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Projects & Proposals > Citywide > The NYC Comprehensive Waterfront Plan Printer Friendly Version


Vision 2020 builds on the tremendous successes of the Bloomberg Administration to transform New York’s waterfront from a no-man’s land of rotting piers, parking lots, and abandoned industrial sites, to a place not only for commerce and industry but also for people to live and play. In recent years, we’ve opened parks and greenways on the waterfront, built new housing, restored natural habitat, and fostered all sorts of recreation from kayaking to rollerblading. Today our waterfront has become a destination in and of itself like never before in New York’s history.

The following is a selection of the many projects that contributed to Vision 2020:

  • 1992 Comprehensive Waterfront Plan
  • The 1992 Comprehensive Waterfront Plan was the first comprehensive inventory of the city’s entire waterfront and the Plan provided a framework to guide land use along the waterfront. The plan recommended a number of regulatory changes that have been largely implemented through two means: the Waterfront Revitalization Program and Waterfront Zoning Amendments. PDF Document View the full report.
  • Waterfront Revitalization Program
    The New York City Waterfront Revitalization Program (WRP) is the city's principal coastal zone management tool. The WRP is the City’s formal statement of policies for balancing economic development, natural resources protection, and public access on the shoreline. When a proposed project in the coastal zone requires a local, state, or federal discretionary action, a determination of the project’s consistency with the policies and intent of the WRP must be made before the project can move forward. PDF Document View the full program
  • Waterfront Zoning
    Following recommendations of the 1992 Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, the Zoning Resolution was revised in 1993 to include special regulations for waterfront properties. These regulations require new developments, except for industrial, low-density residential and City infrastructure, to build and maintain waterfront public access areas. In 2009, the design requirements were updated to ensure they respond to the context and constraints of a diversity of waterfront locations to provide public access areas are inviting to the public. More information.
  • Maritime Support Service Location Study
    In 2006, NYC Economic Development Corporation commenced the Maritime Support Services Location Study focusing on the tug and barge industry, ship repair/ dry-dock industry and government services with the goals to develop a sufficient background about these industry sectors to understand their size and economic importance, to define the needs of these industries through 2016 and to identify appropriate assistance to these industries, if needed, to protect their vital functions. More information.
  • PlaNYC
    Released in 2007, PlaNYC is both a growth plan to accommodate one million new residents by 2030 and a climate action plan to reduce total city greenhouse gas emissions over the same time period. The plan also seeks to achieve cleaner air, increase parks and open space, improve harbor water quality, and modernize water supply infrastructure, just to name a few of its goals. PlaNYC links what have traditionally been considered separate, if not conflicting, issues in urban development—economic growth, environmental sustainability, and quality of life—into a unified strategic framework for developing New York City over the long term. More information.
  • New York City Water Trail
    Created in 2008 by the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, the New York City Water Trail offers 160 square miles of diverse waterways—rivers, bays, creeks, inlets, and ocean—that are accessible to the public for recreation. Intended for kayaks, canoes, and open-water rowing vessels, the trail connects green spaces along the shoreline, including Barretto Point Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Hudson River Park, Fort Totten Park, and Freshkills Park. The trail has grown to 40 locations on park and non-park land—and counting. More information.
  • Hudson-Raritan Estuary Comprehensive Restoration Plan
    In 2010, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey issued a draft of the Hudson-Raritan Estuary Comprehensive Restoration Plan (CRP). The CRP was developed in collaboration with Federal, State, municipal, non-governmental organizations and other regional stakeholders and sets forth a consensus vision, master plan and strategy for ecosystem future restoration in the NY/NJ Harbor. More information.
  • Interactive Map of Publicly Accessible Waterfront Spaces
    As part of the work of Vision 2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, the Department of City Planning created an interactive map to identify and give information about the city’s inventory of publicly-accessible waterfront spaces. View the map.
  • NYC Green Infrastructure Plan
    In September 2010, New York City released the NYC Green Infrastructure Plan which presents an alternative approach to improving water quality that integrates “green infrastructure,” such as swales and green roofs, with investments to optimize the existing system and to build targeted, cost-effective “grey” or traditional infrastructure. More information.

  • Comprehensive Citywide Ferry Study
    The Comprehensive Citywide Ferry Study provides information and analysis to make planning, policy, and budgetary decisions regarding the future of waterborne recreational and commuter passenger transportation. More information.

Stay in touch with us in real time: Subscribe to updates on the Comprehensive Waterfront Plan - An email subscription service to stay on top of the latest news, information, and announcements about Vision 2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan.

For more information about Vision 2020 please contact


This material was prepared for the New York State Department of State, with funds provided under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund.



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