New York City must reshape its buildings and public spaces as engines for a climate positive city.


Despite momentum in the green building movement, climate action in New York City’s built environment has focused too heavily on new construction rather than existing buildings. More than 90 percent of the one million buildings that exist today will still exist in 2050, with nearly all needing to transition from gas to electric. Playgrounds, sidewalks, and other public spaces make up 30 percent of the city’s impervious surfaces, which heavily contribute to neighborhood heat and flooding.

For our 2024 Next New York series, Rewire will invite urban design, development, ecologists, community stewards, small business and labor to advance ideas on transforming our existing buildings and public spaces to meet the climate emergency. 

How can we rewire the existing city to shape climate positive neighborhoods?

Working Groups

Working groups will explore five focus areas to remake our buildings and public spaces into engines for a climate positive city.

Call for Action

Lend your knowledge, skills, or resources to imagine climate positive New York City neighborhoods.

Get Involved

In Fall 2023, we issued a call to our Fellows to help write the blueprint for climate positive New York City neighborhoods with a group of leading thinkers. Our call for working group members is now closed. 


Other Ways to Get Involved

  • Share a Project: Send us local or international research, digital tools, visualizations, and/or case studies on innovative energy retrofits, biodiversity in the public realm, or strategies for implementation.
  • Nominate a Speaker: Introduce us to leading thinkers, historians, and changemakers who are rethinking the way we design and empower neighborhoods for climate action.
  • Lead a Tour: Share a built project or space that retains and transforms existing infrastructure to support energy transition or climate adaptation.
  • Host Us: Open your outdoor or indoor space to host a conversation with our Fellows. 

Learn more


Join us for a roundtable discussion on building clean energy in our neighborhoods with Ben Kleinbaum, Gita Nandan, Trevor Reynolds, Youngjin Song and Anika Wistar-Jones.
Join us for a roundtable discussion on biodiversity as a foundation for good neighborhood design with K.C. Alvey, Myles Davis, Zenobia Meckley, John Pavacic and Alejandro Vazquez.
Join us for a roundtable discussion on shaping resilient transportation with Kate Fillen-Yeh, Luba Guzei, Mary Kimball, Neg Lakew and Tiffany-Ann Taylor.
Join us for a conversation on adapting New York City’s coastal neighborhoods with Michael Haggerty, Dina Levy, Alex Miller, Oksana Mironova, Jeremy Siegel and Rachel Wilkins.
Join us for a roundtable discussion on decarbonizing homes citywide with Chris Benedict, Paul Garrin, Diana Hernandez, Jennifer Leone, and Pallavi Mantha.
Join us for a roundtable discussion on circular design and embodied carbon with Kaja Kühl, Amy Seek, and Jonce Walker.
Join us for a discussion with Costa Constantinides, Eunice Ko, Laura Popa, and Daphany Rose Sanchez on the power of organizing to shape new climate policy.

Advisory Committee

Michael Haggerty is a Principal and Director of Urban Planning and Design at Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners. 

Gloria Lau is a designer and visual artist based in Brooklyn with roots in Hong Kong and California. 

Pallavi Mantha is a Senior Sustainability Consultant in the Arup New York office.

Tom Scarangello is Executive Chairman of Thornton Tomasetti.

Byron Stigge is the founding director of Level Infrastructure.

Georgeen Theodore is principal and co-founder of Interboro.


Rewire is made possible with lead support from Stantec and with the continued support of our Board of Directors, Director’s Circle, and Company Members, as well as our individual members through membership dues. Special thanks to Thornton Tomasetti for hosting our working group meetings.

Urban Design Forum programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

To learn more about supporting this program, please contact Miranda Bellizia,

Get in Touch

For general questions on Rewire, please reach out to Guillermo Gomez, Director of Programs, at

If you have questions on ways to support our work, please reach out to Miranda Bellizia, Director of Member Engagement, at

Image Credits:
Program Identity by Partner & Partners
1. U.S. Department of Energy via Wikimedia Commons
2. Samuel Lahoz
3. Tdorante10 via Wikimedia Commons