­ni­ties for New York­ers who already enjoy the island.