2015 Top 10
State of New York
Innovations in American Government Awards
New York

The NY Rising Community Reconstruction (NYRCR) Program is a participatory recovery and resiliency initiative established to provide assistance to 124 communities severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee. The Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) has allotted more than $700 million in federal funds to support the planning and implementation of community-developed projects. Unlike traditional top-down approaches to disaster recovery, the NYRCR Program directly engages local residents and business owners in a democratic, bottom-up approach to rebuilding communities in a resilient manner. Across New York State, more than 650 New Yorkers have represented their communities by serving on planning committees. More than 650 planning committee meetings and 250 larger scale public engagement events have been held, during which community members worked with the state’s team to develop community reconstruction plans that identify opportunities to make their communities physically, economically, and socially more resilient. The NYRCR Program’s outreach has included communities that are traditionally underrepresented, such as immigrant populations and students. The NYRCR Program is now working with local partners to implement recovery and resiliency projects proposed in the NYRCR Plans. In most cases, projects will be implemented by local governments and qualified nonprofit organizations, with support and technical assistance provided by GOSR.