The United Nations names City of Hoboken role model for resilience

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The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction has designated the City of Hoboken as a Role Model City of the Making Cities Resilient campaign for its flood risk management practices, the city announced today. These include plans to retain over a million gallons of stormwater runoff through green infrastructure.

A rendering of Hoboken's Southwest Resiliency Park.
A rendering of Hoboken’s Southwest Resiliency Park.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Hoboken becomes one of 45 cities worldwide recognized as a Role Model City by the United Nations. It is only the second such role model city recognized in the United States, the first one being San Francisco.

There are over 2,400 cities and towns worldwide participating in the campaign, including 73 capital cities, representing a collective population of 700 million people, officials said.

“We are honored to be recognized for our efforts to make Hoboken more resilient,” Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer said in a statement.

“Through a multi-layered approach to resiliency, we are on the cusp of solving a more than century-old flooding problem.”

German Velasquez, of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, explained the designation in a letter.

“Your city’s efforts in enhancing its physical infrastructure to improve its capacity in dealing with flood risk have been well-recognized,” he wrote.

“Moreover Hoboken’s attention to land use regulations and expansion as well as its efforts in informing public through the city website and social media have stood out as exemplary.”

The City of Hoboken is pursuing a variety of strategies to mitigate flood risk. On Wednesday, the City Council will vote on low-interest financing to build the Southwest Resiliency Park, which is also designed to hold over 200,000 gallons of rainwater.

Additionally, they will also vote on funding to acquire six acres of land for a Northwest Resiliency Park, which will be designed to hold at least a million gallons of stormwater. Last week, the Council approved financing for Hoboken’s second wet weather pump station, which will alleviate flooding in western Hoboken.

A comprehensive “Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge” water management strategy that will protect Hoboken, Weehawken and northern Jersey City from flooding has won $230 million of federal funding as part of the Rebuild by Design resiliency competition.

The award is expected to fund the implementation of the “Resist” element of the strategy plan, officials explained.

Through a community process, the city has completed the conceptual design for a boathouse/resiliency center built into a berm along Hoboken Cove that combines flood protection with a community amenity. The City is currently seeking to implement this project as a first phase of the Resist strategy.