Turning the Tide: "Opening Out Towards the Water"– The Big Picture
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Turning the Tide: "Opening Out Towards the Water"– The Big Picture



Session 1: Wed. Feb. 24, 2010:...

Session 1: Wed. Feb. 24, 2010:
"Opening Out Towards the Water"– The Big Picture
Moderator: Dr. William Solecki, Director, CISC

Click on each speaker's name to download their presentation [PDF]

Dr. Rutherford H. Platt, Senior Fellow, CISC
Robert Yaro, President, Regional Plan Association
Linda Cox, Executive Director, Bronx River Alliance
Wilbur L. Woods, Director, Waterfront and Open Space Planning, New York City Department of City Planning
Cortney Worrall, Director of Programs, Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance



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  • “ Sprawl is bad aesthetics; it is bad economics. Five acres are being made to do the work of one, and do it very poorly. . . And it is unnecessary. . . . it is not too late to lay down sensible guidelines for the communities of the future. It is not too late to reserve open space while there is still some left––land for parks, for landscaped industrial districts, and for just plain scenery and breathing space.”
  • New York-New Jersey Harbor - Located in one of the largest East Coast estuaries:1,600 sq. miles -Almost 1,000 linear miles (1,600 km) of shoreline Throughout most of the last 4 centuries, NY Harbor has been the commercial center of the NY Region -Major source of fish, shellfish, salt, etc -Focal point of transportation network
  • Development of the City and the seaport was at the expense of: -Public access to the waterfront -Quality of the estuary Commercial and industrial activities along the edge blocked public access and degraded the ecology of the estuary
  • RPA has been shaping the waterfront for most of the past century -Balancing a healthy seaport with the need to restore the estuary’s ecology and water quality and the need to improve public access to the water 1 st Regional Plan: relocating the seaport from Manhattan’s West Side to Newark Bay
  • -Gateway National Park -New Jersey Waterfront Revitalization -River City
  • 3 rd Regional Plan: -NY reserve, as part of a greater greensward system – also, a greenway system within NYC -Waterfront greenways -Brooklyn Greenway -Governors Island -Riverside South proposals -Hudson Yards -Governors Island
  • More public access and estuary restoration than at any other time over the last century
  • Increasing investment along and in the waterfront, as the population becomes more aware of its aquatic surroundings and sees the waterfront’s renewed potential
  • Redefining the Harbor as one of the Region’s great open spaces -New regional and local parks, including Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, Governors Island, Fresh Kills, Hudson River Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park -Parks Management: developing new models for waterfront parks -Estuary restoration – protecting and restoring NYC wetlands
  • Unfinished Agenda: -Continue to create access and revitalize formerly industrial waterfront areas -Maintain what we’ve already reprogrammed -Protect remaining natural resources (ie: wetlands) -Finish restoring the estuary
  • Another agenda still left: -To maintain New York-New Jersey’s working seaport, we need to accommodate post-Panamax ships -Post-Panamax shipping will require new facilities, likely east of Kill Van Kull (get away from the Bayonne Bridge and shallow channel depths) -Perhaps located in South Brooklyn or Bayonne
  • Opportunities/challenges by post-Panamax and transformation of seaport -Look at what’s happening at other port facilities and cities as the harness the job and economic opportunities of port investment and expansion
  • Cement Plant Bronx River Alliance 23-mile waterway that stretches from Valhalla, upper Westchester County, through the Bronx and into the East River. The lower 2 miles of the river are tidally influenced, while the rest is freshwater. In fact, NYC’s only freshwater river. The River’s 56-mile watershed varies from suburban residential to urban mixed use to industrial uses. Much of the waterway itself is lined by parkland – but the southern end is lined by semi-industrial uses and roadways and starved for green space. Though the Bronx River Alliance works cooperatively with Westchester County to address the entire watershed, the focus of the Bronx River Alliance itself and my presentation is the lower 8 miles of the river that flows through the Bronx.
  • Concrete Plant story. Both City Parks & community residents saw the potential of this site.
  • Before we go into the details of each component, we have established some goals that have been key to getting to the proposed design standards. We want these public access areas to read as public and ensure uninterrupted visual and physical access to the waterfront We want to make sure that the design standards allow for greater flexibility in creating diverse design and experiences along the waterfront. We want to encourage getting down to the water whenever appropriate, getting kayaks in or getting to the shore by boats. We want to treat water as part of the enjoyment rather than just something to look at. As we know that New York city waterfront is so varied, we want the design standards to be flexible enough to respond to different site conditions. Finally, we want the waterfront spaces to high quality spaces that are valuable amenity to the public.

