“We’re jumpstarting the completion of a Greenway linking the entire Manhattan waterfront. The Hudson River Greenway has vastly improved quality of life on the West Side, and we want families in every corner in the borough to have that same access to bike, walk and play along the water. This is the first of many big investments we’ll make as we bring the full Greenway to reality.” -Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Manhattan’s next big park isn’t in the center. It’s on the edge.
The Manhattan Waterfront Greenway is an important open space resource for the city, providing access to the shoreline for a variety of activities, integrating larger parks within a connected network, and providing a bike path for recreation and commuting. This is a flagship opportunity to create public open space, providing residents in some of Manhattan’s most densely populated neighborhoods with improved access to the city’s waterfront. When complete, the 32.5-mile Greenway loop will connect a network of green spaces totaling more than 1,000 acres—a space larger than Central Park—running continuously around the entire island. Joggers, walkers, cyclists, and people of varying ages and abilities from every neighborhood should have access to the Greenway that is designed within the context of each unique neighborhood.
Mayor de Blasio has made historic investments—more than any other mayoral administration—to jumpstart closing the loop, committing more than $250 million to add 15 acres of quality open space that integrates the Greenway into Inwood, East Harlem, Harlem, and East Midtown. Most of these gaps are in low-income neighborhoods historically cut off from the waterfront.
Five sites are true gaps and two are existing paths in need of significant upgrades. Manhattan’s geography and historical land uses have made completion of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway challenging. Consideration of sea level rise and valuable habitats also demand that we are creative and resilient in our future Greenway designs. Each location has its own unique needs.
The following provides a view into what a completed Greenway might look like, with recommendations for all seven sites. As the projects advance, there will be ongoing public engagement in all phases of design and development.
The Vision: Closing the Loop
The grand vision of “closing the loop” is guided by four principles:
- Maximize the location along the waterfront: Working within the context of the existing landscape, the ideal location is along the waterfront wherever possible.
- Enhance safety for pedestrians and bicyclists: The safety of the greenway’s users is central to its design.
- Improve access from upland areas: In order for communities to benefit from the increased open space and waterfront, convenient, frequent, and safe access from upland areas is critical.
- Account for sea level rise: Greenway design should account for sea level rise in its alignment, elevations, and material choices.