The Future of New York's Waterfront

Thursday, November 15, 2012

We take a look at the future of New York’s waterfront post-Sandy and discuss some innovative ways to protect the harbor and city. Guests include: Justin Davidson, classical music and architecture critic at New York magazine; Eric Sanderson, author of Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City and a Senior Conservation Ecologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society;Catherine Seavitt Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Spitzer School of Architecture, City College of New York and co-author of On The Water: Palisade Bay.

On the Water: Palisade Bay / Hatje Cantz Verlag (publisher) and Guy Nordenson, Catherine Seavitt, and Adam Yarinsky.
On The Water: New York Hurricane Risk
On the Water: Palisade Bay / Hatje Cantz Verlag (publisher) and Guy Nordenson, Catherine Seavitt, and Adam Yarinsky.
On The Water: New York Master Plan
On the Water: Palisade Bay / Hatje Cantz Verlag (publisher) and Guy Nordenson, Catherine Seavitt, and Adam Yarinsky.
On The Water: Archepelago Islands
On the Water: Palisade Bay / Hatje Cantz Verlag (publisher) and Guy Nordenson, Catherine Seavitt, and Adam Yarinsky.
On The Water: Slip Bioswale
On the Water: Palisade Bay / Hatje Cantz Verlag (publisher) and Guy Nordenson, Catherine Seavitt, and Adam Yarinsky.
On The Water: Subway Reef
On the Water: Palisade Bay / Hatje Cantz Verlag (publisher) and Guy Nordenson, Catherine Seavitt, and Adam Yarinsky.
On The Water: Windmills & Oysters


Catherine Seavitt, Justin Davidson and Eric Sanderson

Comments [12]

Henry M. McClean from Turkey

Your article is extremely impressive. http://www.boostyourbust.co/

Nov. 19 2013 03:35 AM
rudeboy nyc from Williamsburg

It was a huge mistake/sellout allowing all this tower monstrosities being built right down at the Williamsburg waterfront.
All in flood zone A!
The whole area from the East River to Kent Avenue should have turned into a Park (potential flooding area) like on the Manhattan side and towers should have only been allowed further inland. But money talks. Any responsible urban planing was sold out to developers! In a just world, heads would be rolling..

Jun. 28 2013 12:33 PM

I agree with Greg that these people on the show seem to not appreciate the difference in scale between normal storm action and a major surge. All their environmental agenda serving twaddle about wetlands, islands and such would be utterly useless in the face of a surge like Irene's, never mind like we just had or larger. It's like wanting to defend against hand grenades with an umbrella.

It may be inevitable to abandon vacation homes on barrier islands to the sea, but in NY Harbor we're talking about some of the most densely settled and economically productive land in the world. In the Times article the Dutch were incredulous that we are willing to spend billions in cleanup but not in prevention. We have trillions of dollars in assets in the Hudson estuary flood zone, and the losses in this last storm exceed the cost of surge gates to protect it. When do we get serious?

Nov. 15 2012 03:24 PM
Leo from Queens

It's interesting how New York Harbor is one of the best Natural harbors in the World and the NYC ruling class has been the only set of 'leaders' in the WHOLE HISTORY OF HUMAN KIND where we have decided to not use our natural harbor for a commercial port to help diversify the economy and increase the wealth of the Region. Instead they have deliberately chosen to kill the port and all industries associated with port traffic.
Why have NYC politicians chosen to be the first in the whole history of human kind to turn their backs from the harbor/port in order to turn these to developers to build 'luxury' towers with flooded, contaminated basements?

Nov. 15 2012 01:55 PM
greg b

we seem to be confusing the storm surge with wave actions. Soft mediation efforts will blunt wave action, but a general rise in sea level during a storm (surge or tsunami) will find its way over the soft barriers. At least on a narrow island like Manhattan. The solutions solve two separate problems

Nov. 15 2012 01:52 PM
anne from staten island

in all the discussion of wetlands destruction and overdevelopment -- and ways to mitigate it -- why is no one discussing the remarkable -- and effective blubelt system here on staten island? instead of giving buiulders permits to erect homes along freshwater streams and ponds which dot statenj island the city dept of environmental protection wisely undertook the process of connectoing these streams and ponds to form a system of natural drainage. i live across the street from one of these areas and we have no flooding -- not in irene and not in sandy.

Nov. 15 2012 01:48 PM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

Question: Venice is now experiencing flooding, which apparently happens every year at this time. What are they doing wrong?

Nov. 15 2012 01:46 PM
Leo from Queens

Ask your guests if they are in agreement with Bloomberg and the other corrupt Politicians in Queens who are aggressively moving forward with their stupid effort to develop the heavily polluted swampland known as Willet Point in Queens?

City Hall does not pay attention since all the decision makers are Outsiders brought in or that have latched on to Bloomberg's money but who really don't know NYC and could care less about NYC. They are making long term policy and economic decisions impacting over 8 million people in the City yet they only define NYC to be the lower part of Manhattan stretching ALL THE WAY UP to the tundras of 86ST.

Nov. 15 2012 01:44 PM
Kendrick from New York CIty

Can your Future of NY's Waterfront guest comment on the process, legal and financial, associated with condemning private property in low lying areas and letting it revert to a natural state?

Nov. 15 2012 01:39 PM
ralph from Williamsburg

I always thought it was a horrible sin/sellout of urban planning to allow all those towers to be built directly on the Williamsburg waterfront. The area between the East River and Kent Ave. should have been turned into a park, just like they did on the Manhattan side!

Nov. 15 2012 01:36 PM
Ian from Brooklyn

Leonard. After Sandy, no one in my generation will ever buy a home in the Rockaways ever. How do they expect to get new residents after this? Also my neighbors in ZoneB Canarsie got hit hard but my neighborhood East New York was probably saved because of the garbage dump on the shore acting as a levy

Nov. 15 2012 01:30 PM
Leo from Queens

Can you ask your guests if politicians in this City have not been influenced too much by speculators and developers who are only thinking of making a quick buck without regards to the long term impact to the regional economy and the economic disparity that this uncontrolled, NON-TRANSPARENT and UNACCOUNTABLE development has caused to individuals. Politicians get easily blinded with these projects because they are ignorant of the effects.

ALSO, Can you ask your guests if it makes sense to develop and build housing and hotels in Willets Point in Queens which has always been a natural wetland and has basically been land filled with contaminated trash and ash? Can one of you speak to Bloomberg about this?

Nov. 15 2012 01:29 PM

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