New website will help New Yorkers contribute to a coming plan for New York City’s 520 miles of waterfront
Department of City Planning (DCP) Director Marisa Lago today announced a series of remote workshops, two or more in each borough, that seek to gather comment and input on the next edition of New York City’s Comprehensive Waterfront Plan. The plan will set a vision for the future of the waterfront for the next decade and beyond.
This announcement comes alongside the launch of a new website dedicated to increasing public engagement on the plan. Public input is a critical, central pillar of the plan, which is tentatively scheduled to be released by the end of 2020. The website will accept public input through the end of November 2020.
“The Comprehensive Waterfront Plan gives every New Yorker a once-in-a-decade opportunity to craft a holistic vision for our city’s beautiful 520-mile-long waterfront. The discussions that we’re having with New Yorkers about our shoreline are invaluable, covering equity of access to jobs and open space, the health of our waterways, our resiliency to climate change and more. We invite you to join the conversation by exploring our new website and sharing your ideas at a remote workshop and online. Help us make our waterfront even better, more vibrant and more welcoming to all,” said DCP Director Marisa Lago.
The website also provides information about existing waterfront regulations, links to waterfront-related interactive maps, a section on what we’ve heard through public outreach so far, information about our community partners and a space where New Yorkers can share their thoughts on the waterfront.
The new website includes a draft framework document, spelling out priorities based on what DCP has heard from communities so far. Meant to further spur public conversation and input, the framework includes overarching themes of resiliency, equity and health that will shape the content of the plan and our process. The framework uses these themes as a lens through which it discusses topics like economic activity, ferries, natural resources and the working waterfront.
“Brooklyn Boatworks was pleased to partner with DCP during the last school year to add student voices to the waterfront planning process. Students in our classes participated in multiple sessions, during which they mapped out their current neighborhoods and introduced ideal waterfronts of the future to DCP staff. Students gained experience as strategic thinkers, planners, environmental stewards and civic participants. DCP has created a very thoughtful and intentional process for gathering feedback and discussing opportunities, and Brooklyn Boatworks encourages all NYC residents to participate in the planning process by attending a virtual workshop and visiting the new website. NYC will benefit from as much participation from the public as possible and participants will gain a greater appreciation for the NYC planning process,” said Marjorie R. Schulman, Executive Director of Brooklyn Boatworks.
“Working with DCP on Walking the Edge was an invigorating, surprising and wonderful experience. We were impressed with how thoughtful, thorough and dedicated their Waterfront team was in working with us and the diverse local artists we support. It was a privilege to see how hard the team works to communicate with all kinds of people in every corner of the city. We urge everyone to engage with this new online portal and with DCP’s workshops, to get up close and personal with their innovative thinking and deep commitment to our city’s waterfronts, and make your voice heard. We can assure you that they will listen and care!,” said Clarinda Mac Low, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Culture Push.
“Residents of the waterfront communities in and around Jamaica Bay and Rockaway can play a key role in framing the Comprehensive Waterfront Plan. Through this, and other planning efforts, input from local community members will help shape waterfront policy over the next decade. The Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, which supports over 10,000 acres of parkland mostly along our shorelines, is thankful that this planning effort will engage the public through virtual workshops and offers an even greater opportunity for people to participate and set a vision for our city’s waterfront,” Alex Zablocki, Director, Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy said.
“New Yorkers from the City’s 520 miles of waterfront are critical to shaping the next Comprehensive Waterfront Plan. After 10 years of progress since the last Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, our harbor city has better recreation, more ferry service, and restored ecologically sensitive areas. The climate crisis will challenge this progress and shows us how much more progress is yet to be made, especially in waterfront environmental justice communities," said Cortney Worrall, CEO and President, Waterfront Alliance. “DCP’s virtual public workshops, on the heels of five forums the Waterfront Alliance organized with DCP late last year, give all communities the opportunity to have their voices heard, to shape the City’s waterfront and help ensure the resiliency needed for all New Yorkers in the new climate future.”
“In working with DCP, we’ve had a front row seat to their process, and how much depends on the Comprehensive Waterfront Plan. We also learned so much about how we—as both artists and NYC citizens—have a role to play in the future of our city through participating in the public planning process. The only people who know more about our waterfront than DCP (and they know a lot!) are us New Yorkers; and our experiences of the waterfront are crucial to shaping our New York for years to come,” said Nancy Nowacek, Co-Founder, Works on Water.
The workshops are tailored for local communities. Participants can join by videoconference on Zoom or by calling from any phone. The hour and a half long meetings, which are also accessible through NYC Engage, are scheduled to start at 4 p.m. for:
- Sept. 15: Bronx: Eastchester Bay, East River and Bronx River (Community Districts 9, 10, 11, 12)
- Sept. 17: Queens: Northern Queens (Community Districts 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 11 – please note this meeting will start at 5:30 p.m.)
- Sept. 29: Staten Island North Shore, West Shore (Community Districts 1, 2 – please note this meeting will start at 5:30 p.m.)
- Sept. 30: Brooklyn: New York Harbor (Community Districts 6, 7, 8, 9)
- Oct. 1: Bronx: Hudson River, Harlem River, Hunts Point Peninsula, Bronx River (Community Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
- Oct. 13: Staten Island: South Shore, East Shore (Community Districts 2, 3 – please note this meeting will start at 5:30 p.m.)
- Oct. 15: Queens: Southern Queens (Community Districts 9, 10, 12, 13, 14)
- Oct. 26: Brooklyn: Northern Brooklyn (Community Districts 1, 2, 3, 4)
- Oct. 27: Manhattan: Upper Manhattan, East Side (Community Districts 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12)
- Oct. 29: Brooklyn: Southern Brooklyn (Community Districts 5, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18)
- Nov. 10: Queens: East River (Community Districts 1, 2, 5)
- Nov. 12: Manhattan: Lower Manhattan, West Side (Community Districts 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9)
Each workshop will start with a presentation by DCP on the preliminary goals and issues the Comprehensive Waterfront Plan aims to address, followed by small group discussions to share ideas.
These workshops build on over a year of public outreach, including more than 20 events in all five boroughs, waterfront tours, appearances at seasonal or nature-focused festivals and our Waterfront Planning Camp. DCP continued engagement with the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, through online programs like #WaterfrontWednesdays and Walking the Edge, done in collaboration with local arts and water organizations.
In addition, DCP supports the City Planning Commission in its annual review of approximately 450 land use applications for a variety of discretionary approvals. The Department also assists both government agencies and the public by advising on strategic and capital planning and providing policy analysis, technical assistance and data relating to housing, transportation, community facilities, demography, zoning, urban design, waterfront areas and public open space.