From the NY Observer:
With Hurricane Irene still affecting New York—clean-up continues, the sun is only now shining, the Hudson runs red with upstate clay—the city is making preparations and procedural changes to prepare for the next disaster. Yet with evacuations being one of the biggest effects of the storm, so far no action has been taken to address neighborhoods in low-lying areas, the now-well-known Zone As of the city.
At yesterday’s World Trade Center progress press conference, with no real news about progress at the site—it was more of an update for the media outlets of the world that are only now tuning in and have not been obsessing over ground zero for the past decade—The Observer asked the mayor if any changes would be made to the waterfront redevelopment plans his administration has led, which have revitalized these areas but have also put them in harm’s way. (The Village Voice dedicated its cover to the irony of building in flood-prone areas four years ago.)
In a word, no. “It’s the waterfront that makes this city,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “You may have to, if you think about it, build a little higher, but if the oceans do rise, as many climatologists predict, you may have to raise the barriers around buildings or the coast lines.”
It sounds as though that responsibility lies with the developers who are building in these areas more than with the city. In a follow-up, spokesman Andrew Brent acknowledged that “no plans for walls” or other construction or development mandates have been discussed since the hurricane.