NY Rising Reconstruction Plans in Staten Island and South Valley Stream Receive "Rising to the Top" Awards from Governor Cuomo

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Strategies Developed By Perkins Eastman/BFJ Planning Team, Led By Eric Fang AIA, LEED AP, and Frank Fish FAICP, Help Communities Secure Additional $6M in Competitive Funding For Post-Sandy Rebuilding and Climate Resilience

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Staten Island's Hylan Blvd. Streetscape, Green Streets

"These additional funds will be a tremendous help to the people of Staten Island and South Valley Stream... We're proud to have had the opportunity to help these communities prepare for a more resilient future." - Eric Fang AIA, LEED AP

Perkins Eastman and its affiliate BFJ Planning (BFJ) are pleased to announce that on April 23, team leaders Eric Fang and Frank Fish were in attendance at the NY Rising Spring Conference in Albany, where community members from Staten Island and South Valley Stream both received “NY Rising to the Top” awards from Governor Andrew Cuomo, in the amount of $3 million each. Together Fang and Fish led the development of Community Rebuilding and Reconstruction Plans for the East and South shores of Staten Island, as well as three areas of Nassau County. A total of eight Rising to the Top awards were given out last Wednesday, distinguished among 50 local planning committees and Reconstruction Plans throughout New York State. Staten Island won for Best Approach to Resilient Economic Growth and South Valley Stream won for Best Use of Green Infrastructure.

Perkins Eastman’s and BFJ’s involvement with the NY Rising initiative began in July 2013, when Fang and Fish were charged with assessing the overall damage incurred by these areas in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, identifying each community’s specific needs, and working with community leaders to develop detailed rebuilding strategies that prioritized short-term, state-funded reconstruction projects and factored in the effects of long-term climate change. “These additional funds will be a tremendous help to the people of Staten Island and South Valley Stream, prepare for future storms, and a changing climate," says Fang. "We're proud to have had the opportunity to help these communities prepare for a more resilient future.”

Staten Island has proposed a series of projects and strategies which identify and assist at-risk businesses, including the “Race for Space” grant program, the East Shore Local Development Corporation, the New Creek Bluebelt Project, and Green Street initiatives along Hylan Blvd. South Valley Stream has proposed a number of green resiliency strategies to improve coastal protection, including a terraced pathway, permeable pavements, bioswales, increased green space, vegetated mounds for coastal resilience, educational signage, and soft infrastructure that will help with sediment control and curb shore erosion.

Governor Cuomo established the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program in April 2013 as a bottom-up planning process designed to empower communities that suffered significant damage from Sandy and preceding extreme weather events. This unique approach to funding distinct community rebuilding visions is a perfect fit for Perkins Eastman’s and BFJ’s teams, with their reputations for hands-on design and continuity of service. This practice of consulting with community members to learn their needs and devise large-scale planning and rebuilding projects based on that knowledge is effective, expeditious, and revolutionary in its simplicity.

About Perkins Eastman
Perkins Eastman is among the top design and architecture firms in the world. With more than 750 employees in 13 locations around the globe, Perkins Eastman practices at every scale of the built environment. From niche buildings to complex projects that enrich whole communities, the firm’s portfolio reflects a dedication to progressive and inventive design that enhances the quality of the human experience. The firm’s portfolio includes high-end residential, commercial, hotels, retail, office buildings, and corporate interiors, to schools, hospitals, museums, senior living, and public sector facilities. Perkins Eastman provides award-winning design through its offices in North America (New York, NY; Boston, MA; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Pittsburgh, PA; San Francisco, CA; Stamford, CT; Toronto, Canada; and Washington, DC); South America (Guayaquil, Ecuador); North Africa and Middle East (Dubai, UAE); and Asia (Mumbai, India, and Shanghai, China).

About BFJ Planning
BFJ Planning is a consulting firm providing professional expertise in planning and related fields. Since its establishment in 1980, BFJ has provided a variety of services for public, private, and non-profit clients, including planning, urban design, environmental analysis, real estate consulting, and transportation planning. This range of services enables BFJ to bring a project from the initial feasibility stage through planning and approvals to detailed design and implementation. BFJ has successfully completed more than 1,000 projects in the U.S., Brazil, China, Ethiopia, Luxembourg, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Venezuela.

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Steven Yates
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