Off NYC, a mixed-use and global climate R&D hub

On an abandoned military base just off New York City’s shores, a new vision is taking shape, one with a growing community of edu­ca­tion­al, nonprof­it and com­mer­cial ten­ants, plenty of open space, and soon, a new Climate Solutions Center to lead cli­mate edu­ca­tion, train­ing and research.

panoramic view of governors island

Governor’s Island has been transformed over the last decade into a public crown jewel, “but we can get more out of this unique space,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said last year in announcing a global competition to establish the Climate Solutions Center. “We can main­tain the island’s iden­ti­ty while turn­ing it into a world-class des­ti­na­tion for fight­ing the cli­mate cri­sis in New York City and across the world.”

Several REACH leaders — including President/CEO Melissa James, Executive Vice President Russ Levanway, Board member Ermina Karim, REACH Council members Derek Johnson, Erik Justesen and Chris Richardson and Practitioner Network member Jocelyn Brennan — toured the island while in New York for the recent World Business Forum.

“What they’ve achieved on 172 acres, combining global climate leadership with a mix of educational, recreational and innovation-oriented uses, is truly visionary,” SLO City Manager Derek Johnson said. “It’s really an inspiration for what can be done at Diablo Canyon when there is a common vision, strategy and leadership to imagine what is possible; Diablo Canyon has three times the acreage just at the industrial parcel and 12,000 more for open space conservation.”

The island is overseen by a nonprofit trust established by the City of New York. Dive into the vision, including a 43-acre climate-resilient park, at


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