Meeting attendees look at a model of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village with a planned elevated park at the waterfront. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Community residents got the opportunity to interact with 3D models showing possibilities for flood protection and access to the waterfront on the East Side at the most recent workshop for the East Side Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) project last Thursday evening. This meeting was the third in a round of public workshops, held at Washington Irving High School, discussing different options for the area along the East River from East 14th to 23rd Streets in terms of protecting the neighborhood from future storm surges and future Hurricane Sandys.
Since the first public workshop was held in March, the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency along with the urban design team working on the project have narrowed the design ideas down into a combination of an elevated park that integrates static floodwalls and deployable features. The break in the elevated park, known as a berm or levee, at East 20th Street is partially to accommodate a ferry landing that the Environmental Development Cooperation is considering developing there. Representatives from the city and the urban designers working on the project said they could not answer specific questions on the ferry landing itself since that project is not under the purview of the ESCR, but some residents at the meeting expressed concern about what the increased foot traffic would mean for the neighborhood.
“We want to see certain lovely things stay but newer, shinier and busier isn’t always better,” Stuyvesant Town resident Laura Koestler said. “Right now it’s small potatoes but it can become commercialized. With the possibility of a ferry over there, I just picture what the insane crowds have become at the Williamsburg Flea.”
Town & Village is proud to present “The Soapbox,” a column featuring a different voice from the neighborhood each week (space providing). All are welcome to submit columns on the topic of the author’s choice, preferably not longer than 800 words, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
State Senator Brad Hoyman at a meeting of the Sierra Club
Hoylman calls for action on climate change
By Joy Garland
On September 9, the NYC Sierra Club that meets monthly at the Seafarers and International House on East 15th Street, hosted “The Waters are Rising: How will NYC and NYS Respond?” Members in the packed room listened to Cynthia Rosenzweig, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies; Dan Zarilli, Director, Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency for the City of NY; and NY State Senator Brad Hoylman, Ranking Member of the Environmental Conservation Committee.
Hoylman told the audience that one of his primary goals was to call the legislature’s attention to the threat of human-made climate change, but felt his message met a seemingly anti-science undercurrent from some of his colleagues.
Hoylman submitted an Earth Day resolution calling for action to fight climate change, but the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee told Hoylman that it was omitted because a recent cold winter in Syracuse appeared to debunk climate change.
Area residents listen to a discussion about potential use of the waterfront at a meeting at Washington Irving High School. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
The coastal resiliency project backed by the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency has announced new possible plans for the waterfront by Stuyvesant Cove Park, with ideas including cafes or an elevated park.
The Tuesday evening workshop held at Washington Irving High School was more interactive than the previous gathering, which was mainly a presentation from ORR director Dan Zarilli and Jeremy Siegel, a project designer with the consultant team of Big U and director of Rebuild by Design.
Rebuild by Design was launched by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and held a competition for resiliency ideas, which resulted in the Big U project to protect the coastline known as the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project.
ORR senior policy advisor Carrie Grassi said this week that there was a short gap between the end of the contest and the beginning of the design process, but the project is now gaining more momentum.