Climate Adaptation for Urban Coastal Flooding in Hoboken

You'll learn about:

  • The variety of tools that the City of Hoboken, New Jersey is using to reduce flood risk and adapt to a changing climate, including but not limited to: a comprehensive “resist” barrier through the Rebuild by Design Hudson River project; wet weather pumps; and land use regulations for resilient site and building design.

  • The layered challenges to flood risk reduction in urban coastal communities, and the need to plan for integrated infrastructure systems and land uses that can adapt to a changing climate.

  • The connection between place and space in the context of a public planning process for coastal flood mitigation, such as balancing waterfront access or views with flood protection, and effective public engagement techniques for risk communication. 

  • How these tools could apply to other urban communities throughout the United States.

Hoboken is an urban coastal city directly west of midtown Manhattan, with approximately 50,000 residents in one square-mile. Characterized by low-lying areas adjacent to the Hudson River, greater than 80% of the City is located in the floodplain and faces vulnerabilities associated with coastal flooding, stormwater flooding, and aging utility infrastructure. With climate change, Hoboken expects heavier downpours that increase the frequency and severity of urban flooding. Projected sea level rise heightens the City’s risk, with an estimated 1.3-foot increase by 2050, further taxing already burdened infrastructure.

As one of the densest and most transit rich cities in New Jersey, Hoboken has become an urban laboratory for climate adaptation strategies. By planning to reduce hazards and dedicating resources towards resilient infrastructure improvements, Hoboken can reduce damages, speed disaster recovery, and improve quality of life. This bicycle tour will demonstrate the various planning tools and public engagement techniques that Hoboken is employing to build adaptive capacity, such as:

  • Codes, ordinances, standards, and Master Plan elements that require or incentivize resilient site and building design
  • Leveraging grants, loans, and redevelopment agreements to fund resilient capital improvement projects
  • Partnerships with federal agencies and adjacent municipalities on long-term planning for flood risk reduction