‘Monster’ Crown Heights Development Reignites Fears Of Shadows Over Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Photo via AGogh/Creative Commons

A developer has unveiled plans to build two 39-story residential towers in Crown Heights, confirming fears of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and its advocates who have warned the city that tall developments in the increasingly gentrifying neighborhood will cast damaging shadows across a beloved green space.

Source: Gothamist

Climate Twins: By 2080, NYC Will Feel Like Arkansas

Sixty years from now, climate change could transform the East Coast into the Gulf Coast. It will move Minnesota to Kansas, turn Tulsa into Texas, and hoist Houston into Mexico. Even Oregonians might ooze out of their damp, chilly corner and find themselves carried to the central valley of California.

These changes won’t happen literally, of course—but that doesn’t make them any less real. A new paper tries to find the climate-change twin city for hundreds of places across the United States: the city whose modern-day weather gives the best clue to what conditions will feel like in 2080. It finds that global warming will be like relocating American cities more than 500 miles away from their current location, on average, mostly to the south and toward the country’s interior.

Source: CityLab

Council Bill Would Create New Agency To Manage Climate Change

Photo by Jonathan Gross / Creative Commons

New York City could become the first in the country to establish an agency to manage its efforts to deal with climate change if a new bill announced Wednesday passes.

The legislation, authored by City Councilman Costa Constantinides, would create a new commissioner-led department to carry out the city’s sustainability policies, including a historic bill to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

Source: Huffington Post

Three Projects Transforming Staten Island’s West Shore

A portion of the Saw Mill Creek Pilot Wetland Mitigation Bank. Thousands of new plantings are protected by fencing and other deterrents to keep away birds and deer. Photo by Nathan Kensinger/CurbedWhile it’s unlikely that many New Yorkers will ever see it up close, Staten Island’s western shore is undergoing a transformation that will impact more than 800 acres of waterfront property.

According to Nathan Kensinger at Curbed:

“Along the northern edge of Bloomfield, near the Staten Island Expressway, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is overseeing the Goethals Bridge Replacement Wetland Mitigation Project, which is restoring 26 acres of wetlands around Old Place Creek. Further south, next to the West Shore Expressway, the NYC Parks Department and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) are working together to rehabilitate 68 acres of the Saw Mill Creek wetlands.

And in between these two restoration projects, a 3.5 million-square-foot warehouse complex is now being constructed. Located in a 676-acre property that once housed an oil storage facility, the Matrix Global Logistics Park has already signed up several tenants, including Amazon and Ikea, who will operate out of four massive warehouses. When completed, the Matrix complex will encompass 200 acres, all built on top of what was once a wetlands ecosystem.”

The Saw Mill Creek restoration project is particularly interesting because it is part of the Saw Mill Creek Pilot Wetland Mitigation Bank, which allows developers to buy credits in order to offset the environmental mitigation they are required to complete at other construction projects in the area.

This is the first mitigation bank in New York, and if it proves to be successful, this model could be used in other places around the city.

Source: Curbed

End of Ethanol Ban May Bring More Smog to New York Summers

President Trump is expected to end certain restrictions on selling gasoline containing a higher percentage of ethanol. Photo by United Soybean Board/Creative Commons.

The Trump administration has ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to end its ban on the summertime sale of E15, a blend of gasoline and corn ethanol.

Up to now, such sales have been barred because E15, which is 15 percent ethanol, contributes to more smog during hotter summer months.

The change is opposed by an unusual political alliance of environmentalists, who oppose the environmental damage, and the fossil fuel industry, which does not want to see more gasoline displaced with corn ethanol.

Ethanol combustion releases elevated levels of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds, both of which form smog in the air when exposed to sunlight and high temperatures.

Source: Times Union