NYC Climate Adaptation Scenarios for 2100: Exploring Alternative, Positive Visions for a Resilient Future

In the face of global climate change, city governments must anticipate and guide decisions in response to extreme weather-related events, including coastal and inland flooding, heat waves, multi-hazard risks, drought, and winter extremes. With the goal of addressing this challenge, between Sept. 24 – Oct. 22, 2021, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Social-Ecological-Technological Systems (SETS) Convergence Research Network partnered with the New York City Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice (MOCEJ) to facilitate the NYC Climate Adaptation Scenarios workshop series, a wide ranging yet structured set of anticipatory discussions on future climate resilience and adaptation. Through a series of five 3-hour virtual workshops, diverse participants co-developed positive future visions for New York City of sustainability, resilience, and adaptation to climate change and extreme events.

Approximately 35 government practitioners from 24 city, state, and federal agencies gathered virtually over the course of five weeks. Together, participants co-developed six distinct climate adaptation scenarios. The goal of each future scenario was to radically transform the city’s social, environmental, and physical infrastructure—including governance, green infrastructure, and water-energy-transit systems—and the city’s ability to respond to extreme events. Participants worked in small groups to envision six scenarios for the future of New York City in 2100. The envisioned future scenarios addressed: Multiple co-occurring hazards, Coastal flooding, Extreme heat, Winter extremes, Extreme precipitation, and Drought and shifting water demand. This report provides an overview of participant responses, including long-term goals and strategies for each scenario to develop radical visions for New York City in 2100


Cook, E., J. Ventrella, T. McPhearson, A. Parris, M. Tier, T. Muñoz-Erickson, D. Iwaniec, L. Mannetti, C. Green, and D. Tagtachian. 2022. NYC Climate Adaptation Scenarios for 2100: Exploring Alternative, Positive Visions for a Resilient Future. Urban Systems Lab, The New School .