New York City has many iconic spaces -- Central Park, Times Square, etc. -- but even though the city is surrounded by water, its waterfront isn't one of them. Yet.
A new $3.3 billion, 10-year plan, known as Vision 2020 [PDF], will develop the city's massive 520 mile shoreline -- what Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the city's "sixth borough" -- into a clean, attractive, and sustainable destination.
"New York City has more miles of waterfront than Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, and Portland combined – but for decades, too many neighborhoods have been blocked off from it," said Mayor Bloomberg. "We have made huge strides in re-connecting communities to the waterfront, and now we are launching an ambitious plan that ties those projects together into what will be one of the most sweeping transformations of any urban waterfront in the world."
The plan will improve livability around the waterfront by opening more of the land to the public, while adding new parks, greenways, esplanades, housing, and mix-use development. New ferry services between Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan will begin this spring, and investments will be made to clean up the water to encourage more recreational activities and improve natural habitats.
It's good to see that, even in difficult economic times, cities are recognizing the importance of projects that improve the quality of life for its residents. But not only that, this type of major development has the potential to be another famous New York City icon, and will even create thousands of maritime jobs.
"New York City’s waterways have played a major role in its history and remains one of the city’s greatest assets, but over time it has become less and less a part of New Yorkers’ lives," said Deputy Mayor Robert Steel. "We’re committed to making it a part of New Yorkers’ lives again for recreation, transportation, jobs and housing."
And according to City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden: “We are now planning for our waterfront and waterways with the same intensity and passion that we have traditionally planned for our land."
Photo: Adam Lerner/Flickr
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com