Trust for Gov­er­nors Island Launch­es Liv­ing Lab, a New Slate of Pub­lic Pro­grams Ampli­fy­ing Cli­mate Action in New York City and Beyond


The Liv­ing Lab on Gov­er­nors Island, a key part of the Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions, includes annu­al cli­mate solu­tions chal­lenge, edu­ca­tion­al field trips, and cli­mate-focused com­mu­ni­ty con­ven­ing space.

The Trust for Gov­er­nors Island announced today the launch of the Liv­ing Lab, a new plat­form for research, part­ner­ships, and pro­grams to ampli­fy cli­mate action. Ini­tia­tives announced today include an annu­al cli­mate solu­tions chal­lenge open to non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tions, entre­pre­neurs, and start-ups; the launch of cli­mate field trip pro­grams; and an inter­im com­mu­ni­ty con­ven­ing space on the Island. The Liv­ing Lab marks an excit­ing step for­ward in Gov­er­nors Island’s growth as a resource for cli­mate inno­va­tion and will help accel­er­ate, adopt, and imple­ment equi­table cli­mate solu­tions here in New York City and across the world. 

When we announced the New York Cli­mate Exchange as part of the Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions, we said New York­ers and vis­i­tors to Gov­er­nors Island would start to see an impact quick­ly. The Liv­ing Lab is one exam­ple of that impact,” said New York City May­or Eric Adams. Through this plat­form, New York City pub­lic school stu­dents will have oppor­tu­ni­ties for hands-on learn­ing about solu­tions to the cli­mate cri­sis, and experts will devel­op tools for them to bring what they learn back to their schools and their com­mu­ni­ties. We can­not just talk about solv­ing the cli­mate cri­sis — we must be about it, and the Liv­ing Lab will give all of us more tools to turn our words into actions.”

The Liv­ing Lab will help shine a light on the incred­i­ble research and inno­va­tions our city has to offer,” said Deputy May­or for Eco­nom­ic and Work­force Devel­op­ment Maria Tor­res-Springer. The ini­tia­tives announced today will cre­ate more oppor­tu­ni­ties for New York­ers of all ages and back­grounds to direct­ly engage with cli­mate solu­tions — in the class­room, on Gov­er­nors Island, and beyond.”

Gov­er­nors Island is an unmatched set­ting for stu­dents, non­prof­its, busi­ness­es, and entre­pre­neurs alike to learn about and test real world cli­mate solu­tions. Through the Liv­ing Lab, our com­mit­ment to equi­table cli­mate edu­ca­tion and action, com­mu­ni­ty con­ven­ing, and one-of-a-kind pilot oppor­tu­ni­ties will bring tan­gi­ble solu­tions one step clos­er to becom­ing a real­i­ty both here in NYC and around the world,” said Clare New­man, Pres­i­dent and CEO of the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island.

At Ama­zon, we’re active­ly work­ing to reduce emis­sions to reach net zero car­bon by 2040, so this part­ner­ship is one that we deeply val­ue. We’re also thrilled to sup­port this col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Liv­ing Lab, so we can work with the smartest minds to help tack­le solu­tions to cli­mate change,” said Car­ley Gra­ham Gar­cia, Amazon’s Head of Com­mu­ni­ty Affairs, New York.

Gov­er­nors Island is a lit­tle island with big ideas,” said Arturo Gar­cia-Costas, The New York Com­mu­ni­ty Trust’s pro­gram offi­cer for envi­ron­men­tal grant­mak­ing. We are thrilled to sup­port its efforts to encour­age new think­ing and inno­v­a­tive prob­lem-solv­ing to the all-hands-on-deck chal­lenge of human-dri­ven cli­mate change.”

Cli­mate mit­i­ga­tion and resilience work is essen­tial to pro­tect­ing our com­mu­ni­ties, espe­cial­ly our most vul­ner­a­ble com­mu­ni­ties, from the impacts of cli­mate change. Deutsche Bank Amer­i­c­as Foun­da­tion is proud to sup­port the Liv­ing Lab in order to fos­ter a space for solu­tions to cli­mate change,” said Lisa Tal­ma, Vice Pres­i­dent of Phil­an­thropic Ini­tia­tives in the Com­mu­ni­ty Devel­op­ment Finance Group at Deutsche Bank.

