ResilienCity Park Case Story (Hoboken, NJ)
October 10, 2023

The Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grant program, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), provides funding directly to states for preventive investments in natural disaster resilience, including hazard mitigation planning and projects that will reduce the risk of damage in the event of a natural disaster. Non-state entities apply for BRIC funding as subapplicants by submitting applications to their state hazard mitigation officers. See the Local Infrastructure Hub’s 5 Winning Strategies for BRIC, which guides cities as they seek to access funding from this program.

The Local Infrastructure Hub is highlighting Hoboken, New Jersey’s ResilienCity Park project, formerly Northwest Resiliency Park, as it shows how BRIC grants can be used to invest in multipurpose infrastructure, incorporating resilience for extreme weather events and public amenities for daily functional use.

Due to their topography, Hoboken sees flood risks related to storm surge and rainfall, which can cause damage throughout the city. This has occurred due to both hurricane events and more frequent, heavy rainfalls. Additionally, Hoboken’s combined sewer overflow system creates an additional risk; in heavy rainfall events, stormwater joins sanitary flows and can overwhelm wastewater treatment facilities, polluting the Hudson River and leading to more flooding in the city. 

Hoboken’s resiliency parks are part of the broader strategy in New Jersey’s Rebuild by Design – Hudson River project, funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Rebuild by Design project is focused on improving physical, ecological, economic, and social resilience to flooding events. The resiliency parks are an innovative combination of above-ground recreational amenities and green infrastructure and below-ground gray infrastructure, a key component of the overarching strategy. ResilienCity Park is the newest of three such parks in Hoboken, with a fourth in planning. 

ResilienCity Park has transformed a former industrial site into a new public park and is a component of the city’s resiliency infrastructure. Together, Hoboken’s resiliency park network aims to minimize the risk of flooding facing the greater Hoboken community, by storing and providing for delayed discharge of millions of gallons of stormwater that would otherwise flood streets, homes, and businesses.

Considerations for Municipalities

Disaster events have varying impacts for cities, depending on a city’s existing infrastructure and the nature of the event, including wildfires, droughts, landslides, tornadoes, earthquakes, winter storms, inland and coastal flooding, tsunamis, and hurricanes. As climate change continues, extreme weather events have become more frequent and increasingly more severe, necessitating that cities reevaluate their infrastructure and ability to respond to such events. This case story raises several considerations for municipal leaders and stakeholders as strategies for mitigation and adaptation are considered, including: 

  • What are the hazards and risks to your city ? 
  • Within your city, how are specific communities overburdened and underserved by city amenities and resilient infrastructure? 
  • At the state level, who is responsible for the statewide BRIC grant application and sub-applicant review?
  • What entity will be the eligible sub-applicant and how will you engage with them? 
  • How will funded activities support risk mitigation and adaptation efforts? 
  • How do funded activities fit and connect with the city or region’s broader adaptation and mitigation strategies? 
  • What is the impact of weather and climate disasters on delivery of public services, including emergency services? 

Hoboken, NJ

Fast Facts: 

Population (city)58,690
Land area1.25 mi2
2022 Aggregate assessed property valuation$11.876B
NFIP coverage$2.3B (in assets in Hoboken)
Total NFIP policies9,832
Underinsured or uninsured property value$9.5B 

Other Resources

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