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Turning the Tide: Seizing Opportunities: Waterfront Works in Progress

by on Apr 08, 2010

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Session 3 Wed. April 7, 2010:...

Session 3 Wed. April 7, 2010:
Seizing Opportunities: Waterfront Works in Progress
Moderator: Dr. Melissa Checker, Queens College, CUNY

Speakers/Panelists

Robert Pirani, Regional Plan Association and Governors Island Alliance––Governors Island
Kate Van Tassel, NYCEDC and Miquela Craytor, Sustainable South Bronx––South Bronx Greenway
Ambassador William J. vanden Heuvel, Four Freedoms Park
Nancy Webster, Acting Executive-Director, Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy
Joshua Laird, Asst. Commissioner, NYC Parks and Recreation

Background

In 1609, New York’s future waterfront was an arcadian shore of forests, wetlands, beaches, and sand bars, according to Eric Sanderson's book Mannahatta. That landscape is lost forever, but visions of a post-industrial, neo-natural waterfront are longstanding. In 1944, futurists Paul and Percival Goodman proposed that Manhattan "open out toward the water," lining its gritty waterfront with new parks. They were prescient: today the water’s edge of Manhattan is evolving from a "no-man's-land" into a "highly desirable zone of parks," in the words of writer Phillip Lopate.

The newly designated "Manhattan Waterfront Greenway" is cobbled together from many bits and pieces like Battery Park City, Hudson River Park, Riverside Park South, restored Harlem River parks, and tiny Stuyvesant Cove Park––each with its own chronicle of past and present struggles among property owners, community groups, developers, politicians, planners, lawyers, and other stakeholders. Elsewhere in the city, Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, Governors Island, the South Bronx Greenway, Pelham Bay South Waterfront Park, the Bronx River Greenway, and Gateway National Recreation Area are among many waterfront works in progress.

The colloquium series will address selected topics and issues relating to what has been achieved and what remains to be done to continue the transformation of New York’s waterfronts.

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Turning the Tide: Seizing Opportunities: Waterfront Works in Progress Turning the Tide: Seizing Opportunities: Waterfront Works in Progress Webinar Transcript