We are proud to sup­port the Liv­ing Lab and the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island’s work to bring togeth­er research, part­ner­ships, and pro­grams to ampli­fy cli­mate action as part of May­or Adams’ Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions. Cli­mate change threat­ens our under­served com­mu­ni­ties the most, and through ini­tia­tives such as the annu­al cli­mate solu­tions chal­lenge, edu­ca­tion­al field trips, and the cli­mate-focused com­mu­ni­ty con­ven­ing space, the Liv­ing Lab will fos­ter fresh ener­gy, build bridges toward equi­table solu­tions, and inspire pos­i­tive change for all New York­ers,” said Valerie White, LISC NY Senior Exec­u­tive Director.

The Liv­ing Lab’s Cli­mate Solu­tions Pilot­ing Pro­gram includes two com­po­nents: a themed Annu­al Chal­lenge and a gen­er­al rolling call. Appli­ca­tions for the Annu­al Chal­lenge, a recur­ring sum­mer chal­lenge with new themes and a cash prize, are due by August 15, 2023. This year’s theme, Water Abun­dance, seeks pro­pos­als address­ing how water can help to pow­er cli­mate solu­tions that grow blue and green jobs and cre­ate health­i­er com­mu­ni­ties. Through the Annu­al Chal­lenge, up to five win­ners will receive a pilot­ing project site, a $10,000 grant award, and access to a com­mon pool of $100,000 in addi­tion­al sup­port. Sep­a­rate­ly, the gen­er­al rolling call for pro­pos­als is open for test­ing and demon­strat­ing cli­mate solu­tions across all dis­ci­plines. Non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tions, entre­pre­neurs, and start-ups are invit­ed to apply to the Annu­al Chal­lenge online at www​.gov​is​land​.org/​c​h​a​l​lenge.

Anoth­er inte­gral edu­ca­tion­al com­po­nent of the Liv­ing Lab is the devel­op­ment of a suite of envi­ron­men­tal cur­ric­u­la for edu­ca­tors and stu­dents to access dur­ing vis­its to Gov­er­nors Island, pro­vid­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for young New York­ers to learn about cli­mate change and prac­tice cli­mate actions that they can take back to their class­room and com­mu­ni­ty. The cli­mate focused field trips pilot will launch in the fall of 2023 and expand to year-round day trips for New York City stu­dents grades three through eight. The Trust is cur­rent­ly seek­ing an edu­ca­tion­al cur­ricu­lum con­sul­tant as part of this ini­tia­tive via a Request for Pro­pos­als. An inter­im con­ven­ing space that show­cas­es inno­v­a­tive resilient and sus­tain­able design and sup­ports pro­gram­ming, work­shops and gath­er­ings host­ed by non-prof­its, envi­ron­men­tal jus­tice orga­ni­za­tions, and com­mer­cial part­ners that are open to all Gov­er­nors Island vis­i­tors, will also be a fea­ture of the Liv­ing Lab. 

The Liv­ing Lab is made pos­si­ble with the gen­er­ous sup­port of Ama­zon, Con Edi­son, Don­ald A. Pels Char­i­ta­ble Trust, the New York Com­mu­ni­ty Trust, Deutsche Bank, and LISC.

The Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions was announced as a key piece of New York City May­or Eric Adams’ Rebuild, Renew, Rein­vent: A Blue­print for New York City’s Eco­nom­ic Recov­ery.” Ded­i­cat­ed to prepar­ing New York City and cities around the world for cli­mate change, the Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions is a mul­ti-pronged ini­tia­tive that 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. 

Fol­low­ing a two-year com­pet­i­tive process, in May May­or Eric Adams and the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island announced the selec­tion of The New York Cli­mate Exchange, a new cross-sec­tor non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tion as the anchor edu­ca­tion­al and research insti­tu­tion for the Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions. Led by Stony Brook Uni­ver­si­ty, the Exchange will cre­ate a state-of-the-art, $700-mil­lion, 400,000-square-foot cam­pus ded­i­cat­ed to research­ing and devel­op­ing inno­v­a­tive cli­mate solu­tions that will be scaled across New York City and the world and that will equip New York­ers to hold the green jobs of the future. The Exchange will also cre­ate thou­sands of per­ma­nent green jobs and gen­er­ate $1 bil­lion in eco­nom­ic impact for New York City. The con­sor­tium will func­tion as a hub for edu­ca­tion and train­ing to grow green jobs for New York­ers and includes 15 mem­bers rep­re­sent­ing lead­ing uni­ver­si­ties from around the world, as well as busi­ness and non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tions ded­i­cat­ed to devel­op­ing and deploy­ing solu­tions to the glob­al cli­mate crisis.