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DDC Infrastructure Division Receives “Sustainability Award” From the New York Water Environment Association

For exhibiting enthusiasm and creativity towards decision making that leads to long-term preservation of assets, human capital and natural resources

DDC: Ian Michaels, (646) 939-6514,

(Long Island City, NY – February 10, 2022) Commissioner Thomas Foley of the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) announced today that the agency’s Infrastructure Division, which builds water mains, sewers, green infrastructure and engineered wetlands for the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), has been selected by the New York Water Environment Association (NYWEA) to receive its 2021 Sustainability Award. The award will be presented today in an online virtual ceremony.

Starlight Park in the Bronx

In 2021, DDC received an “Envision Gold Award” from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) for its $41 million project with NYC Parks to close a critical gap in the Bronx River Greenway while increasing recreational opportunities and reconnecting neighborhoods that had been isolated and divided years before by various highways and train lines.

The Award honors organizations that have instituted policies and practices recognizing the need for long-term preservation of assets, human capital and natural resources while satisfying present day needs, societal goals and NYWEA’s environmental mandate. Honorees must encourage and reward “triple bottom-line” decision making which accounts for the social, economic and environmental effects of a project in order to achieve balanced sustainability.

DDC created its Sustainable Infrastructure Program in 2015 and has adopted the Envision framework by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, a system of criteria and performance objectives to help project teams identify sustainable, resilient and equitable approaches to design and construction. Envision covers a broad range of criteria to address a project’s impact on the surrounding community and environment, technical considerations regarding materials and processes, and other critical choices spanning a project’s lifecycle. Envision also helps communities and elected officials make responsible choices about their natural resources. The agency also has two in-house Envision trainers to educate staff on Envision Sustainability Professional Certification.

In 2017, a $48 million Bluebelt project in Staten Island that DDC completed with DEP became only the second project in New York City to receive an Envision Award. Last year, a DDC project for NYC Parks which is creating a vital link in the Bronx River Greenway received an Envision Gold award.

“DDC’s Infrastructure Division is engaged in programs in every borough that meet the NYWEA’s ideals for protecting people, property and the environment in a thoughtful, fair and sustainable way,” said DDC Commissioner Thomas Foley. “The agency’s Sustainable Infrastructure Task Force reviews projects to see which are appropriate for the advanced ‘Envision Framework,’ while our Sustainable Infrastructure Program identifies cost-effective ways to create healthier environments. Thank you to everyone at DDC Infrastructure who implements the City’s sustainability programs for making this possible.”

DDC’s Infrastructure Division installed 38.7 miles of new water mains and 27.9 miles of new sewers in the City’s Fiscal Year 2021, which ended on June 30. DDC Infrastructure is also building the City’s Southeast Queens Initiative, a $2.2 billion program of 43 separate projects designed to improve flooding and street conditions in historically underserved neighborhoods that have a high percentage of minority homeowners.

The Division is building the $1.45 billion East Side Coastal Resiliency project, the City’s largest and the first to go forward under the comprehensive plan to protect lower Manhattan from the effects of storm surges and future tidal flooding. It will build Red Hook Coastal Resiliency in Brooklyn and a similar project in Manhattan’s Two Bridges neighborhood and has also completed interim flood measures at multiple sites for NYC Emergency Management.

The Division has built multiple public plazas, including the new Times Square, as part of the NYC Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Plaza Program, which calms traffic while providing more public space to communities that need them. It also partners with DOT on Great Streets projects that bring safety enhancements and beautification to major avenues throughout the City, as well as on step street rehabilitations that connect communities. It also rehabilitates pedestrian ramps around the City to ensure they comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Along with DEP, DDC Infrastructure designs and builds the innovative Bluebelt system in Staten Island, which preserves natural drainage corridors such as streams, creeks and ponds and optimizes them to help control and filter stormwater from surrounding neighborhoods. It also works with DEP on green infrastructure portfolio of over $500 million designed to increase natural drainage and decrease the amount of stormwater that enters the City’s sewer system.

DDC Infrastructure played an important role in responding to natural disasters in New York City, including Hurricane Sandy and most recently after Tropical Storm Isaiah, when the Division led an effort that removed tons of debris and downed trees across the City. The Division shares its knowledge with public school students in cooperation with DDC’s STEAM education division.


About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor Adams’ long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15.5 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit