5. A Well Designed Edge

Barge and Boat Infrastructure

The indelible image of rescuers having to climb over decorative waterside esplanade fences to get people away from danger on September 11th serves as a reminder to remake the edges of our waterfront in practical ways, providing bollards and cleats for securing boats and barges, and installing gates that allow access to the water. As we rebuild our waterfront with new piers and miles of promenades, we must build simple infrastructure that will make them usable by boats and barges for recreation, commerce and for emergencies.

Nature-Filled Waterfront Edges

Improve our environment and access to the water, particularly for education and recreation, with a natural edge. Suggestions include:

Softened shorelines that include vegetation with shallow, sloping intertidal areas, teeming with marine life such as shellfish

Ecology piers, to fish, to foster growth of aquatic life and to better understand nature

Street ends and waterfront parks where you can touch the water

Plan and Design For Sea Level Rise

The undeniable prospect of climate change has profound implications for 20 million people that live in the metropolitan region. Scientists predict a rise in water level of one to three feet over the next 80 years. A Category 3 hurricane could flood about 20% of New York City. Vulnerability to catastrophic weather events and sea level rise demands farsighted and decisive action. Building and zoning codes need to be revised. Transportation and utility systems need to be re-engineered to anticipate flooding. Construction projects in areas that are especially vulnerable, such as barrier islands like the Rockaways, may need to be reconsidered.

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