NEW YORK – Department of City Planning (DCP) Director Marisa Lago today invited every New Yorker to play a role in imagining how to make one of our city’s defining resources – its 520 miles of waterfront – work even better. As a kick-off for the next Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, the public is urged to participate in a free Waterfront Planning Camp on Governors Island, Saturday, August 17th, for an afternoon of interactive, fun activities where they can share ideas for the future of our diverse waterfront. Hosted by the Trust for Governors Island, the event is co-sponsored by Works on Water, an arts organization that focuses on water in urban areas and ecological issues. A variety of local events, planning workshops and online engagement opportunities will be unveiled in coming weeks on web page to enable people to learn and take part in this important effort to address critical issues affecting the waterfront and the city, including climate change, public access and jobs.

“New Yorkers love their waterfront and we’re using it more than ever. To make this precious resource even more enjoyable, accessible and resilient, we’re going to the experts – New Yorkers themselves! We encourage your involvement to inform a plan for the city’s waterfront for decades to come,” said DCP Director Marisa Lago. “You can both help us plan and also have fun by coming on out to Waterfront Planning Camp!”

“We are so excited to be partnering with DCP on this event and on envisioning the future of our city in the coming year: we have long believed that art is an invitation into complex and challenging ideas, and a necessary element when addressing the systems and layers of environmental issues like those that face the city’s 520 miles of waterfront,” said Nancy Nowacek, Co-Founder, Works on Water.

“New Yorkers deserve a waterfront that is as vibrant as it is accessible,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I thank City Planning for their efforts in bringing the discussions about the City’s 520 miles of waterfront into the public sphere. I hope all New Yorkers join the ‘Waterfront Planning Camp’ on Governors Island and have their ideas heard.”

“It’s of utmost importance that Bronxites have access to our natural resources, including the waterfront areas surrounding a considerable portion of our borough. I encourage everyone to engage in sharing ideas at this event as we look toward a future where our children don’t have to leave The Bronx to access public waterfront spaces. Thank you to the Department of City Planning for all of the work and careful consideration towards this monumental project,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

“Surrounded by water on three sides, Queens and its coastal communities have a significant stake in any plan to make our city’s waterfront more accessible and resilient over the next decade,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “It is vital that residents from the Rockaways to Long Island City to Bayside and beyond participate in the process of creating a new Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, as we work to ensure our many miles of coastline continue to be hubs of recreation, resiliency, industry and economic opportunity for our families.”

“Yes, New York City is a rich and diverse metropolis, but it’s not just a concrete jungle — it’s also home to hundreds of miles of beautiful waterfront,” said Council Member Francisco Moya, who chairs the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises. “These areas offer so many opportunities for New Yorkers, from rest and relaxation to improving both their physical and mental health, from building environmental resilience and sustainability to housing equity. I encourage all New Yorkers to join us on Governors Island to participate in re-imagining our waterfront and enjoy fun interactive activities!”

“We have the biggest, busiest, and arguably most beautiful harbor in the world, and we need to utilize its full potential. Join stakeholders from across the city for a day of fun while sharing your ideas for the future of our 520 miles of waterfront. Whether your interests are in recreation, transportation, commerce or resilience, we want to hear from you. Waterfront Planning Camp on Governors Island will include visioning activities, games, waterfront tours and more. As former Chair of the Committee on Waterfronts, member of the Waterfront Management Advisory Board, and longtime advocate for developing a comprehensive plan for the future of our waterfront, I encourage all New Yorkers to participate in this event and help us develop a blueprint for the future,” said Council Member Debi Rose.

The Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, mandated by law to be updated every ten years, will be developed with extensive public input and released by the end of 2020. It aims to make New York City’s 520 miles of waterfront more accessible, active and resilient. This plan will be the third such iteration and will provide a vision for the city’s waterfront for the next decade and beyond. Vision2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, released in early 2011, set the stage for expanded use of our waterfront for parks, housing and economic development, and of our waterways for transportation, recreation and natural habitats.

Themes that are likely to emerge in this plan are resiliency, equity and health.

To develop the plan, DCP seeks to engage with communities through new and creative ways to expand awareness and involvement. DCP is already soliciting ideas through an online surveyaimed at finding out how people use the waterfront and how their experience could be improved. A public information campaign is currently running on LinkNYC kiosks as well as on DCP’s social media channels, directing visitors to nyc.gov/waterfrontplan. Multiple in-person events will take place throughout the city, starting with:

Waterfront Planning Camp for All Ages
Governors Island – Nolan Park
Saturday, August 17, 2019/12pm-4pm Rain or shine!

  • Join DCP and other agencies and organizations around the city for workshops on Living and Playing at the Waterfront, Working at the Waterfront, Restoring and Getting into the Water, and Adapting to Water. The Camp will offer a gamut of information and activities from the serious (go bags, preparedness and flood insurance) to the sublime (boat tours, bubbles and ice cream).
  • Ferries run to Governors Island from the Battery Maritime Building in Manhattan and from Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. They are free before noon.
  • For info on the event and to ensure you receive useful updates, please sign up at Eventbrite. This will enable camp organizers to plan to accommodate participants. Members of the public are also welcome to drop by.

While the Waterfront Planning Camp will address themes affecting all areas of the city, the plan will also create area-specific recommendations for smaller geographies. Local events will be scheduled throughout the city to plan with adjacent neighborhoods.

Starting in the fall, planners will conduct ‘Listening Sessions’ with local organizations along the waterfront. DCP will also introduce a Planning-in-a-Box kit to encourage communities and smaller groups to host their own meetings and share the resulting ideas and suggestions. DCP is collaborating with the Center for Architecture and the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to create a waterfront initiative that will include workshops throughout the fall and next spring. Planning, design and environmental graduate programs in the city, as well as middle schools and high schools, will host studios next spring related to key challenges on our waterfront.

For updates on the plan, events, or to provide suggestions on how we can connect with your community, please visit DCP’s web page or contact us at waterfrontplan@planning.nyc.gov.