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East River Blueway Plan, New York, United States

Thursday 14 Feb 2013

River to the people

Images courtesy of WXY Architecture + Design 
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WXY's riverfront development project in New York to include storm barrier 

A new storm barrier along the East River in New York City, US has been proposed as part of a major riverside redevelopment project. The scheme, entitled the East River Blueway Plan, has been developed by New York-based WXY Architecture +Design, together with Assembly member Brian Kavanagh, the NYS Department of State Division of Coastal Resources, the Lower East Side Ecology Centre and community groups.

Located between Brooklyn Bridge and East 38th Street, the project is described as a ‘community-based waterfront initiative’ and Manhattan Borough president, Scott Stringer has pledged to invest €2.6m ($3.5m) of capital funding into the scheme. In a written statement last week, Stringer said of the development: “What we have created here is a model that not only helps communities to re-imagine their waterfronts, but also helps to safeguard them at the same time. In the end, this is a roadmap to recovery built by the community and for the community.”

Creating easy public access to the river, the Blueway Plan is a 4-mile-long waterfront development and aims to allow the public to use the disused urban beach under the Brooklyn Bridge as well as creating a continuous bird/walk path and mini parks. Under the proposals, the architects have provided a number of ideas including raising the park road and replacing a long bulkhead at FDR Drive, a highway, with protected wetlands and a new bridge for pedestrians.

Talking about the advantages of wetlands and the need for a storm barrier, Claire Weisz, WXY’s founding principal, said: "The wetlands provide a natural buffer against storm-related surges that can cause major urban flooding. We've been working with people in the affected neighbourhoods and a local ecology centre, and we realise how much flood protection and waterfront access would improve their lives."

Key Facts

Status Planning
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