Turning the Tide: "Opening Out Towards the Water"– The Big Picture Turning the Tide: "Opening Out Towards the Water"– The Big Picture Presentation Transcript

  • Moderated by: Dr. William Solecki Panelists: Rutherford Platt • Robert Yaro • Linda Cox Wilbur L. Woods • Cortney Worral
  • TURNING THE TIDE: New York’s Waterfront in Transition
  • TURNING THE TIDE: New York’s Waterfront in Transition Four Public Colloquia on the Transformation of New York City’s Waterfront and Harbor . Organized by The Institute for Sustainable Cities, City University of New York in collaboration with The Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College and The Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance
        • Session Dates and Topics
        • Feb. 24: “Opening Out Toward the Water”– The Big Picture
        • Mar. 17: Waterfront Parks: Old, New, Green, Blue
        • April 7: Seizing Opportunities: Waterfront Works in Progress
        • April 28: Reviving the Estuary: Science and Education
        • Wed. Feb. 24: “Opening Out Toward the Water”– The Big Picture
        • Wed. Mar. 17: Waterfront Parks: Old, New, Green, Blue
        • Wed. April 7: Seizing Opportunities: Waterfront Works in Progress
        • Wed. April 28: Reviving the Estuary: Science and Education
  • Session One “ Opening up to the Water:” The Big Picture February 24, 2010 Introduction by Rutherford H. Platt Series Organizer Senior Fellow, CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities and Professor of Geography Emeritus, University of Massachusetts Amherst www.humanemetropolis.org
  • This series is inspired by: The Humane Metropolis: People and Nature in the 21st Century City University of Massachusetts Press and Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 2006
            • Green
            • Healthy and Safe
            • Sustainable
            • Equitable
            • People-Friendly!
    What is a “Humane Metropolis”? An urban community at any scale (metro, city, suburb, neighborhood, block) that strives to be more––
  • Environment Magazine July/Aug. 2009 Posted at: www.humanemetropolis.org New York’s Waterfront is a Grand Experiment in creating a more humane megacity . . .
  • How did we get from this . . .
  • . . .to THIS? !
    • New York: “Matriarch of Megacities”
    • Among World’s Ten Largest Cities (1900)
    • and
    • Ten Largest Urban Regions (2006)
    • The only “western” megacity among top ten today
    • Long history of adapting to growth, decline, and diversity
    • Innovative applications of technology, law, finance, and planning
    • Model for large cities world-wide
    • Some New York “Megacity Milestones”
      • 1807 Commissioners Plan for Future Streets
      • 1840s - Croton River Water Project
      • 1860s - Central Park, Prospect Park
      • 1880s - Brooklyn Bridge
      • 1899 - Five Borough Consolidation
      • 1916 - Nation’s First Zoning Ordinance
      • 1928 - First RPA Regional Plan for Greater NY
      • 1997 - NYC Watershed Management Agreement
      • 2000s - PlaNYC
  • 1858 Olmsted and Vaux Plan for Central Park , Central Park Today
  • Truly a “ Central Park”!
  • What About a “ Perimeter Park” . . . A maritime counterpart to Central Park?
  • In 1944, Paul and Percival Goodman proposed that New York “Open out toward the water” . . . lining the waterfront with parks . . . and giving up Central Park for business and industry!
  • Central Park is not about to be abandoned . . . But New York is indeed “opening out toward the water . . .” not as a single vast project like Central Park, but as a mosaic of individual projects, with very different purposes, stakeholders, and legal frameworks “ Manhattan Waterfront Greenway ”
          • Playgrounds
          • Adult exercise and fitness
          • People watching
          • Dogwalking and run areas
          • Music and art festivals
          • Views of Harbor and skyline
          • Fishing
          • Water transportation
          • Adaptive reuse of maritime structures
          • Ecological habitat restoration
          • Environmental education
          • History and sense of place
    New waterfront facilities provide many benefits, both traditional and new . . .
