NEW YORK – The New York State Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP), in partnership with Access Cities, today launched the Urban Water Vision Challenge for new and innovative and scalable ideas, technologies, and approaches to discover how stormwater can be successfully captured and treated to optimize benefits, reduce risks to public health and promote co-benefits.
When Hurricane Sandy hit New York in 2012, it posed significant challenges to NYC DEP and particularly its wastewater treatment infrastructure. Since then, the City has finalized ambitious new infrastructure plans to various initiatives to strategically manage stormwater. As stormwater flows, it sweeps up pollutants such as oils, chemicals, sediments, pathogens and trash. Rather than being absorbed naturally into the ground, much of New York City’s stormwater eventually flows into storm drains or catch basins, and from there into the sewer system.
“How can innovative stormwater treatment and reuse practices help urban areas address the challenge of flooding and recreational water quality exacerbated by shifts in rain patterns caused by climate change?”
While the ultimate goal of the challenge is to identify and pilot innovative stormwater treatment and reuse solutions, it is important to consider the opportunities and challenges for implementation. New York City and Copenhagen also hope to gain a better understanding of how to manage the contaminants found in stormwater that can pose issues to public health and the environment, comply with current guidelines, and overcome other barriers to achieve the desired benefits of proposed stormwater treatment and reuse practices.
Since 2015, New York City and Copenhagen have been working together to exchange knowledge on solutions to shared climate challenges, and now, this partnership is seeking insight into ways that both cities can store and treat excess stormwater.
To learn more and to join the challenge register HERE.
In the upcoming weeks you will have the opportunity to participate in the two workshops, where you will get to dive into the challenge, brainstorm ideas and discuss potential solutions with fellow minded peers. The aim of the co-creation workshops is for multi-sector groups to co-develop several potential feasible solution ideas to the city challenge, to be later pitched to a panel of senior city stakeholders.
REGISTER for the two workshops to learn about the challenges in more detail and what the process and key dates of activities for you to get involved in.
Workshop 1 ‘Ideation, Brainstorming and Prioritization’: Wednesday 14th April 15:00-17:00 CET (09:00-11:00 EDT)
The first workshop will focus on detailed presentations from both NYC and CPH on the challenges and will allow the participants to have the first focused Q&As. The participating companies will then get 2-3 minutes to pitch their company/technology to the other participants. Following this, the companies will be encouraged to match-up and invited onto the online digital platform space. Here, the companies will work in groups and brainstorm initial solution ideas in breakout rooms. The goal isn’t a perfect idea, it’s lots of ideas, collaboration, and openness to wild solutions. The only way to get to good ideas is to have lots to choose from.
Workshop 2 ‘Developing one idea for the pitch session’: Wednesday 28th April 15:00-18:00 (09:00-11:00 EST).
In the second workshop, the companies will dive into how to present their pitch. A pitch is a great way to communicate an idea, how it works, why it counts, and who it benefits. And in the process of making it, participants will clarify the key elements of their idea and refine how they talk about them. A pitch is a primary way that they will present their idea, and they will be using it to convince different types of people—from other companies to potential city officials to rally to their cause.
Pitching Session: May (exact date TBC).
The participating companies will be able to present the co-creation solutions in front of a panel of judges including the city representatives. More to come on the date and time – as well as the venue setup for the final pitching session.
Deadline for applying to take part in the workshops is 12th April 2021. Register for the workshops HERE.
You can also watch the kick-off webinar for the NYC-CPH Urban Water Vision challenge that took place 23rd February HERE.
Access Cities is an international, public-private project, which aims to strengthen sustainable urban development in five project cities: New York City, Singapore, Munich and the Danish cities of Copenhagen and Aarhus. The project connects actors working with sustainable urban development in the pursuit of game-changing solutions to common issues confronting cities.
Download the Urban Water roadmap, to discover the latest trends, strategies and initiatives within the New York market.
Download the Urban Water roadmap HERE.