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RISE today for a better tomorrow

By Steve Spinola

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the entire world witnessed both the devastating effects of the storm and the great determination of New York to come back.

andy crippled New York City. Forty eight lives were tragically lost as a result of the storm. Homes and businesses were destroyed. Transit systems and schools closed. The shortage of gasoline in the metropolitan area disrupted the lives of millions. Governor Cuomo estimated that Sandy cost the state $32 billion in damage and loss.

As we have seen through countless examples on our city’s shoreline, new construction can provide an effective barrier to the rising sea levels, and thoughtful design can allow our buildings to remain safe havens throughout extreme weather events.

I am proud to be part of a new competition, launched by the New York City Economic Development Corporation that is soliciting ideas to help meet the challenge of preparing us for a future storm or weather event.

Resiliency Innovations for a Stronger Economy (RISE) embraces the idea of building a technologically solid foundation towards a more secure future.

This competition, seeks to encourage companies to share their ideas of technology and engineering towards rebuilding a stronger city starting with our most significant physical assets.

Participants entering the competition are encouraged to be creative and come up with innovative and cost effective solutions. Ideas that are universally applicable to all buildings, infrastructure and telecommunications networks.

Small business owners in the affected areas of New York City experienced enormous losses after the storm. Lost income made it increasingly difficult for them to regain their footing.

The city was most certainly not prepared for the financial ramifications of this storm. As a result, the RISE project strongly supports innovative technologies that would benefit small businesses.

Hurricane Sandy arrives in Long Beach, NY.

I was honored to be asked to serve as a judge in this worthy effort. NYCEDC and the City of New York hope that interested applicants will introduce new and cutting edge resiliency ideas into the market.

Interested applicants can apply online at through February 28th 2014.

Project managers and owners who were impacted by Hurricane Sandy or who face vulnerability to other storms, also have the opportunity to apply to be a project site and have a new resiliency technology installed in their buildings.

This twofold approach to the competition is indicative of New York City’s attempt at ensuring that the technology reaches those who need it the most.

RISE is another important step in the recovery and rebuilding of New York City. Creativity and new ideas will spur job creation and economic growth.

The spirit of New York City epitomizes resilience and with projects like RISE, New Yorkers will continue to build on the idea that implementing a strong technological foundation today will benefit the generations of tomorrow.

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