The RETI (Resilience, Education, Training and Innovation) Center is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to building strength in communities through resiliency focused economic development by following the guidelines set by OneNYC and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
As the volatile leading edge of climate change, urban coastal areas are increasingly subject to extreme weather, flooding, and sea level rise. Because these areas tend to be made up of lower income and public housing residents, recovery is slow because rebuilding is expensive, and damaged infrastructure isn’t prioritized by the city for repair. These economically-vulnerable populations are especially hard hit as they can be dependent on local jobs that disappear when businesses fail or move away. Erosion and pollution can also be exacerbated, further decreasing the quality of life and fraying the urban fabric at the edges.
To overcome this combination of devastating factors, a new model is needed for working and living on the urban coastline. It’s essential to physically protect the coast and its inhabitants by developing new types of housing, flood protection strategies and work spaces that can weather these dramatic and changing conditions. Faced by the greatest pressures of climate change, the coast can become the focal point and model for innovation in industry, infrastructure, and social justice. To survive, we must view climate change not as disaster, but as an opportunity to quickly advance new technology, create new training and jobs for low income and unemployed populations, and provide independent renewable energy solutions.
RETI CENTER: A UNIQUE SOLUTION
The Resilience Education, Training and Innovation Center (RETI) weaves together businesses, workforce and community development organizations, and educational institutions to drive innovation and job creation in urban climate resilience and sustainability in New York City and beyond. In doing so, it addresses the socioeconomic inequity challenges that low-income coastal communities can face through job training, placement, and improved local infrastructure. Based on a donated piece of privately-owned waterfront property in Southwest Brooklyn, RETI Center is establishing a physical space and community support structure where these entities work together in the development of the technologies, products, and services that will help make New York City sustainable and climate resilient, while training the workforce needed to plan, build and operate these emerging industries.
The RETI Center offers a substantial step forward in achieving a more resilient and equitable New York City in the face of rising sea levels, extreme weather events and climate change.
RETI Center was conceived and born in response to the need to strengthen economically and environmentally vulnerable urban coastal areas. As urgent needs arise, we respond using a myriad of solutions that fall under our four core competencies:
RESILIENCE: PLACE-BASED PLANNING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
We help build resilient coastal communities that focus on the future through diverse and connected populations; flood-ready homes; pollution-free, protected coastlines; and independent, renewable energy supplies
EDUCATION: THE GREEN-BLUE PIPELINE
Working with young people from kindergarten to graduate school, we cultivate the mindset and motivation to cope with our changing environment
TRAINING: GREEN-BLUE COLLAR WORKFORCE
Providing training and permanent jobs in future-facing industries such as renewable and efficient energy, carbon neutral manufacturing, and climate change protection measures for disadvantaged populations
INNOVATION: RESILIENT PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
By providing resources, expertise and work space for startups and established companies, we help develop and market products to fight climate change