In the wake of Hurricane Sandy AIANYs Committee on the Environment wants to focus attention on the inextricable interconnection between greenhouse gas emissions and changing weather events. The purpose of this white paper is to highlight strategies that simultaneously address climate change adaptation and resilience and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The implementation of sustainable design in consort with principles of resilient design is required to effectively address both the cause and effects of climate change over the long term. COTE believes that assiduous efforts on the part of the building community can result in a significant impact towards halting the damage of climate change.<

The conversation has now shifted from sustainability to resilient design. Due to their interrelatedness, it is critical that adaptation strategies are not implemented at the expense of climate change mitigation such that a negative spiral effect would be created, where adaptation strategies further contribute to climate change weather events, necessitating more acute adaptation strategies. Moreover, adaptation strategies that also address mitigation should be prioritized as creating the highest positive impact. We have outlined below potential points of overlap between adaptation and mitigation. Several scales are identified that are applicable to New York City, including the urban or city scale, the neighborhood or district scale and the building scale.<

We cannot overstate the importance of implementing both mitigation policies and adaptation measures; adaptation alone cannot protect our city’s residents from the anticipated effects of climate change. The Stern Review, conducted by the British government in 2006, concluded that the costs of mitigation to stabilize climate change would likely be about 1% of global GDP each year by 2050, while the cost of continuing inaction (business as usual) would likely be 5 to 20% in terms of loss of wealth worldwide.<

The COTE appendix is posted as submitted by the authors and has not undergone review or rewriting by the editorial team.<

Where Mitigation Meets Adaptation<

Ilana Judah, Intl Assoc. AIA
Pat Sapinsley, AIA, LEED AP<

Wendy Meguro
Jennifer Preston
Craig Graber
Julie Nelson
Brian Wennersten<

For more information: AIANY Committee on the Environment<