The Village of Sidney, New York came to the wrenching realization that it could not protect residents living near the Susquehanna River after three devastating floods within six years. The Village hired PLACE Alliance and its project partner River Street Planning and Development, through the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program, to lead the design and planning for relocating Sidney’s most vulnerable residents from flood-prone neighborhoods. The design coalition identified areas safe from flooding that easily connect to the Sidney’s street and trail network creating a seamless extension from the existing village to the new, planned development areas. The decommissioned neighborhoods near the river are being converted into recreation and cultural event areas that also function as a restored floodplain that stores excess water to mitigate flooding along the river corridor.
This Village relocation, floodplain restoration, and recreational amenity has been coined the Sidney GreenPlain, which has won enthusiastic approval from residents and town officials alike. The restoration of the floodplain is designed to reduce the impact of flooding on the Village’s downtown by protecting local businesses, the character of the Village, and industrial areas that employ many people. The GreenPlain additionally serves as an asset to the Village, its neighbors, and the region, by offering a variety of opportunities for recreation, education, entertainment, and economic development. Following the New York Rising Grant, the GreenPlain received funding through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which is currently in phase 2.