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Priority Area: Sustainable and Equitable Infrastructure Development

Central New York is on the cusp of significant growth, with over $5 billion earmarked for transportation investments, including a pivotal $2.25 billion project to reroute Interstate 81, known as the “Community Grid.” This endeavor aims to enhance connectivity, tackling long-standing segregation issues while also preparing for the expected influx from Micron’s expansion and its associated supply chain businesses. This shift toward growth presents a substantial departure from decades of steady or declining population trends, urging a transition from maintaining infrastructure to actively expanding and modernizing it. 
 

Key priorities include upgrading public transit, expanding EV charging networks, safeguarding watersheds, and embracing renewable energy, all geared toward bolstering environmental sustainability and improving access across the region.

Feedback gathered from community engagement underscores the urgency of adapting to this growth. Rural communities express concerns about the strain on infrastructure due to their proximity to burgeoning areas, while diverse groups emphasize the need for improved public transportation to access jobs, education, and healthcare. As Central New York navigates this pivot from maintaining to growing its infrastructure, integrating best practices and leveraging regional expertise for zoning and planning become critical. The region stands at a unique juncture, facing the dual challenge of fostering economic development while preserving its rich natural resources and ensuring the inclusivity and sustainability of its growth.

Priorities and Strategies

Additional Priority: Create a sustainable and inclusive transportation network that enhances connectivity, prioritizes safety, supports economic growth, and minimizes environmental impact

  • Diverse Multi-modal Transportation: Invest in a variety of transportation modes to cater to the community’s different needs and preferences that promote environmental sustainability.

  • Public Transit: Strengthen public transit for efficient, reliable public transportation.

  • Alternative Energy Vehicle Infrastructure: Expand the network of alternative energy vehicle charging stations and fueling stations to support eco-friendly transportation.

  • Enhance Rural Connectivity: Improve transportation links in rural areas to enhance access to urban centers and resources.

Strategies

Additional Priority: Modernize and sustainably manage utilities and natural resources for a resilient and sustainable Central New York

  • Freshwater Infrastructure Rehabilitation and Technology-Driven Water Management: Modernize water infrastructure and implement technology-driven management to ensure sustainable water supply.

  • Watershed Conservation Initiatives: Implement conservation projects to protect watersheds and maintain water quality.

  • Stormwater Mitigation Efforts: Implement effective stormwater management solutions to reduce flood risks, protect water quality, and improve urban water resilience.

  • Sustainable Infrastructure Integration: Incorporate sustainable practices in infrastructure development to reduce environmental impact.

  • Modernized Utility Infrastructure: Upgrade utility systems with a focus on sustainable water management and expand high-speed broadband access, aligning with the region’s growth and technological needs.

  • Resilient Public Infrastructure: Enhance the durability and resilience of public infrastructure to better withstand climate change impacts and rising usage, ensuring sustainability and preparedness for future demographic and economic shifts.

  • Renewable Energy Transition: Shift to renewable and clean energy sources to meet climate goals and enhance resilience in energy infrastructure.

Strategies

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