A People’s Plan for the East River Waterfront – Next City

Community Engaged Design in America

A People’s Plan for the East River Waterfront

Paths to Pier 42
Past Summer Waterfront Celebrations at Pier 42.

This website describes the community-organizing, planning, and collaborative arts and culture activities taking place at Manhattan’s Pier 42, which in 2013 was transformed from a shuttered cargo pier into a public park. When the New York City Economic Development Corporation announced a plan for high-end uses at the pier, threatening to intensify the gentrification of surrounding neighborhoods, the community responded with its own vision, “A People’s Plan for the East River Waterfront.” Full implementation of the plan took several years. To sustain momentum, artists and designers collaborated with residents to develop events, art installations, and activities to bring the park to life. This project demonstrates the potential for building high-quality public spaces that everyone can enjoy when neighborhoods, cultural organizations, and designers work together.

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Organizations Referenced

Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES), Hester Street Collaborative, Lower East Side Ecology Center, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and Two Bridges Neighborhood Council in partnership with NY State Senator Daniel Squadron, and the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation

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