Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sustainable Saturday - The Resilient Neighborhood

From time to time, I've discussed the neighborhood I've lived in, Westover, near Johnson City, New York.  My regular readers know that my neighborhood was flooded in September, 2011, triggered by a record rainy summer followed by Tropical Storms Irene and Lee.

Many places that flooded were not in official flood zones.  Others have flooded twice since 2006.

An aerial picture of my neighborhood became the cover picture of a book our local newspaper compiled on the flooding in the Triple Cities of New York and nearby communities.

Now, over two years later. part of my neighborhood will be torn down once a buyout is completed.  We, along with other flooded neighborhoods and communities, ponder our future.

Our town, the Town of Union (our neighborhood is something New York calls a"part town" area), has started something called the ReUNION project. 

There was an intense planning meeting Thursday, and "open houses" Friday and today.  My husband and I went to the one late this afternoon.

It was fascinating but a bit exhausting.  I will blog more details at a later time - details that hold true for all communities that face flooding.

Our thinking has evolved, partly due to last year's Superstorm Sandy.  Sandy was a true "gamechanger".  Many of the ideas presented are for what is called the "resilient" neighborhood - and sustainable, green living is one of the keys.  There was talk of water storage with recreational facilities built above the storage, green roofs, special surfaces for parking lots, specially designed strips between sidewalks and roads, and actually allowing parts of communities to flood in their natural flood plains - in a controlled way.

And yes, farmers markets may even be a part of the process.

Of course, making a lot of these ideas a reality is going to be a long, hard struggle.  Money must be found.  The State government must be convinced.  And if we implement, and communities upstream don't, some of our effort may be wasted.

My husband and I have signed up to be updated as this process progresses. What part we will play, we don't know yet.

Is your community discussing implementation of "green" measures to live with climate change, hurricanes or other storms, and flooding? 


  1. This community -Crystal Palace - is what is called a transitional town and we do try to be as sustainable and local as we can...

  2. I love the idea of living sustainably. Like Caro says above our community is very much heading towards TT. The latest venture is the edible bus stop. I dream of being sustainable, we have seeds at the ready now all I need is a few raised beds.

  3. Unfortunately the city planners of our little town didn't have much foresight and gave permission for a landfill to be built on our south and a huge feedlot on our north. Someday the two will meet and all the people will have to move someplace else. :( It sounds like your community has quite a bit more forward-thinking sense, Alana.

  4. It is good to try and live sensibly. We try to support all the local businesses (such as greengrocers) to help our community!


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