Prospects for Resilience

Insights from New York City’s Jamaica Bay

  • Eric W. Sanderson
  • William D. Solecki
  • John R. Waldman
  • Adam S. Parris

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Introduction to Resilience in Jamaica Bay

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. William D. Solecki, Eric W. Sanderson, John R. Waldman, Adam S. Parris
      Pages 3-19
    3. Brett Branco, John R. Waldman
      Pages 21-42
    4. Shorna Allred, Bryce DuBois, Katherine Bunting-Howarth, Keith Tidball, William D. Solecki
      Pages 43-62
  3. Social-Ecological Systems of Jamaica Bay

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 63-63
    2. Larry Swanson, Michael Dorsch, Mario Giampieri, Philip Orton, Adam S. Parris, Eric W. Sanderson
      Pages 65-89
    3. Steven N. Handel, John Marra, Christina M. K. Kaunzinger, V. Monica Bricelj, Joanna Burger, Russell L. Burke et al.
      Pages 91-116
    4. Laxmi Ramasubramanian, Mike Menser, Erin Rieser, Mia Brezin, Leah Feder, Racquel Forrester et al.
      Pages 117-137
  4. Tools for Resilience Practice

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 139-139
    2. Rosenzweig Bernice, Arnold L. Gordon, Marra John, Chant Robert, Christopher J. Zappa, Adam S. Parris
      Pages 141-165
    3. Eric W. Sanderson, Philip Orton, Jordan R. Fischbach, Debra Knopman, Hugh Roberts, William D. Solecki et al.
      Pages 167-191
    4. Maria Raquel Catalano de Sousa, Stephanie Miller, Michael Dorsch, Franco A. Montalto
      Pages 193-216
    5. Mitchell J. Eaton, Angela K. Fuller, Fred A. Johnson, Matthew P. Hare, Richard C. Stedman
      Pages 217-237
  5. Prospects for Resilience in Jamaica Bay

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 239-239
    2. Laxmi Ramasubramanian, Mike Menser, Erin Rieser, Leah Feder, Racquel Forrester, Robin Leichenko et al.
      Pages 241-252
    3. Adam S. Parris, William D. Solecki, Eric W. Sanderson, John R. Waldman
      Pages 253-262
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 263-286

About this book


Given the realities of climate change and sea-level rise, coastal cities around the world are struggling with questions of resilience.  Resilience, at its core, is about desirable states of the urban social-ecological system and understanding how to sustain those states in an uncertain and tumultuous future. How do physical conditions, ecological processes, social objectives, human politics, and history shape the prospects for resilience?  Most books set out “the answer.”  This book sets out a process of grappling with holistic resilience from multiple perspectives, drawing on the insights and experiences of more than fifty scholars and practitioners working together to make Jamaica Bay in New York City an example for the world.

This volume establishes a framework for understanding resilience practice in urban watersheds. Using Jamaica Bay—the largest contiguous natural area in New York, home to millions of New Yorkers, and a hub of global air travel with John F. Kennedy International Airport—the authors demonstrate how various components of social-ecological systems interact, ranging from climatic factors to plant populations to human demographics. They also highlight essential tools for creating resilient watersheds, including monitoring and identifying system indicators; computer modeling; green infrastructure; and decision science methods. Finally, they look at the role and importance of a “boundary organization” like the new Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay in coordinating and facilitating resilience work, and consider significant research questions and prospects for the future of urban watersheds.
The book sets forth an essential foundation of information and advice for researchers, urban planners, students and others who need to create more resilient cities that work with, not against, nature.


Adaptive management Ecological history Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay Greenstreets Gateway National Recreation Area

Editors and affiliations

  • Eric W. Sanderson
    • 1
  • William D. Solecki
    • 2
  • John R. Waldman
    • 3
  • Adam S. Parris
    • 4
  1. 1.BronxUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeographyHunter College CUNYNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiologyQueens College, CUNYSea CliffUSA
  4. 4.The Science and Resilience InstituteBrooklyn College, CUNYBrooklynUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Eric W. Sanderson, William D. Solecki, John R. Waldman, and Adam S. Parris 2016
  • Publisher Name Island Press, Washington, DC
  • eBook Packages Earth and Environmental Science
  • Print ISBN 978-1-61091-829-9
  • Online ISBN 978-1-61091-734-6
  • Buy this book on publisher's site