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The East River Blueway Plan presentation

May 6, 2013
The panelists ©Pallavi Bharadwaj

The panelists ©Pallavi Bharadwaj

From LtoR: Brian Kavanagh, Assembly member; Roland Lewis, MWA; Adam Lubinsky, WXY; Susan C. Drake, Cooper Union and Harvard University; Daniel Tainow, L.E.S.E.Center; Christopher Collins, Solar One

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, Assembly member Brian Kavanagh and
Community Boards 3 & 6, Lower East Side Ecology Center (L.E.S.E.C.), NYS Department of Coastal Resources made a presentation on The East River Blueway Plan to discuss storm resiliency strategies and waterfront enhancement projects from the Brooklyn Bridge to East 38th Street.

Follow important points were highlighted during the presentation by key presenters:

Brian Kavanagh, Assembly Member:

  • Wall is not feasible.
  • Natural barriers for instance salt marshes and wetlands are sustainable for making the shoreline resilient.
  • People have a tremendous desire to go into the river
  • River as an opportunity has been underutilized so far
  • When completed the Blueway shall be a continuos corridor for people to move from point A to B

Roland Lewis, President and Founder, Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance (MWA):

  • NYC is above water
  • Sandy has been a wake up call
  • Mayor Bloomberg, Army Corps, Washington D.C. and the Department of Agriculture’s collaboration
  • NYC’s waterfront is a utility, only different is that it’s owned by 1000s of stakeholders
  • The Blueway Plan is a better way to understand that utility
  • Waterway is a product and process or model

Product: Places have to be kept dry, for instance electric, and wet, for instance water passages in the parks.

  • Lot of our neighborhoods have been landlocked.
  • This plan recognizes MWA’s mission statement
  • Reemphasized the importance of natural shoreline, wetlands and salt marshes.

Process: People are the process.

  • They drive the policy dialogue
  • This is a regional issue too.
  • Think regionally and act locally
  • The Bluewater Plan is a piece of regional plan.
  • 724 member organizations of M.W.A shall be using the Bluewater Plan as a starting block.
  • All the comprehensive plans shall go a long way in making the waterfronts more alive.

Adam Lubinsky:

Three questions formed the goal defining foundation for the East River Bluewater Plan.

  1. How long have you lived along the river?
  2. What is your interaction with the river? What is the changed impression of the river?
  3. How do you want the river to evolve in the future?

Several stakeholders responded to the above mentioned questions and the following four goals emerged:

Goal 1 : Engaging the river

Goal 2: Improving community access

Goal 3: Creating waterfront continuity

Goal 4: Planning for resilient neighborhoods

Questions from the audiences:

  • Why the Upper East Side has been left out from the plan? (For Mr. Kavanagh)
  • What about the walking paths, vendors, kiosks, food outlets and so on along the plan (For Mr. Kavanagh and Mr. Lewis)
  • How close you are to realizing the plan in terms of timeline, funding and so on (Mr. Kavanagh)

For detailed information on the East River Blueway Project, please click here.

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