Working Groups

Innovative Finance:
The RAMP finance committee, comprised of members from a range of organizations including Better Inc, The NYC Bar Association, Good Jobs New York, The Fiscal Policy Institute, Enterprise, The Pratt Center for Community Development and a number of educational institutions in addition to Pratt Institute, explores innovative mechanisms for financing climate resilience. Committed to equity and transparency, the committee also aims to ensure accountability in the expenditure of public dollars on resilience projects, particularly in the distribution of funds from Community Development Block Grants. The work of the committee will be shared publicly at the “Financing an Equitable and Resilient Future” Summit, taking place in December, at which a series of fishbowl discussions addressing the issues of financing and accountability in resilience projects will take place. In publicizing these dialogues, the committee hopes to inform the climate resilience agenda of the next mayoral administration. 

Resilience in Public Housing:
The Public Housing Working Group coordinated by RAMP was put together in response to physical, programmatic and economic threats to the security of public housing. These threats were particularly acute post- Sandy, as NYCHA developments in coastal communities across NYC suffered from storm damage, and waiting times of several weeks for repairs to vital infrastructure to restore electricity -and therefore elevators- heat and running water. The damage from Sandy was compounded by the NYCHA’s looming budget cuts, which would layoff staff and close community centers, and by the ‘land lease’ proposal that allowed the construction of market rate units on NYCHA property. The working group has been attended by grassroots organizations that work with NYCHA residents, tenant association members, advocacy organizations, environmental lawyers, and academic partners. The recommendations from the group were to: preserve & protect public housing; stop the privatization of NYCHA; increase resident engagement; democratically elect NYCHA board members; and to support healthy NYCHA communities by keeping community centers open and engaging in sound disaster planning.

Making Smart Grid and Broadband Technologies Work for Underserved Communities
This working group explores how new smart grid technology and state of the art broadband technology can promote universal, affordable and ubiquitous broadband, thereby improving the public’s access to a reliable and steady source of electric power, and low cost and continuous access to critical wireless communication technologies. Specific emphasis is being placed on developing these technologies in traditionally underserved and vulnerable areas. Tasks include:

  • Assessing the breakdowns in telecommunications and broadband networks that accompanied Hurricane Sandy.
  • Identifying barriers to broadband development in low income and vulnerable populations; address the “digital divide.”
  • Developing strategies for breaking through these barriers and creating universal access to broadband and other reliable communication networks.
  • Exploring strategies for making broadband and telecommunication infrastructure more resilient in the face of future climate-related events.