        • Bike lanes
        • Water Trails
        • Green Rooftop - Riverbank State Park
        • Piers -- Hudson River Park, Chelsea Piers
        • Greenstreets
        • Eco-Docks -- Dyckman Marina, 69th St. Bay Ridge
        •  Abandoned rail facilities -- High Line Greenway
        • Barges -- Floating Pool Lady, The Science Barge
        • Flower Gardens - Battery Park City
        • Native plant beds - Stuyvesant Cove Park, Riverside Park South
        • Underwater habitat -- Hudson River Estuarine Sanctuary
    And they incorporate new physical components . . .
  • Some Glimpses of Coming Attractions . . .
  • The City and its many partners like RPA, MWA, and the Bronx River Alliance envision a 21st Century waterfront that promotes recreation, health, jobs, mobility, and biodiversity across the five boroughs Session 1 Today: “Opening Out to the Water” The Big Picture
  • Riverbank State Park -- ten acres of indoor and outdoor recreation -- on top of North River Sewage Treatment Plant! Session 2 March 17: Waterfront Parks, Old, New, Green, Blue
  • Hudson River Park Established as a city-state partnership by the Hudson River Trust Act in 1989
  • The High Line Greenway
  • Battery Park City
  • Riverside Park South
  • Chelsea Piers
  • South Street Seaport Iconic Rouse Festival Marketplace (What next . . .?)
  • Governors Island, New York Session 3 - Seizing Opportunities: Waterfront Works in Progress
  • Brooklyn Bridge Park
  • Cement Plant Park, Bronx River Greenway South Bronx Greenway
  • Gateway National Recreation Area New York City
  • Solar 2 Environmental Education Center (future) Courtesy: Colin Cathcart Session 4 - Reviving the Estuary: Science and Education
  • The Urban Assembly Harbor School New Home at Governors Island
  • “ Turning the Tide” Closing Speaker: William Kornblum
  • Thank You! www.humanemetropolis.org
  • Looking Ahead: Readying New York Harbor for the 50 years Bob Yaro President Regional Plan Association February 24, 2010
  • “ Others will see the shipping of Manhattan north and west, and the heights of Brooklyn to the south and east. Others will see the island large and small; Fifty years hence, others will see them as they cross, the sun half an hour high, A hundred years hence, or ever so many hundred years hence, others will see them, Will enjoy the sunset, the pouring-in of the flood-tide, the falling-back to the sea of the ebb-tide.” -Walt Whitman, “Crossing the Brooklyn Ferry,” 1856
  • Commerce & Industry Along the Edge Source: New York Changing: Revisiting Berenice Abbott’s New York
  • 1 st Regional Plan Relocating the seaport from Manhattan’s West Side to Newark Bay
  • 2 nd Regional Plan Gateway National Park River City and The New Jersey Waterfront Revitalization
  • 3 rd Regional Plan
  • Access to the Waterfront Today Hudson River Park Queens West Manhattan’s West Side Battery Park City
  • Residential and Commercial Development
    • New York - New Jersey Harbor
    • 8 million sq ft Commercial Space
    • - 4,000 New Housing Units
    • - $1.4 billion Invested
    • - Over 100 Park Initiatives costing $1-2 billion
  • Redefining the Harbor
  • Unfinished Agenda $1–4 Million/Acre to Build $135,000/Acre/Year to Manage Arlington Marsh
  • Restoring and Rebuilding the Seaport Post-Panamax Cargo Bridge Panama Canal Expansion Bayonne
  • Harnessing the Opportunities & Overcoming the Challenges of Post-Panamax Shipping Port of Baltimore Port of Norfolk
  • Bronx River Story
  • Stormwater Capture Erosion Control
  • VISION 2020 New Comprehensive Waterfront Plan February 24, 2010 Turning the Tide Panel
  • Defining NYC’s Coastal Boundary The area “landward from pierhead or property line, whichever is furthest seaward, to include coastal resources and the first mapped street.” (CEQR Technical Manual, 3K-l) New York City Coastal Zone
  • 1992 Comprehensive Waterfront Plan (CWP)
    • Issued 1992 by Department of City Planning
    • First comprehensive inventory of city’s entire waterfront
    • Framework to guide land use along the waterfront
    • Directed transition from industrial to post-industrial waterfront landscape, envisioning:
      • Redevelopment of vacant and underutilized lands
      • Parks and public access throughout the city
      • Clean waters for swimming, fishing, and boating
      • Protected natural habitats
      • Thriving maritime and other industries
      • Ferries, bikeways, and pedestrian pathways
      • New housing and jobs in attractive, safe settings
    • Identified and planned for 4 Major Functional Categories:
      • The Redeveloping Waterfront
      • The Natural Waterfront
      • The Working Waterfront
      • The Public Waterfront
    • Identified prime natural and industrial areas for special consideration
    • Detailed studies of 22 Waterfront Reaches ( Borough Plans)
