New York City is confronted with a dual threat: sinking caused by its buildings and rising sea levels. The study reveals that high-rise structures contribute to the sinking process, while local sea levels rise twice as fast as the global average. By 2050, a projected sea level rise of 8 to 30 inches poses significant challenges. Furthermore, the human-induced climate crisis is expected to bring more intense rainfall events, including hurricanes and nor’easters. Addressing these risks requires proactive measures to mitigate potential flooding from coastal, riverfront, and lakefront high-rise buildings. Researchers have identified various factors contributing to New York City’s sinking. The city experiences an average sinking rate of 1 to 2 millimeters per year, with certain areas subsiding at a faster pace of up to 4.5 millimeters annually. While some sinking is attributed to construction on soft soils and artificial fill, unexplained instances occur in areas like lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the north end of Staten Island. The complex nature of this phenomenon continues to perplex experts, driving the ongoing search for explanations.

Sinking cities are a global concern, as seen in Jakarta’s rapid subsidence, necessitating the relocation of its capital. Analyzing 99 cities worldwide, researchers investigated the influence of urban building loads on coastal land subsidence. Through computer modeling, satellite data, and GPS measurements, they estimated sinking rates and identified vulnerable areas. New York City, with its densely populated infrastructure in low-lying zones, is particularly susceptible. Understanding the causes and consequences of landscape changes is crucial for effective preparation and mitigation strategies against future sea level rise.