Climate-Adaptive Design Opportunity For Hudson River Waterfront Communities

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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Hudson RiverNet
News from the Hudson River Estuary Program

Climate-Adaptive Design Opportunity for Hudson River Communities 

Two women stand in front of a design concept mounted on an easel.DEC has announced an opportunity for a Hudson riverfront municipality to host the Cornell University Department of Landscape Architecture’s Climate-adaptive Design Studio during the fall of 2021. The Climate-adaptive Design (CaD) studio links Cornell University students in landscape architecture with communities to explore design alternatives for more climate resilient and connected waterfront areas.

The CaD studio (PDF) is a collaboration between DEC’s Hudson River Estuary Program and the Cornell University Department of Landscape Architecture. Student design teams meet with local stakeholders to develop an understanding of the unique waterfront opportunities and challenges, focusing on public access, economic development, and climate resilience.

Four people sit around a table looking at maps of the Piermont waterfront.Over four months, the teams create waterfront designs that encourage water-dependent use of shoreline property, provide public access to waterfronts, improve resilience to current and future flood risk, and use nature-based solutions for stormwater management and shoreline stability. Community stakeholders have opportunities to provide feedback to student teams as the designs are developed, and the host community is provided with the designs at the end of the semester.

The host community must be interested in applying the design principles to an existing or proposed project and be able to engage key stakeholders who commit to attending a minimum of three meetings with the student design teams.

Riverfront municipalities in the tidal portion of the Hudson are eligible to submit a letter of interest to host the fall 2021 CaD studio. The host community must be able to engage key community stakeholder groups who commit to interacting with the student design teams through online meetings and applications. In-person meetings may also take place, if pandemic-related conditions allow. The host community must also demonstrate willingness and ability to promote and advance CaD Studio concepts and principles after the end of the semester.

An informational webinar about the CaD Studio opportunity will be held on April 12 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Register now. Interested municipalities can learn more about the CaD Studio on Cornell University's website

A letter of interest must be submitted to Libby Zemaitis via email at by May 10, 2021. Visit 2021 Community Application for the CaD Studio for instructions on submitting a letter of interest.

Funding for the CaD Studio is provided by the NYS Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) and is administered by DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program, in partnership with the New York State Water Resources Institute.

A birds-eye view of a flood-resilient design concept of the Kingston waterfront along the Strand.