As the city has rediscovered its miles of waterfront over the past several years, thanks to smart government policies, well-planned development and a surging economy, New Yorkers have seen our formerly foreboding, industrial riverbanks slowly transformed into residential, commercial and recreational showcases. From the Hudson River Park to the parks and promenades along the Williamsburg waterfront, more and more of the city’s vision of itself includes riverside public and private property. The new plan for a waterfront park on the East Side, adjacent to the United Nations, is a further step in the right direction.
Remarkably for a large project, the plan has the support of city, state and federal officials. The four acres in question are currently a slab of concrete and debris, serving as a wedge between neighborhood residents and their river. The Municipal Art Society, working with prominent landscape architects, has proposed a park and esplanade, with an estimated cost of $100 million. They also ask that, as the City Council prepares to vote on a residential and commercial real estate redevelopment plan for the nearby former Con Ed site, council members make sure that the proposed park is not overlooked.
New York City has 578 miles of waterfront. The more links made to this precious resource, the better.