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Ten years after Sandy: How far have we come?

Published October 12, 2022

October 2022 marked a decade since Superstorm Sandy, the most destructive hurricane ever to make landfall on the U.S. east coast. This extreme weather event tested all aspects of NYC’s infrastructure, as well as that of adjacent communities in New Jersey and Connecticut, and caused $70 billion worth of damage.

In response, and at the request of the New York City Council, Urban Green convened the 200-member Building Resiliency Task Force to develop recommendations for improving building resiliency and maximizing preparedness for future weather emergencies.

This event looked at the progress NYC has made since Sandy and the work that remains. Experts examined significant changes to the building code and zoning resolution and explored how resiliency thinking has changed over the past decade. What are the remaining opportunities for improving resilience, and what new threats should we be prepared to address?


Fiona Cousins
Principal, Arup

Fiona Cousins graduated from the University of Cambridge with degrees in Engineering Science and Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment. After graduating, she joined Arup’s London office. Over the years, she has worked at Arup in a variety of roles and is currently a Principal with the New York office. She also served for two years as the chair of the New York Chapter of the USGBC, and was the chair of USGBC in 2016. Fiona has a strong interest in the energy use and the thermal performance of buildings.

Rebecca Fischman
Senior Policy Advisor, NYC Mayor's Office of Climate and Environmental Justice

Rebecca Fischman is a senior policy advisor with the NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice. Prior to that, she was a Development and Communications Coordinator for the Fifth Avenue Committee. Rebecca holds a B.A. in history from Kenyon College and a Masters in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. Her professional interests include community outreach, urban planning, and grant writing.

Gita Nanden
Principal, Thread Collective

Ms. Nandan is an architect, designer, educator, and leader in community resilience planning and design. She is a founder and principal of the award winning design firm thread collective, and chair of the Resilient Red Hook Committee. Ms. Nandan believes in resiliency as a holistic and supple approach, integrating social, cultural, and economic issues with design to create net-positive urban environments.


Cecil Scheib
Chief Sustainability Officer, NYU

Cecil founded the eco-village Dancing Rabbit; is a New York State licensed professional engineer; and is a Certified Energy Manager and LEED Accredited Professional. He serves on the Board of Directors of Urban Green Council. He earned a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University.