“The East River Blueway Plan
As New York City’s waterfronts have deindustrialized over the past forty years, residential and recreational redevelopment has transformed the edges of Manhattan’s West Side, Brooklyn Heights, and the East River’s eastern banks in Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Long Island City. Its western banks, however, confront a much harsher set of edge conditions, especially in the southern half of Manhattan. The FDR Drive, disused piers, superblocks of towers-in-the-park housing, and large institutions like hospitals and power stations all conspire to limit public access to the waterfront and, moreover, to the water itself. And while the aim of all the recent attention paid to riverside public spaces (such as the renovation of East River Park) is to create high quality spaces near the water, these efforts don’t necessarily prioritize access to the waterway itself, a fast-moving tidal strait long considered unsafe, unclean and otherwise unfit for a wide range of uses, including waterborne recreation, transportation, and ecological education and restoration.
Providing New Yorkers exactly those opportunities has led the Office of Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and State Assemblymember Brian Kavanaugh to support the efforts of local community-based organizations, community boards, City and State agencies to make it easier for New Yorkers to get into the water.* WXY Architecture + Urban Design is the firm charged with planning a network of sites, listening to community stakeholders, recommending access strategies and identifying opportunities for capital projects along the East River from the Brooklyn Bridge up to East 38th Street. So we sat down with Adam Lubinsky, a managing principal at WXY, to discuss the process behind the East River Blueway Plan. The potential of New York City’s waterways extends beyond riverfront open space or residential real estate with river views. But to get past the water’s edge, as Lubinsky tells us in the interview below, requires a multivalent strategy of community engagement, urban planning and design.”
Via: Urban Omnibus
Image: WXY Architecture + Urban Design