Whether natural disasters come in the form of a tornado, earthquake, tsunami or a hurricane, like the remnants of Hurricane Sandy that wrought destruction on the New Jersey and New York coastlines, cities need to incorporate resilience and sustainability into their existing infrastructure and in their plans for growth.

These issues are addressed regularly in Urban Land, but may be looked at in a new light following the pain and disruption experienced in the nation’s most densely populated area.

Making Cities More Adaptable and Sustainable. At a panel at the recent ULI Fall Meeting, leaders talked about using technology to make cities more viable and resilient. Whether it is a hybrid-powered police cruiser or a “virtual hotel” like airbnb.com, there are new solutions to older problems.

Cost of Adapting to Climate Change. A 2010 study estimated the total cost at almost $9 trillion in 2007 dollars across 19 states.

Turning Tide Against Itself. After Hurricane Katrina, one Texas facility reduced its dependence on unreliable infrastructure by using natural gas for power and putting rain and waste water back to work.

Alternative Energy: Solar Parking Lots.  Surface parking lots have become generators for zoos and stadiums by a solar panel “canopy”, offering both shade and free energy.

Shoring Up Water Supplies. With rising sea levels, cities may need to look at aging pipes and other infrastructure in order to ensure drinkable water is still available.