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June 2015 | Grants Newsletter

WATER FOR ALL: Good waterfront design at Brooklyn Bridge Park (above) allows for multiple uses.

DOMINO EFFECT: Prompted in part by the Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines, developers at the Domino sugar plant site in Williamsburg, Brooklyn decided to include a wharf in a new housing and commercial development. Above: An architectural rendering of the site. Image courtesy of Shop Architects

Old Waterfront, New Vision

Who depends on New York City’s 520 miles of shoreline? Everyone.

Superstorm Sandy brought many harsh lessons, including this: Whether flooding knocked out your electricity, stalled your commute, or destroyed your home, the waterfront is a vital resource, but it needs to be designed better.

Yet, there is no single entity coordinating this resource—it’s managed by thousands of individuals, businesses, and government agencies (plus nature). And with the climate changing, the waterfront needs to be more resilient to storm surges and rising sea levels.

The Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, working with the City, State, and federal governments, created Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines, which provide strategies to enhance public access and recreation, support economic development, improve water quality, and restore and protect shorefront habitats.

These guidelines, intended to be used in many cities, got their start with a grant from us in 2013. This is an incentive system, like the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system for rating buildings.
This year, we’re giving the Alliance $100,000 so it can encourage more builders and others to use the guidelines. “Thanks to The Trust’s support, this project is off to a roaring start, improving waterfront design throughout the five boroughs,” says Roland Lewis, president and CEO of the Alliance.

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