NJ Gov. Phil Murphy, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, and Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla attended the grand opening of ResilienCity, previously known as Northwest Resiliency Park. As the largest resiliency park in the state, it is capable of detaining two million gallons of stormwater using both above- and below-ground infrastructure. Rainwater will be collected and stored in tanks under the park, treated, and then transferred to the Hudson river in drier conditions.
Furthermore, the former industrial site was transformed into a public park that offers access to over five acres of public space with ballfields, playgrounds, open lawn space, a water spray area and other amenities for residents to enjoy.
“This park opening is a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to create a sustainable and resilient community, serving as the largest resiliency park in our great state and a model for the rest of the county,” said Mayor Bhalla. “Not only does this park provide much-needed, state-of-the-art open space amenities, it will also provide a critical defense against rainfall flooding, two critical quality of life improvements for our residents.”
Based on its topography, low-lying areas in Hoboken are susceptible to flooding with less an an inch of rainwater per hour. To combat this, the city has invested in resilient parks since 2017, and ResilienCity is the third park. The other two, Southwest Resiliency Park and the 7th & Jackson Resiliency Park, jointly detain up to 670,000 gallons of stormwater during heavy rain events.
Budgeting For A Resiliency Park
For Hoboken, it cost a total of $50 million to create the ResilienCity. It was in part funded by grants from FEMA, low-interest financing, and grants from the Hudson County Open Space Trust Fund. Hoboken will also expand its Southwest Resiliency Park before the end of the year, aiming to increase its capacity to detain 510,000 gallons of stormwater instead of 200,000. It also is the early stages of planning for a fourth resiliency park.
The park is part of Hoboken’s Rebuild by Design Hudson River Project, a resilient infrastructure project made possible by the funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“The Rebuild by Design project is a national model for resilient infrastructure and the project’s comprehensive approach to resilience consists of four integrated components—resist, delay, store and discharge—to manage storm surge,” according to a statement from the city of Hoboken. “These components include a combination of hard infrastructure and soft landscaping to defend against storm surge and flooding, interconnected infrastructure to store and control stormwater runoff, and water pumps and other drainage projects to support controlled drainage during and after storms.”