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July 30, 2010

Rachaele Raynoff (City Planning) -- (212) 720-3471



July 30, 2010 – City Planning Commissioner Amanda M. Burden today announced the launch of a new interactive waterfront map on the Department of City Planning web page. Now for the first time ever, New Yorkers have a helpful tool to find all 224 publicly accessible waterfront spaces throughout the five boroughs. Prepared as part of the work of Vision 2020: New York City’s Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, New Yorkers and visitors can now easily locate the approximately 200 linear miles of shorefront public parks and other publicly accessible spaces on private property, as well as the more than 20 linear miles of publicly accessible shorefront spaces that are in progress or planned on public property. The interactive waterfront map and Vision 2020 are part of the New York City Waterfront Vision and Enhancement Strategy (WAVES), a citywide initiative that will create a new sustainable blueprint for the City’s more than 500 miles of shoreline, which Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn launched in April 2010.

Commissioner Burden said, “We are a City of five boroughs, and four of them are on islands. Our waterfront and waterways are a key component of the city's identity and among our greatest resources. Reclaiming and revitalizing the waterfront is a Mayoral priority, understanding that opening up the waterfront is crucial for a full range of uses and stakeholders. What we hear from New Yorkers is the overwhelming desire for expanding public waterfront access so people can get to – and in some cases, into – the water. The Interactive map will provide opportunities for residents of all the boroughs to enjoy this magnificent and underused resource.”

To access the map, go to and click on the Citywide Waterfront Access Map link in the middle of the page. Web visitors can select a borough from the citywide map, and then choose a waterfront site for a description of that space. For accessible waterfront sites on public property, the map links to the website of the agency in charge of building or maintaining the space, where descriptions and maps can be found. For privately owned sites, City Planning provides a photo and a list of features and amenities – such as walkways, seating, trees, and lighting. There is also a link to the NYCityMap so the user can see the general location and adjacent streets, as well as transportation options and nearby attractions, among other useful information. The interactive waterfront map includes 224 publicly accessible sites, of which 27 are under construction or planned.

For a city that is surrounded by water, New Yorkers have for too long had limited access and opportunities to enjoy the waterfront and use the waterways. Through new public and private investments, as well as waterfront zoning regulations mandating public access in conjunction with new development, the City has succeeded in making a significant amount of the waterfront accessible and available for public use. The Administration has made improving New York’s waterfront a priority by creating new opportunities for residents of all the boroughs to enjoy previously inaccessible stretches of the waterfront, while accommodating new housing, industrial and maritime uses, and new water transport. Some of the major projects completed or underway include the Greenpoint/Williamsburg esplanade, Barretto Point Park, Freshkills Park, Lower Manhattan East River Waterfront, Brooklyn Bridge Park and Governors Island.

The Department of City Planning is currently working on Vision 2020, which will guide future City policy, balancing the needs of environmentally sensitive natural areas, the working waterfront, public access, open space, housing and commercial activity. Vision 2020 will focus especially on ‘The Blue Network’, the network of waterbodies that connect the Boroughs, and will present a framework for extending our experience beyond the edges of the land.

To inform the plan, City Planning has held successful workshops in all five boroughs, attended by hundreds of people, engaging members of the public about their ideas, needs and concerns for the waterfront.  Draft recommendations will be presented in the fall. Vision 2020 is mandated by City Council legislation that requires a waterfront report be submitted to the Mayor, the City Council, the Public Advocate, Borough Presidents, Community Boards and the public at the end of 2010, advancing the WAVES initiative.

Department of City Planning
The Department of City Planning (DCP) promotes strategic growth and development in the City, in part, by initiating comprehensive, consensus-based planning and zoning changes for individual neighborhoods and business districts. It supports the City Planning Commission and each year reviews more than 500 land use applications for actions such as zoning changes and disposition of City property. The Department assists both government agencies and the public by providing policy analysis and technical assistance relating to housing, transportation, community facilities, demography and public space.

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