Turning the Tide: New York's Waterfront in Transition

The Turning the Tide: New York’s Waterfront in Transition event series has come to a close.  CISC would like to thank all those who helped make this such an amazing series; the speakers, the hosts, and of course all those great citizens who attended the events.

If you missed any of the events, frett not!  You can check out pictures from the events here as well as watch Slidecats, download the presentations, and listen to podcasts from each event.

Thanks to our sponsors:

CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities The Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College
Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance


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.







Images from the series

Session 1: Wed. Feb. 24, 2010

“Opening Out Towards the Water”– The Big Picture
Moderator: Dr. William Solecki, Director, CISC

Click on each speaker’s name to download their presentation [PDF]

Session 2 Wed. March 17, 2010

Waterfront Parks: Old, New, Green, Blue

Moderator: Dr. Rutherford H. Platt

Click on each speaker’s name to download their presentation [PDF]

  • Amy Gavaris, Executive Vice President for the New York Restoration Project
  • Dr. Vicky Gholson, Friends of Riverbank State Park
  • Peter Mullan, Planning Director, Friends of The High Line Greenway
  • Connie Fishman, Executive Director, Hudson River Park Trust
  • Jeanne DuPont,  Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, Queens

Session 3 Wed. April 7, 2010

Seizing Opportunities: Waterfront Works in Progress

Moderator: Dr. Melissa Checker, Queens College, CUNY


Session 4 Wed. April 28, 2010

Reviving the Estuary: Science, Politics, and Education

Moderator: Dr. John Waldman, Queens College



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