Turning the Tide: Manhattan Waterfront in Transition — Save the Date!

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.

This spring, CISC will be co-hosting a colloquium series on the newly designated “Manhattan Waterfront Greenway.” Make sure to save the dates below so that you can come and learn about this conglomeration of green spaces that have been 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, 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.

Schedule of Sessions

  • 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

Roosevelt House, 47-49 E. 65th Street (Map)

5:30 – 7:30 P.M.

For more information
Contact Carina Molnar carina.molnar@hunter.cuny.edu This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; (212) 650-3456 or Dr. Rutherford H. Platt platt@geo.umass.edu This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , (413) 575-0685.


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Comments (1)


  1. Alex Magot says:

    At the end of a lecture on TED where he introduces the amazing work accomplished for Mannahatta, Eric Sanderson presents his dream of the future of New York: a more compact, greener city, with green roofs, parks, numerous pedestrian zones and an urban area that covers only 36% of the current size of NYC, but with the same number of residents … Diversity, abundance, compactness and ecology. Prof Richard Burdett from the London School of Economics exposes some of the limits and advantages of these ideas, in a recent essay on urbanism in the next decade, and the main challenges it poses to the community (http://www.futureagenda.org/?cat=14). Worth a read !

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