Friday, November 23, 2012

Ed Blakely to the rescue! NY Gov Cuomo appoints "recovery czar" to Hurricane Sandy commission

Posted By on Fri, Nov 23, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Hurricane Katrina "recovery czar" Ed Blakely has been appointed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to a commission to "examine the state's emergency response capabilities" in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, according to an interview Blakely has done with an Australian radio station.

In recent years, Blakely has been living in Australia, where he is Honorary Professor of Urban Policy at the US Studies Centre of the University of Sydney.

"My role in this is to make sure they're ready for what's likely to be another one soon," Blakely told the Australian radio station, adding that "A number of people have asked me if I would be around to discuss these things as they're moving forward."

The original announcement of the commission made no mention of Blakely.

Blakely has already weighed in on what New York needs to do in the wake of Sandy. That's under the jump, along with a link to the Library Chronicles' classic Blakely timeline, "Come Crane With Me":

Sandy presents the ideal opportunity to think about reorganizing Lower Manhattan with stronger, smarter—and higher—transportation modes. Building tidal barriers around the tip of the city is important, as well as creating better links between New York and New Jersey so evacuation and train travel can create more options for human movement in good and bad times. We need to develop local power generation systems interdependent with the grid so we can generate local power for days and perhaps weeks using solar, wind and even tidal power generation.

As he did in New Orleans, Blakely is advising that the U.S. "curb coastal building":

Moreover, we must use state and federal rules to curb coastal building. These ideas may not be popular, but a century ago, creating our great National Parks system was not popular in many quarters, either.

Back in 2008, the local blog Library Chronicles created a timeline of Blakely's efforts in New Orleans. Well worth rereading — and, yes, we're talking to you, Andrew Cuomo.

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