    1992 Comprehensive Waterfront Plan (cont.)
  • Achievements Since 1992 Comprehensive Waterfront Plan
    • City-wide strategies adopted and implemented to:
    • Protect tidal and freshwater wetlands
    • Protect significant coastal fish and wildlife habitats
    • Combat coastal erosion
    • Improve water quality through significant and continued investment in city’s treatment upgrades and remediation programs
    Plan for the Natural Waterfront
  • Designated 3 Special Natural Waterfront Areas:
    • Harbor Herons Complex
    • Long Island Sound / Upper East River
    • Jamaica Bay
    • Increased publicly accessible waterfront by approximately 29 miles of shoreline, plus an additional 13 miles in progress.
    • Planned and developed linear public access corridors, including over 75 miles of waterfront greenways.
    • Required public access and view corridors in over 40 new private developments.
    • Provided point access: street ends and local parks in all five boroughs.
    IKEA along Brooklyn’s Erie Basin The Plan for the Public Waterfront Achievements Since 1992 Comprehensive Waterfront Plan IKEA Esplanade on Erie Basin, Brooklyn
  • The Plan for the Working Waterfront
    • Designated Significant Maritime / Industrial Areas (SMIAs):
      • Kill Van Kull
      • Brooklyn – Sunset Park
      • Brooklyn - Red Hook
      • Brooklyn Navy Yard
      • Newtown Creek
      • South Bronx
    • Major Projects:
    • - Howland Hook Container Terminal and Arlington Yards
    • - Brooklyn Cruise Terminal
    • - Brooklyn Navy Yard Film Studio
    • - Visy Paper, Arthur Kill
    • - Red Hook Bargeport
    • - Oak Point Rail Link and Harlem River Yards
    Achievements Since 1992 Comprehensive Waterfront Plan 1 2 3 4 5 6
  • The Plan for the Redeveloping Waterfront
      • • Encouraged redevelopment of waterfront to foster economic growth, housing development, public access, and a better quality of life.
      • • Amended city zoning regulations to better regulate waterfront development.
      • Identified specific rezoning opportunities in each borough
      • Specific projects have been implemented, and activity has been steady and growing.
    Achievements Since 1992 Comprehensive Waterfront Plan Hunters Point South Development, Queens
  • Waterfront Zoning Regulations
    • Adopted 1993
    • Advanced many CWP recommendations
    • Applies primarily to residential, commercial, and mixed-used developments on waterfront – industrial and water-dependent uses exempted from many regulations
    • Applies when redevelopment occurs
    • Updated in 2009 to improve public access design standards
    | WRP | Illustrations Costco, East River, Queens
  • 2002: New Waterfront Revitalization Program (WRP) WRP is the city’s principal coastal management tool.
    • New WRP approved by NYS and Department of Commerce in 2002
    • WRP intended to:
      • Maximize benefits derived from economic development, environmental preservation, and public use of the waterfront
      • Promote activities appropriate to specific locations
      • Coordinate decisions and streamline regulatory proces s
    • What is the new Comprehensive Waterfront Plan?
    • • City Council legislation (Intro 809-a) adopted in late 2008 requires the
    • Department of City Planning to update the Comprehensive Waterfront Plan
    • (CWP) by December 31, 2010, and every 10 years thereafter.
    • • The primary requirements of the legislation are that the Plan should:
      • Set out a Vision for the city’s waterfront for the next 10 years (2010 – 2020).
      • Provide an Assessment of Waterfront Resources to include the current opportunities and challenges.
      • Develop planning policy alternatives for discussion with the public, and in consultation with appropriate governmental agencies and elected officials.
      • Provide a statement of the planning policy of the Department of City Planning and proposals for implementing the planning policy by amendment of the zoning resolution, development of plans or otherwise.
