Discover How Parks Can Protect Cities from Natural Disasters at Dwell on Design New York

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By Luke Hopping / Published by Dwell
Former New York City Park Commissioner Adrian Benepe has devoted his career to restoring and expanding urban parkland. Now, as Director of City Park Development at the non-profit Trust for Public Land, he's finding creative ways to turn cities' green spaces into resilient systems for mitigating the impact of climate change, a topic he'll explore in-depth at Dwell on Design New York.

Dwell on Design New York takes place at Skylight Clarkson Sq from Oct. 2-4, and features three days of stimulating discussions with industry leaders.

Discover How Parks Can Protect Cities from Natural Disasters at Dwell on Design New York - Photo 1 of 5 - Adrian Benepe's work focuses on how natural systems, such as greenways and beach dunes, can adapt to rising sea levels and temperatures to make our cities more resilient. When asked during a Twitter chat with Dwell and DesignMilk this summer what we had learned in the decade since Katrina, Benepe replied, "We are not 'stronger than the storm.' You can’t fool Mother Nature. Let’s build cities with natural systems to be resilient."

Adrian Benepe's work focuses on how natural systems, such as greenways and beach dunes, can adapt to rising sea levels and temperatures to make our cities more resilient. When asked during a Twitter chat with Dwell and DesignMilk this summer what we had learned in the decade since Katrina, Benepe replied, "We are not 'stronger than the storm.' You can’t fool Mother Nature. Let’s build cities with natural systems to be resilient."

Adrian Benepe of the Trust for Public Land will join architect Alexander Gorlin for a CEU-accredited panel discussion, "Future Cities: An Interdisciplinary Response to Climate Change," on Friday, Oct. 2, at 3:45 p.m.

Discover How Parks Can Protect Cities from Natural Disasters at Dwell on Design New York - Photo 2 of 5 -

At P.S. 111, the Trust for Public Land transformed an asphalt eyesore into a green sanctuary for New York City schoolchildren.

Get your tickets now for the show. For a full list of panelists, see this page of Dwell on Design New York's website.

Discover How Parks Can Protect Cities from Natural Disasters at Dwell on Design New York - Photo 3 of 5 -

Like many of Benepe's projects, planting P.S. 111's playground is more than a quality of life improvement. The grass and other flora help absorb flood water during storms, relieving pressure on the city's drainage systems.

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The Trust for Public Land is currently seeking to convert three-and-a-half-miles of disused railroad tracks in Queens into an elevated park, similar to Manhattan's High Line, Benepe's signature achievement as Park Commissioner under Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

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The QueensWay, as the proposed bike path and walkway is known, would connect Rego Park to Ozone Park. Its estimated $122 million price tag might be paid for through a mix of public and private funding.