Vision 2020 Waterfront Plan Earns Planning Excellence Award

April 10, 2012 Updated: April 10, 2012
Epoch Times Photo
Southpoint Park on Roosevelt Island, opened in fall 2011, offers a view of Midtown Manhattan as sail boats glide down the East River. (Ivan Pentchoukov/The Epoch Times)

NEW YORK—Vision 2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, won the Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan from the American Planning Association. The association presents planning awards annually during a luncheon.

“The city has been making great strides in connecting New Yorkers with the water’s edge over the past several decades,” states the association’s website. “Vision 2020 expands upon previous efforts to provide site-specific strategies to improve the waterfront in all five boroughs.”

Epoch Times Photo
A rendering of the envisioned East River waterfront beginning at 38 Street amd continuing for 33 blocks north, as imagined by Austrian architect firm for the Plug the Gap exhibition. (Courtesy of

The vision includes eight goals, among them improving water quality, restoring the natural waterfront, and enlivening the waterfront.

Besides opening up the Lower East Side to the waterfront, city officials have been working on opening the waterfront between Brooklyn Bridge and East 38th Street, referred to as The East River Blueway Project.

Advocacy groups have been attempting to plug the gap directly above 38th Street and spanning 33 blocks north. Plug the Gap is the title of an exhibition inviting ideas to close a gap in the East River Greenway. Although legislation was signed last year to reconfigure the U.N. and free up space along the water; no further concrete actions have been taken.

Last June, the East River Ferry began carrying passengers from several points between Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Much of Manhattan is already a greenway, allowing pedestrians and bikers to ride along the rivers. Roosevelt Island opened a new park last August. The 85-acre Brooklyn Bridge project is moving forward, and sites in the Bronx and Staten Island are eyed for development in the plan, including Pugsley Creek Park.

A set of 130 projects make up Vision 2020, totaling $3.3 billion, according to the planning association.


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