  • Major Themes of the CWP Update/Vision 2020 The major themes of the CWP Update/Vision 2020 are based on our experience and consideration of the waterfront planning issues identified recently by DCP’s Borough Offices. These themes mix the elements from the four functional categories of the 1992 Plan – the public, developing, working and natural waterfronts – plus the issues inherent in the water itself, or the “blue network”. The seven themes are: 1. Expanding public access on private and public property Brooklyn Bridge Park Williamsburg Edge
  • 2. Enlivening the waterfront with attractive uses, high-quality public spaces, and publicly oriented water-dependent uses, integrated with adjacent upland communities. Greenpoint-Williamsburg Waterfront: Design Schematic Lower Concourse Waterfront Plan
  • 3 . Supporting economic development on the working waterfront New York Container Terminal - Staten Island
  • 4. Restoring degraded natural waterfronts and protecting wetlands and shorefront habitats Jamaica Bay Wetlands Management Area Arlington Marsh North Shore Staten Island
  • 5. Enhancing the public experience of the “blue network” by expanding waterborne transportation, in-water recreation, as well as water-oriented educational and cultural activities New York Water Taxi Bronx River Marine Instruction
    • Maintaining and improving the environmental quality of our water bodies.
    Bronx River Newtown Creek Water Pollution Control Plant
  • 7. Pursuing strategies to improve the sustainability of the city’s waterfront, including increased resilience to climate change and projected sea-level rise. Hamilton Beach, Queens – October 18, 2009
  • Waterfront Reaches
    • City’s waterfront divided into 22 local planning segments, or reaches
    • Organizing framework for detailed site-specific recommendations
    | Zoning | WRP | Illustrations
  • Expanding Waterborne Transportation Source: NYC Economic Development Corporation
  • Revitalizing Waterfront Areas Sunset Park Vision Plan Goals: • Maximize the efficient movement of goods • Protect and grow industrial employment • Promote green practices • Balance neighborhood needs Source: NYC Economic Development Corporation
  • Questions and Discussion February 24, 2010 Turning the Tide Panel
  • Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance www.waterfrontalliance.org
  • MWA’s Mission
    • MWA is determined to transform the New York and New Jersey Harbor and Waterways to make them clean and accessible, a vibrant place to play, learn and work, with great parks, great jobs, and great transportation for all.
  • A waterfront cut off from people
  • San Francisco Rotterdam London Sydney
  • Who are we?
    • An alliance of nearly 400 organizations in the metropolitan region
    • Committed to revitalizing the NY-NJ waterfront
    • A BROAD coalition —from the paddlers of the Sebago Canoe Club on Jamaica Bay to the international shippers of the New York Shipping Association
  • MWA as waterfront convener
  • Waterfront Policy: The Waterfront Action Agenda Policy Platform for NY- NJ Waterfront
  • Transforming the Waterfront A short history 2000 to 2050 2000 2050 Task Forces Convene 2007 Today
  • MWA’s Programs
    • Waterfront Permitting
    • Community Eco-Docks
    • Waterfront Edge Design
    • Harbor Camp
    • Task Forces/Comprehensive Waterfront Plan
    ©2008 Guardia Architects
  • Comprehensive Waterfront Plan
    • Updated by end of 2010
    • Critically Important Year for Waterfront
    • Public meetings
    • MWA Waterfront Conference
  • Working Waterfront
  • Working Waterfront
    • 230,000 Waterfront Jobs
    • Port Commerce = $20 billion
    • Cruise Industry = $1 billion
    • Rising costs and real estate pressure
  • $23 to $29 $29 to $42 $50 to $100
  • Green Harbor and Restoration
  • New York/ New Jersey Harbor
  • Long Island Sound Study
  • Great Lakes
  • Restoration Funding Great Lakes Long Island Sound NY/NJ Harbor $4.24 million/ year $168 million/ year $580,000/year $3200/mi 2 $1800/mi 2 $36/mi 2 $0.20/person $4.90/person $0.03/person
  • 475.0
  • How do we measure progress?
  • Join the Blue Movement!
    • MWA has helped to develop and promote waterfront programs that will develop and maintain a healthy and lasting harbor. Stay informed as members of the MWA Alliance.
  • Stay Tuned for 2010!
    • MWA Task Force meetings
    • Comprehensive Waterfront Plan meetings
    • City of Water Day – July 24 th
    • MWA’s Waterfront Conference - December