Back to top

Climate-adaptive Design is a three-phase process to inspire, advance and implement climate adaptation and resiliency projects in Hudson Riverfront communities.

Phase I: Inspiring change with the Climate-adaptive Design Studio

Outcome: concept design boards

Cornell Landscape Architecture students sharing their CaD concepts in Ossining (NYSDEC, 2019)

The Climate-adaptive Design (CaD) Studio is a program led by Professor Josh Cerra, Cornell University Landscape Architecture Department, in partnership with the NYSDEC Hudson River Estuary Program. The CaD Studio links Cornell University graduate and undergraduate students in landscape architecture with high flood-risk Hudson Riverfront communities to explore design alternatives for more climate-resilient and connected waterfront areas. Community stakeholders are engaged throughout the studio to help inform the design process and support more usable results for the municipality that the student design teams are partnered with. The purpose of this phase is to engage and inspire communities to adapt to our changing climate using natural and nature-based solutions.
The four-month design process begins with student design teams studying the community’s watershed setting, climate change projections, ecosystem context, and precedents for designing more climate-adaptive spaces, like floodable parks and wet flood-proofed buildings. Each community presents new challenges and opportunities for design innovation. Students infuse their designs with knowledge, opportunities, and challenges specific to each community that they uncover during site visits and engagement with local stakeholders. To date, the CaD Studio has been completed in the municipalities of Village of Catskill, City of Hudson, City of Kingston, Town and Village of Ossining, Village of Piermont, NY, and has produced multiple design concept boards in each community. 

Design for terraced beach at Kingston Point (Supermass Studio, 2020)

Phase II: Advancing Climate-adaptive Design

Outcome: detailed and implementable project designs with cost estimates that are legally and technically feasible and have community support
The NYSDEC Hudson River Estuary Program and NEIWPCC support a consultant, in partnership with the municipality, to engage diverse stakeholders, review and select Climate-adaptive Design concepts, and design an implementable project at a specific site or sites. The purpose of this phase is to position projects for implementation (Phase III, not supported by this project) by providing preliminary designs with cost estimates and an implementation strategy complete with materials necessary for preliminary regulatory review and applying for possible future state or federal funding for final engineering, permitting and construction.

Phase III: Implementing Climate-adaptive Design (future concept)

Outcome: final design and construction of a Climate-adaptive Design
The NYSDEC Hudson River Estuary Program envisions the municipality or landowner implementing projects developed in Phase II, possibly with the help of funding from Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC), DEC, Department of State (DOS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other state or federal agencies.

Next page: The Climate-adaptive Design Studio (Phase I)